BOSTON, Mass. – Lesley University junior Devon Mayo (Newport News, Va.) drained two free throws with six seconds left in the game as the Lynx erased a 12-point second half deficit to notch their first New England Collegiate Conference win of the season tonight with a thrilling 79-77 win over Wheelock College.
Mayo paced the offense for the Lynx as he finished with a team-high 21 points on 7-of-15 shooting, including a 3-of-8 mark from beyond the arc, to go with six rebounds, three assists, and a steal.
The win is Lesley's sixth over Wheelock in the last seven meetings between the two schools while four of the last five games have been decided by three points or less. The Lynx improve to 2-11 overall in the 2015-16 campaign and 1-3 in NECC play while the Wildcats drop to 3-8 on the season and 1-3 in the conference.
A Casey Blanchard (Bernardston, Mass.) three gave the Lynx a 45-43 lead two minutes into the second half, but Wheelock used a monstrous 20-6 run over the next seven minutes of play to stake their biggest lead of the game at 63-51 with 11:10 left on the clock. Lesley quickly trimmed the deficit back to single-digits following a brief 6-2 spurt sparked by a Corbin Polec (Okemos, Mich.) triple.
An Anthony Williams (White Plains, N.Y.) layup would push the Wildcats advantage back to double digits, 69-58, with just over eight minutes left before the Lynx would rush back with a 12-0 run culminating in Mayo's third trey of the night to give Lesley their first lead since the 18:50 mark of the second half.
There would be three more lead changes throughout the final five minutes of play. Wheelock would look to regain control with a Devin Brown (Chicago, Ill.) trifecta to give the hosts a 76-72 edge with just under three minutes to go. Lesley would punch back with a Chris Barletta (Valrico, Fla.) layup and a three from Terrell Toney (Lakewood, Wash.) that would give the Lynx a one-point lead with 32-seconds to go.
On Wheelock's next possession, Williams earned a trip to the free throw line and knocked down one-of-two to knot the game at 77-77 with 22 ticks remaining. That set the stage for Mayo, who was fouled with six seconds remaining and calmly drained both of his freebies to give Lesley a 79-77 edge. After a Wildcats timeout, junior guard Derek Fournier's (Johnston, R.I.) long 3-pointer hit off the side rim and backboard but would not fall as the Lynx held on for the victory.
Toney and Polec joined Mayo in double-figures for the Lynx. Toney poured in 18 to go with four assists, three rebounds, and a pair of steals while Polec finished with ten points and three boards. Barletta added eight points and a team-best six dimes while Pierre St. Simon (Farmingdale, N.Y.) pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Wildcats were led by Williams who was the game's top scorer with 25 points on 11-for-15 shooting. Senior Joe Reedy (Orlando, Fla.) added 14 points, four rebounds, and two assists while junior Nicholas Fenton (East Hartford, Conn.) filled the stat sheet with 10 assists, eight points, and eight steals.
The Lynx will look to make it two straight when they return to action on Thursday as they travel to Chicopee, Mass. for a battle with Elms College at 5:00p. The Wildcats will also be back in play on Thursday when they hit the road to Mitchell College.