Lasell Falls Short at Babson
BABSON PARK, MA – Lasell College men's basketball fell just short of their first victory on Tuesday evening at Babson College as the Beavers converted on three-of-four free throws in the final minute and made a key defensive stop as time expired to defeat the Lasers, 61-59.
Lasell's junior forward Javon Williams (Mattapan, MA) scored a game-high 22 points to go along with six rebounds and five steals. Sophomore guard Sean Bertanza (Seymour, CT) and junior forward Derrick Harper (Boston, MA) also tallied double-digits in the scoring column. Bertanza notched 15 points, scoring on 5-of-11 attempts from the field, including two three-pointers, and three points from the charity stripe. Harper put up 10 points for the visitors on 5-of-7 attempts from the floor and also grabbed a game-best eight rebounds.
Babson junior Kris Noonan (Boothbay Harbor, ME) put up a team-best 14 points, shooting 7-of-8 from the field. Sophomore Alex Rudolph (Bal Harbour, FL) chipped in with 13 additional points and Russell Braithwaite (Brooklyn, NY) led the Beavers with eight rebounds and went 5-for-9 from the floor for an additional 10 points. Junior captain Matt Florio (Skillman, N.J.) finished with eight points and a game-high six assists.
It was a tug-of-war for control of the scoreboard in the contest which featured 10 ties and 12 lead changes throughout. Each team held the largest scoring edge of seven points once in the first half while neither squad led by more than four in the second.
Lasell broke away with an 8-0 run to come upon their seven point advantage 5:05 into the contest on a jumper by Harper to bring the score to 11-4. Babson retaliated with an identical run to regain the lead, 12-11. Rudolph contributed six points during that stretch and Peter Foley (Wells, ME) knocked down two free throws to cap the streak which spanned three minutes.
The hosts pulled ahead 29-22 with 55 seconds left in the period on a Braithwaite transition layup, but a Bertanza three and a Williams bucket in the key cut the Beavers edge to a slim 29-27 at the break.
Lasell took their final lead of the contest after a pair of freebies by Williams gave the visitors a 53-52 edge with 5:14 left to play. The Beavers then moved in front to stay with consecutive layups by Noonan to take a 56-53 lead with 3:13 on the clock.
With less than a minute to play, a Williams put-back brought Lasell back within one point, at 58-57. Rudolph reinstated the distance between the teams ten seconds later, sinking both free throws in a double-bonus situation to regain the three-point advantage. Lasell's sophomore guard Jordan Fuller (Oviedo, FL) quickly connected on a short jumper in the lane to make it a 60-59 game with 22 seconds left, however, Florio iced the victory hitting the tail-end of two freebies to put the Beavers up 61-59 five seconds later. A last-chance effort by Williams was thwarted as his shot attempt went in-and-out as the final buzzer sounded.
With the win, the Beavers evened their overall record at 4-4, while the Lasers (0-7) remain on the search for their first win of the season.
Lasell will continue to play on the road through the New Year, traveling next to Nichols College on Thursday, December 9th for a 7:00 tipoff with the Bison.