PROVIDENCE, R.I. – An 11-point surge to end the first half ended up being the difference for the Johnson & Wales University men's basketball team Saturday as the Wildcats defeated Lasell College, 97-91, in a Great Northeast Conference (GNAC) contest.
JWU handed Lasell its first conference loss of the season as the Lasers fall to 5-8 overall and 3-1 in the GNAC, while Johnson & Wales is now 7-6 overall and 4-1 in the conference.
Five players reached double figures in scoring for Lasell, with sophomore Stefan Masciarelli (Northbridge, Mass) leading the way with 20 points. Senior Scott Arsenault (Walpole, Mass.) and freshman Liam Jacobs (Plainfield, Conn.) contributed 18 points apiece, and senior Dannie Moore (Orlando, Fla.) and freshman Victor Collazo (Clearwater, Fla.) added 12 points each.
Three different Wildcats scored 20 or more points, led by Jarell Lawson's (Providence, R.I.) game-high 26 to go along with seven rebounds. Brian Hogan-Gary (Staten Island, N.Y) just missed a double-double with 25 points and nine rebounds and rookie Nate Patenaude (Smithfield, R.I.) tossed in a season-high 20 points.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair. Johnson & Wales jumped out to a 17-7 lead on a Hogan-Gary layup, but the Lasers chipped away and took a 33-32 lead on a Masciarelli jumper with 5:21 remaining. Lasell's lead grew to as many as five before JWU finished the half on a 14-2 run to take a 48-41 margin into the half.
Johnson & Wales maintained its advantage for the entire second half, but had to fend off several Lasell runs. The lead grew to as many as 73-59 on a Donovian Maxfield (York, Pa.) jumper with 9:41 to play. The Lasers scored 10 points in the final 1:15, but JWU made its free throws to secure the victory.
Both teams relied on the three-pointer with Lasell making 12 behind the arc and the Wildcats hit 10.
Lasell returns home to host Anna Maria College in a GNAC contest at 7:00 p.m. Thursday at the Athletic Center. The Wildcats travel to Emmanuel on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. contest.
(With contributions from Johnson & Wales Sports Information)
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