CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Lesley University men's basketball team held on to pick up their second straight New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) win with a 47-44 victory over Becker College on Senior Day this afternoon. The Lynx improve to 4-15 overall and 2-9 in conference action while the Hawks snap a six game win-streak and fall to 13-9 on the season and 9-4 in the NECC.
Lesley came up with three big defensive stops in the final minute of play to secure the win. Leading by one with 43-seconds to go, senior Kris Bennett (Inglewood, Calif.) blocked a Darius Sealy (Cambridge, Mass.) drive to preserve a 45-44 edge. After the Lynx missed the front end of a 1-and-1, the Hawks had a chance to take a lead again but Tyler Roberson's (Irvington, N.J.) runner was off the mark while Lesley guard Justin Rosa (East Brunswick, N.J.) picked up the rebound and was fouled. Rosa would knock down 1-of-2 from the line, leaving Becker a chance down by two with seven ticks left on the clock. Hawks junior Donovan Ford-Hayes (Windsor Locks, Conn.) was unable to finish a contested layup and Bennett was there to grab the rebound as the Lynx held on for the 47-40 victory.
Rosa led the Lynx with 13 points on the afternoon, nine coming in the second half, while freshman Trevonn Lewis (Chicago, Ill.) and Branden Padgett (New Baltimore, Mich.) joined him in double-figures with 11 and ten points, respectively. Bennett tied his season-high with 15 boards to go with a game-high three blocks.
Leading the Becker attack was Ford-Hayes who led all scorers with 14 points while adding a game-high four assists to his line. Junior David Maturah (Windsor Locks, Conn.) finished with eight points and eight rebounds while sophomore Scott Dulaire (Broomfield, Conn.) pulled down a team-high ten rebounds to go with his four points.
The teams played a tight first half that saw the score tied twice and the lead changed on three separate occasions. Holding a slight 18-17 edge with 2:45 to go before the break, the Lynx went on a 9-3 run to take a 27-20 lead into the break. Padgett, who scored nine points in four minutes of action in the opening half, accounted for seven of Lesley's nine points during the streak.
The Lynx continued the momentum to start the second half, outscoring the Hawks 10-2 over the first five minutes of play to open up their biggest lead of the game, 37-21, on a Bennett put-back.
Sealy would spark the Hawks offense on the ensuing possession driving the lane and drawing a foul to convert the three-point play. That was the beginning of a 23-6 streak for the Hawks that gave them their first lead of the half, 44-43, with 5:18 to play in the game. Four different players scored during the run but it was Ford-Hayes who carried the Hawks, scoring 12 of his game-high 14 points during the spurt.
Both teams would go cold down the stretch as neither team would make a field goal in the final five minutes. With 1:51 left to play, Bennett would give the Lynx back the lead, 45-44, by knocking down two free throws after getting fouled on a put-back attempt to lead the Lynx to the win.
Both teams struggled from the floor as the Lynx shot 30-percent (14-of-47) on the afternoon while holding the Hawks to just 25-percent (15-of-60) from the field. Lesley's bench proved to be critical, outscoring the Hawks reserve by an 18-9 margin.
The Lynx will look to make it three straight on Monday, February 10th when they host Wheelock College in a game that was rescheduled from January 21st. The Hawks will return to action on Wednesday, February 12th when they welcome Elms College at 8:00p.