Mount Ida Outlasts Lasell, 77-72; Williams Scores 1,000th Career Point
NEWTON, MA- With one minute left in regulation, Mount Ida men's basketball put in the go-ahead bucket and then rode out a 6-0 run to post a 77-72 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) victory over Lasell College on Tuesday night. The Mustangs snapped a five game losing streak with the win, bumping their overall record to 5-11 (2-7 GNAC) while the Lasers drop to 4-12 on the season (3-6 GNAC).
Travis Hillery (Tyngsboro, MA) laid in the go ahead basket giving the Mustangs a one point lead (73-72) at the one minute mark. Isiah Benjamin (Windsor, CT) and Keith Jones (Boston, MA) each netted two charity tosses in the final 20 seconds to seal the game, while Lasell went 0-4 from the floor in the final stretch.
Benjamin started the game on a hot streak, hitting 5-of-5 three-pointers in the opening six minutes to give the hosts a 19-18 lead. Lasell's Sean Betanza (Seymour, CT) and Zachary Campbell (Cape Coral, FL) kept the Lasers on task with eight points each, to turn around a 10-2 deficit through the early stretch.
Lasell acquired a 22-19 lead at 12:06 following a four-point play by Bertanza who was fouled en route to scoring his first three of the game. After five minutes of trading baskets, Lasell possessed a three point edge (35-32) after a Brett Heimann (Miami, FL) trey found nothing but net.
Five uninterrupted points by Jones shifted the edge to Mount Ida at 5:28, a slight advantage they would hold through the break. A 6-0 run for the Mustangs, complete with a dunk by David Gibbs (East Hartford, CT) in the final seconds of the period, capped the half 46-40 in Mount Ida's favor.
After the break, Lasell staged a seven point run to go up 50-49 at the 17 minute mark. Six ties and three lead changes later, the squads had established a 61-61 tie with 9:29 remaining to play.
Campbell gave Lasell a two point edge at 7:55, and Bertanza extended the lead to four points , 71-67, with four minutes on the clock. With 2:20 to go, Hillery converted off the back board for two points to cut Lasell's lead to just one (72-71), and at 1:03 Hillery's transition lay up turned the scoreboard for the final time. The Mustangs converted on 4-of-4 attempts at the line to solidify the win.
Benjamin, Gibbs, Jones, and Hillery all hit double figures in the contest for Mount Ida, including a team-high from Benjamin with 24 points. Gibbs added 19 points and 10 assists while Jones tossed in 16 points and seven rebounds. Hillery finished with 13 points.
Lasell got a game-high 28 points from Bertanza who also added seven rebounds. Junior Javon Williams (Mattapan, MA) connected on 7-of-11 attempts, good for 17 points, while also scoring his career 1,000th point midway through the first half. Williams added four rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Campbell finished the game tossing in 15 points, eight boards, and seven helpers.
Lasell returns to action on Thursday, January 27th at Albertus Mangus College for another GNAC showdown. The Lasers and the Falcons meet at 7:00 p.m.