BROOKLINE, Mass. – Back-to-back three-pointers with just under five minutes to play gave Newbury College a three-point lead that they would not relinquish as they Nighthawks rallied to come back and top Lesley University 78-76 in the New England Collegiate Conference opener for both schools.
Devon Johnson's (Manchester, Conn.) triple with 4:18 would cap a 13-0 streak and give the hosts their first lead since the opening four minutes of play in the first half. Kenny Ramos (Roxbury, Mass.) would follow Johnson's trey with a pair of made free throws to extend the Nighthawks lead to 76-71 before a Jacob DiDomenico (North Providence, R.I.) put-back would bring the Lynx back to within three, 76-73, with 2:43 to go.
The offense on both sides would go quiet over the next two minutes before Christian Sheridan (Chicago, Ill.) would sink two-of-two from the line to push Newbury's lead back to five. After a Xeo Golding (Windermere, Fla.) free throw, a layup from Devon Mayo (Newport News, Va.) would bring the Lynx to within two, 78-76, with 13-ticks left on the clock.
Newbury had a chance to ice the game at the charity stripe with seven seconds to go but would miss both foul shots. DiDomenico would corral the rebound off the miss and move the ball up-court to Mayo, but his attempt at a game-tying layup rimmed-out to give the Nighthawks the win.
Johnson knocked down 5-of-7 from beyond the arc on his was to a team-high 23 points while Ramos posted a double-double of 20 points and 20 rebounds for the Nighthawks. Sheridan came off the bench for ten points and four boards while Jeduan Langston (Roxbury, Mass.) and Ceejae Carter (Dorchester, Mass.) each finished with eight points in reserve duty.
Golding powered the offense for the Lynx, finishing with a game-best 26 points to go with five boards and a steal. His double-digit output was the seventh time he has accomplished that feat this season. Mayo came off the bench to provide 14 points and a game-high four assists while DiDomenico added eight points and nine boards, also in reserve minutes. Charlie Reznikoff (Wilton, Conn.) finished with eight points, four rebounds, and three assists.
After carrying a six-point edge into the locker room, the Lynx continued to stay in control and eventually doubled that lead to 12-points using a 10-2 run capped by a Golding layup with 13:29 left in the second half.
Lesley held a ten-point advantage with 5:41 to play before a Johnson triple would spark the 13-0 Newbury run that would end with the Nighthawks leading, 74-71.
The Lynx would dominate down low, outscoring the Nighthawks 42-24 in the paint, but the hosts would mitigate that disadvantage by going 25-of-34 from the free throw line compared to Lesley's 8-of-22 conversion rate from the charity stripe.
Both sides will return to NECC action on Saturday. The Lynx will play host to Southern Vermont College at 5:00p while the Nighthawks will travel to Becker College for a 3:00p start.