WENHAM, Mass.— After being gridlocked at 34-34 at the half, host Gordon College exploded for 52 points in the second stanza to pull away with an 86-70 win over the Lesley University men's basketball team in the season-opener for both schools.
The Scots opened the game with a bit of fire, making each of its first two shots from behind the arch on attempts from Noah Szilagyi (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) and Jaren Yang (San Francisco, Calif.). Sam Johnson (Chatham, Mass.) followed with a put-back to put the Lynx in an early 8-0 hole.
Lesley clawed back little by little and eventually cut the lead to one at 12-11 when Charlie Reznikoff (Wilton, Conn.) drained a three at the top of the key. After a Gordon triple pushed the lead back to four, Lesley scored four straight with a William Cuffee (Amherst, Mass.) jumper sandwiched between free throws from Devin Mayo (Newport News, Va.) and Reznikoff.
The two teams traded buckets the rest of the half and sat tied 34-34 at halftime. Both teams struggled from the floor, with neither above the 35-percent mark in the first half. Though, Gordon's 7-15 effort from three allowed them to counter 15 made free throws from the Lynx.
Gordon came out of the locker room more spirited, scoring just 16 seconds into period on a give-and-go between Johnson and Garrisson Duvivier (Brockton, Mass.). Duvivier scored on Gordon's next possession to open a four-point lead and the Scots led the rest of the way.
Xeo Golding (Windermere, Fla.) was electric for the Lynx as he finished his collegiate debut with 24 points in 33 minutes. He also pulled down seven rebounds and led the Lynx with two steals. Mayo knocked down 12 of his 14 free-throw attempts to finish second on the team with 14 points. Mayo and point guard Terrell Toney (Lakewood, Wash.) each contributed four assists.
Pierre St. Simon (Farmingdale, N.Y.) also finished in double-figures for Lesley as he finished with ten points. Corbin Polec (Okemos, Mich.) added eight points and tied his career-high with nine boards.
Gordon was led by the hard work of Johnson, who put up a double-double at 17 points and 11 boards. The power forward also led the team with two blocks. Eric Demers (West Wareham, Mass.) hit three triples and finished with 15 points while Duvivier grabbed a stat line of 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Yang almost compiled a triple-double for the hosts. The sophomore point guard had 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 30 minutes.
Gordon was helped by a better second half from the floor with a clip of 50-percent over the final 20 minutes. Lesley also improved in shooting percentage, but still fell at 32.8 for the game.
Lesley has a short layover before going on the road to Henniker, N.H. for a 7 p.m. tip on Monday. Gordon hosts NAIA opponent Fisher on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., a team that beat them in 2014-15.