Lasell Men’s Basketball downs Anna Maria in GNAC opener

Lasell Men’s Basketball downs Anna Maria in GNAC opener

PAXTON, Mass. – Sophomore Stefan Masciarelli (Northbridge, Mass) scored a career-high 36 points Wednesday evening to lead Lasell College to an 88-72 victory over Anna Maria College in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's basketball game at the Fuller Center.

Masciarelli, a transfer from Assumption College, connected on 13-for-24 from the field and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe while adding four assist and three rebounds. Junior guard Tim Blair (Newington, Conn) also reached double figure in scoring with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 4-of-8 from three-point range. Senior guard Derek McMahon (Hatfield, Mass) was also solid for the Lasers with eight points and a team-high nine rebounds.

Lasell opened 2018 on a winning note in its GNAC season debut to improve to 3-7 overall, while the AMCATS dropped to 3-8 overall and 0-2 in conference play.

The home team was led by sophomore forward Mike Rapoza (Charlton, Mass) who scored a career-high 27 points and pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds to post his eighth double-double of the season. Senior Tanner Jakola (Leominster, Mass) added 12 points, making 4-of-5 from three-point range, and classmate Kenneth Graham (West Haven, Conn) chipped in with 10 points. Junior Sidney Limage (Randolph, Mass) contributed nine points and eight rebounds off the AMCAT bench.

Things started off hot for the AMCATS, going on a 11-6 run in the first five minutes of action. Lasell was able to turn things around quickly, grabbing the lead back just before the 14-minute mark. From there the Lasers would hold the lead but AMC was able to keep pace before Lasell pulled out to a 14-point lead (47-33) at the half.

The AMCATS were able to close the gap to 10 in the first couple of minutes of the second half with help from senior guard Liam Pickett (Oxford, Mass), who scored five points in a 30-second span. The Lasers once again took control of the scoring as it seemed they were unable to miss from beyond the arch. Things moved quickly as second half progress and Lasell jumped out to a 22-point lead with 12:30 remaining. AMC started to once again close the gap as Jakola began to drain threes and senior guard John Birch (Woodridge, VA) and Rapoza were able to connect on multiple scoring plays under the hoop. Though the 22-point deficit was shrinking the Lasell defense stood strong and left Paxton with the 16-point win.

Lasell returns home to host conference rival Mount Ida College Saturday at the Athletic Center, beginning at 3:00 p.m. Anna Maria will be back on the hardwood Saturday at noon in the Fuller Center against GNAC foe Johnson & Wales.

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