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Career Day from Rosa Carries Men's Basketball Over Wheelock

Career Day from Rosa Carries Men's Basketball Over Wheelock

CHESTNUT HILL, MA – The Lesley University men's basketball team out-rebounded host Wheelock College by a margin of 23 and the defense held the home team to just 27.4-percent (17-62) shooting in a 62-59 victory this afternoon in a New England Collegiate Conference contest at Brunelli Court on the campus of Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA.  The Lynx improve to 6-16 overall, including 4-10 in league play, while the Wildcats fall to 2-22 and 1-14. 

The Lesley defense held Wheelock to a paltry 21.2-percent (7-33) in the first half and took a 31-23 lead after one half of play.

The teams played within five points of each other through the opening 14-plus minutes with the Lynx leading for most of that time. Freshman guard Joseph Dionisio (Rowland Heights, Calif.) made a jumper to pull the Wildcats to within 18-16 with 7:54 to play in the first half, but the Lynx reeled off eight straight points to take a 26-16 lead with 3:19 showing in the half.  Junior forward Nikalus Oliver (Pembroke Pines, Fla) later converted a lay-up to increase the visitors' lead to 31-19 with 1:23 to go in the opening half, before freshman forward Anthony Williams (White Plains, N.Y.) netted the half's final four points for Wheelock on free throws to cut the deficit to 31-23.

Lesley controlled the first six-plus minutes of the second stanza with a 17-9 stretch, paced by eight points from junior guard Justin Rosa (East Brunswick, N.J.), and took its largest lead of the afternoon at 48-32 with 13:44 showing in the second period.  The Lynx later maintained a 56-42 cushion with just over eight minutes to play in the game, but the Wildcats roared back, scoring 15 of the next 19 points, including a trio of three-pointers from senior swingman Paul Coucci (Dartmouth, Mass.), to pull to within 60-57 with 2:11 left in the contest.  The sharpshooter drained his 100th career trey at the 2:48 mark.  It was as close as the home team would get as Lesley held off Wheelock's rally to come away with the win.

Freshman guard Trevonn Lewis (Chicago, Ill.) led four players in double-digits with 16 points and added four rebounds for the Lynx.  Rosa posted his first career double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds to go with three assists and a steal, while senior forward Kris Bennett (Inglewood, Calif.) turned in a double-double of his own with 13 points and 10 caroms in addition to two steals and a pair of blocks.  Oliver recorded Lesley's third double-double of the afternoon with 11 points and 10 rebounds and added three assists, three blocks and a steal.

Coucci scored a game-high 20 points, including six trifectas and also pulled down five rebounds, handed out an assist and came up with two steals for the Wildcats.  Williams finished with 10 points, two rebounds, an assist, a steal and a blocked shot in 20 minutes of action and freshman guard Derek Fournier (Johnston, R.I.) chipped in with nine points, seven rebounds, four steals and an assist.  Freshman point guard Nicholas Fenton (East Hartford, Conn.) led all playmakers with nine assists and added five points, six boards and a steal. 

The Lynx will finish their home schedule on Tuesday, February 18th when they welcome Daniel Webster College at 8:00p. Wheelock will also be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Weston, MA to take on Regis College at 7:00 p.m. in its season finale.