STANDISH, Maine – Saint Joseph's College used a strong second half and raced past Lasell College Tuesday evening, 76-56, in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's basketball action at the Harold Alfond Center.
With one conference game remaining for both teams, tonight's contest featured heavy playoff implications for the Monks and Lasers, who entered play tied for the GNAC's #3 seed. With the victory, Saint Joseph's (15-9, 10-5 GNAC) claims sole possession of the #3 spot in the conference standings - and locks in at least one home tournament game - while Lasell (11-13, 9-6 GNAC) drops to fourth with the setback.
Saint Joseph's evened the season series after the Lasers defeated the Monks earlier this season, 89-64 (1/23) in Newton, Mass.
Senior Scott Arsenault (Walpole, Mass.) was 6-of-11 from three-point distance en route to scoring 20 points to lead the Lasers. Junior Tim Blair (Newington, Conn.) and sophomore Stefan Masciarelli (Northbridge, Mass.) chipped in with 11 points apiece and senior Dannie Moore (Orlando, Fla.) collected a team-high seven rebounds.
Junior Ian Mileikis (Auburn, Maine) led all scorers with 23 points for SJC off a 9-of-12 shooting performance. Junior Darian Berry (Rochester, N.H.) netted 22 points and Jae Johns (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) came off the bench to contribute 12 points with a 6-of-7 shooting effort.
The Lasers played a strong first half, leading by 10 points early on (12-2) and by five points at the midway point (21-16). Lasell took a 33-30 lead into the locker room, thanks to nine points each by Blair, Masciarelli and Arsenault.
Saint Joseph's kicked off the second half with a 16-1 run, as a Johns layup staked the Monks to a 46-34 advantage with 13:12 remaining. On the tail of an 8-2 run, the Lasers managed to cut their deficit down to six points (51-45) four minutes later, but the hosts mounted a 14-7 run spanning five minutes and held the visitors scoreless over the final two minutes to clinch the important conference victory.
Both teams close out the regular season slate with home conference games on Saturday when the Monks host Norwich University and the Lasers take on Rivier University. Both games are scheduled for 3:00 PM tip-offs.
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