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Kaufman, Gibson Lead Lynx to Second Straight Win

Kaufman, Gibson Lead Lynx to Second Straight Win

NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Lesley University men's basketball team won their second straight with a 80-65 win over Mitchell College on Thursday night in New England Collegiate Conference action at the Yarnall Athletic Center.

Lesley (5-10 overall, 3-3 NECC) trailed by four at the half but shot 65 percent in the second half en route to a 52-33 scoring advantage. Three Lynx players finished with season-high point totals led by Matt Gibson (Quincy, Mass./Lexington Christian), who shot 10-for-15 from the floor and netted a game-high 26 points. Mike Kaufman (Boca Raton, Fla./American Heritage) added 20 points off the bench on 8-for-11 shooting while Anthony Mattocks (Sarasota, Fla./Impact Academy) chipped in with 14 points, four assists and three steals.

Junior Joshua Ford (Jersey City, N.J./Saint Anthony) led Mitchell (7-7 overall, 3-3 NECC) with 17 points and nine rebounds. Sophomore Trace Lanson (Melbourne, Fla./Berean Christian School) shot 3-for-7 from long range and also finished in double digits with 10 points. The Mariners shot just 38 percent for the game.

Neither side pulled away in a closely-contested first half. The Mariners were ahead by two early on when Lesley big man Kris Bennett (Inglewood, Calif./Durango) picked up his second foul just 3:23 into the contest. The Lynx didn't miss a beat, however, as Valentine Emebo (Dorchester, Mass./O'Bryant) came off the bench and played well the rest of the half.

Lesley used a 12-1 run to take its biggest lead of the half at 16-9 with 11:38 remaining. Mattocks and Justin Rosa (East Brunswick, N.J./Marist High) each scored four points during the spurt, though the Mariners responded with an 11-2 run of their own to jump back ahead. The lead changed hands two more times before Mitchell settled in with a 32-28 lead at the break.

Lesley's guards were the difference over the final 20 minutes. Gibson and Kaufman combined for 32 points in the second half, torching the Mariners from both outside the arc and by getting to the rim. A three by Kaufman gave the Lynx the lead in the opening two minutes of the stanza, sparking a 29-8 run in which all but two points were scored by guards. Kaufman had 11 points during the stretch while Gibson added seven.

Lesley shot 20-for-31 as a team in the second half and went 7-for-11 from long range. After falling behind by 17, the Mariners never again got the margin below double digits.

Emebo finished with a season-high nine rebounds off the bench and added two steals, two assists and a block to go along with a solid defensive performance. Rosa added seven points and a game-high six assists in the win.

Mitchell will next play at Daniel Webster College on Saturday, January 19 at 3 p.m. Lesley returns to action at Daniel Webster College on Tuesday, January 22 at 7 p.m.