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Sanchez, Lynx roll past Naz, 66-58

Sanchez, Lynx roll past Naz, 66-58

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Lesley University (3-3) used a fast start in earning a 66-58 win over visiting Eastern Nazarene (1-6) in non-conference men's basketball action Monday night.

            The Lynx scored the first eight points of the night in building a cushion that lasted most of the game and used a late second half 9-0 run to knock off the Lions for good. Lesley point guard John Sanchez (Carson, CA/Saint John Bosco) led all players with 24 points, shooting a perfect 10-10 at the charity stripe, swiping a game-high five steals and using a deadly mid-range game to shoot 7-12 from the floor in just under 40 minutes of play.

            Mike McCoy (Almonte Springs, FL/Spruce Creek) kept the Lions in the game, hitting 5-10 from three-point range for a team-high 18 points. The junior guard hit 3-5 from deep in the first half, including a long range jumper that broke the Lynx 8-0 game-opening run and another trey that pulled the Lions to within three, at 12-9.

            A Chima Ezeigbo (Roanoke, VA/Bishop Henry ) capped an Eastern 8-0 run that put the Lions in front 14-12, but John Stockton's (Middlesex, NJ/Middlesex) triple broke a 14-14 tie as part of a 7-0 Lynx run. The Lions regained the lead at 24-23 on an Aaron Johnson (Roslindale, MA/Boston Trinity) three-pointer just outside the 5:00 mark, but again Lesley answered, this time with a Matt Gibson trey that gave the Lynx the lead for the rest of the night at the 4:35 mark.

            Lesley went into halftime leading 34-28 and opened up its first 10-point lead right out of the break on two of Sanchez's 10 free throws, but the Lions wouldn't go away without one last push. Max Barbosa (Dorchester, MA/Cathedral) and McCoy answered immediately, each nailing a three-pointer, and a James Beriter (East Longmeadow, MA/East Longmeadow) trey later made it a 41-39 game.

            The Lynx responded with an 8-1 run and later used a 9-0 run capped by a Justin Rosa (East Brunswick, MA/Marist High) long-range bomb to build a 62-49 lead in the final minutes, putting the Lions away for good.

            Senior Bryant Itonyo (Medford, MA/Medford) totaled seven points and seven rebounds for the Lynx, and sophomore Kris Bennett (Las Vegas, NV/Durango) chipped in with seven points, five boards, five steals, three assists and a block, as Lesely shot 39 percent from downtown in getting back to the .500 mark at 3-3.

            For Eastern Nazarene, Ezeigbo led all players with 15 rebounds, adding eight points and three blocks as the Lions won the battle of the boards, 40-37. CJ Gonzales (Providence, RI/Durfee) added seven rebounds as Eastern fell to 1-6.   

             Donald Morris' club won't have long to enjoy the win, as Lesley opens New England Collegiate Conference play tomorrow at 7 p.m. at Newbury College in Brookline. Eastern Nazarene, meanwhile, has four weeks off before taking on the Camels of Connecticut College on January 3.