Bertanza Scores 22 to Help Lasell Get Past Rivier in Men’s Hoops
Newton, MA – The Lasell College men's basketball team defeated the Raiders of Rivier College 71-65 behind 22 points from junior guard Sean Bertanza(Seymour, CT). The Lasers turned a good defensive effort into 20 points off of turnovers and held off a game Rivier squad to pick up their eighth win in GNAC play. Bertanza went 3-5 from downtown and 9-12 from the free throw line to crack the 20 point barrier for the eighth time this season. Javon Williams(Mattapan, MA) scored 14 points on 7-12 shooting, Arthur Alexander(Port St. Lucie, FL) added 10 points off the bench, and Earnest McNeil (Boston, MA) chipped in eight points and a career high five blocked shots for the visitors. Tom Poitras(Bow, NH) led way for Rivier scoring 17 points, while Garon Whitney(Dover, NH) and Brian Troy(Keene, NH) added 11 and 10 points respectively.
The Lasers used a 10-3 run, jump started by a Sean Bertanza three to take a 19-12 lead and kept their advantage between four and ten points the rest of the opening half. Lasell shot 61.5% from the field to take a 40-35 lead into the halftime break.
Rivier opened the second half on a 7-2 run to even the score at 42 apiece with 16:32 to play in the game, and the nip and tuck affair was on. A Garon Whitney layup with 2:27 on the clock accounted for the seventh lead change in the second half and gave Rivier a 60-59 lead. The Lasers answered back with a pair of free throws by Bertanza, to go back up by a point, followed by Jake Nelson(Nashua, NH) giving the Raiders their final lead of the night with 1:26 left. Bertanza again answered for the visitors, burying a three pointer to put Lasell up for good with 1:12 remaining. Earnest McNeil and Bertanza closed the game out making 5-6 at the line to hold off Rivier.
The loss dropped Rivier to 4-15 overall and 2-10 in the GNAC, while Lasell improved to 9-11 overall and 8-5 in conference play. Rivier will return to action Tuesday February 7th when they take on Anna Maria at 7:30pm. Lasell is tied for third place in the GNAC with Emmanuel College and Johnson and Wales, and will return home to host the Mustangs of Mt. Ida College on Saturday February 4th at 3pm.