NEWTON, Mass. – Lesley University junior Will Gibson (Melbourne, Fla.) came off the bench and poured in a team-best 14 points to lift the Lynx to a 61-60 victory over Norwich University in their 2017 opener. Gibson finished 5-of-5 from the field and drained all four of his three-point attempts, including one from deep with just over a minute to play in the game that put the Lynx up by one.
The Lesley defense came up big in the final minute as Norwich missed three tough potential go-ahead buckets, including a swat from senior Pierre St. Simon (Farmingdale, N.Y.) on a Cadets put-back attempt as time expired to seal the victory.
The game was tight throughout as the teams traded the lead on 14 occasions while neither side was able to build up an edge by more than seven on the day.
Trailing by one with 10:51 on the clock, Gibson knocked down a 28-footer to give Lesley their first lead of the second half at 49-47. Each side would trade blows over the next seven minutes of play, exchanging the lead five times over that span before Norwich junior Ryan Booth (Northfield, Vt.) hit a triple while classmate Darius Bryant (Calhoun Fall, S.C.) followed with a put-back to give the Cadets a four point edge, 58-54, with just under three minutes on the clock.
Lynx junior Marquise Johnson (Hampton, Va.) would even the match for the hosts with consecutive layups before Norwich jumped back ahead with a drive by junior Zygimantas Sirvydas (Silale, Lithuania). Lesley would come back down the floor and Gibson drained his fourth trey of the afternoon on a feed from senior Devon Mayo (Newport News, Va.) to give the Lynx the 61-60 lead.
Trailing by one, Norwich called a timeout with just 5-seconds left and set up a corner three-point attempt for Booth. His shot caromed off the rim and into the hands of sophomore Daniel Haimes (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), but his last-ditch effort was sent away by St. Simon.
Mayo and Johnson each added 12 points for the Lynx while Johnson pulled down a team-high seven boards. Sophomore Xeo Golding (Windermere, Fla.) dropped seven points and freshman LaMarr Mitchell (Baltimore, Md.) and sophomore Charlie Reznikoff (Wilton, Conn.) each added four in reserve duty.
Booth finished with 14 points and six rebounds for the Cadets while Bryant and junior Ryan Fitzgerald (Winchester, Mass.) each added 12 points.
Both offenses struggled from the floor as Lesley shot 38.7% (24-of-62) while Norwich hit on 36.8 (21-of-57) of their attempts on the afternoon. The Cadets held a slim 39-37 rebounds margin over the Lynx, while Lesley's bench outscored the Norwich reserves 24-10.
Lesley will return to action on Wednesday night and head to nearby Tufts University for a 7:00p bout with the tenth-ranked Jumbos in a non-conference affair.