CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – All five Lesley University starters finished in double-figures as the Lynx kicked off their home schedule with an 85-78 triumph over Wentworth Institute of Technology Tuesday night at the Nicholas Athletics Center.
Lesley led from start to finish as they improve to 3-1 on the young season while Wentworth drops to 1-2 overall.
The Lesley offense was on fire as they shot 51-percent (28-of-55) from the floor, including hitting 50-percent from beyond the arc (12-of-24). Senior Marquise Johnson (Hampton, Va.) and sophomore Xeo Golding (Windermere, Fla.) led the charge with 14 points apiece, while Johnson added a team-high eight boards and four assists to his line. Senior Pierre St. Simon (Farmingdale, N.Y.), who played just 13-minutes due to foul trouble, added 12 points, four rebounds, two steals, and one block while classmate Devon Mayo (Newport News, Va.) and junior Joey Martin (Melbourne, Fla.) each poured in 11.
Wentworth junior Jason Ganley (Northbridge, Mass.) was a handful down low and led all players with 21 points on 9-of-17 shooting while gathering four caroms. Freshman Matt Vartanian (Salem, N.H.) came off the bench to supply the Leopards with a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds to go with a game-high five assists while senior Dan DeVaux (Wethersfield, Conn.) added 14 points, four boards, and two swipes for the visitors.
After heading into halftime trailing 45-37, the Leopards would open the second half of play on a 6-2 spurt to quickly cut the deficit to four, 47-43. The Lynx offense answered quickly, however, and used a Martin layup followed by two Goldings treys to ignite a 13-3 run to open up their biggest lead of the game at 60-46 with 13:41 left to play.
Later in the half with the Lynx leading 74-61, the Leopards would start to chip away and keep the Lynx from connecting for a field goal over the final 7:36 to come within five, 80-75, with just 1:09 remaining. That would be as close as the Leopards would get, however, as the Lynx connected for five free throws down the stretch, including three from Johnson, to ice the game in favor of the hosts 85-78.
Wentworth shot 43-percent (24-of-55) on the night and held a 38-31 edge on the glass, while the Lynx forced 17 Leopard turnovers and turned them into 18 points. Both teams struggled from the free throw line as Wentworth connected on 63-percent (24-of-38) of their chances while Lesley converted at just a 56-percent (17-of-30) clip.
Both sides will be off until after the Thanksgiving break as the Leopards will return to action on Wednesday, November 30 when they host the University of New England at 7:30p while the Lynx will kick off a four-game road stretch on Thursday, December 1st at Newbury College in their New England Collegiate Conference opener.