MBB: Lasell clinches play-off berth with victory over Anna Maria

MBB: Lasell clinches play-off berth with victory over Anna Maria

PAXTON, Mass. – Junior Stefan Masciarelli (Northbridge, Mass.) and sophomores Kevin Nunez (Dorchester, Mass.) and Liam Jacobs (Plainfield, Conn.) combined to score 76 points Saturday afternoon as Lasell College defeated Anna Maria College, 89-75, in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's basketball regular season finale at the Fuller Center.

Masciarelli led all scorers with 38 points, his sixth 30-plus point game this season. Nunez and Jacobs scored 19 points apiece, with Jacobs posting his second double-double of the season with 10 rebounds. The Lasers shot a combined 22-of-24 from the free throw line (91.7 percent), led by Masciarelli (7-for-7), Jacobs (6-for-6) and Nunez (7-for-8).

The win sends the Lasers to the GNAC Tournament for the sixth year in a row. Lasell winds up the regular season slate with a 7-18 overall record and tied with the University of Saint Joseph (Connecticut) for seventh place in the GNAC with a 5-6 mark. The Lasers will be the eighth seed in next week's tournament and will open play on Tuesday at top-seeded Albertus Magnus College (8 p.m.). Anna Maria completes its season at 7-18 overall and 3-8 in the conference.

Junior Mike Rapoza (Charlton, Mass) led the Amcats with 29 points and 13 rebounds, his 18th double-double of the season. Classmate Bobby Perette (Marshfield, Mass.) scored 14 points for the hosts, and senior Sidney Limage (Randolph, Mass.) chipped in with 10.

The contest started as a very close battle between the two teams, with Lasell maintaining a slight lead throughout the first half. Masciarelli lead all scorers going into the locker room with 20 points, while Jacobs and Nunez also contributed 10 points each.

Rapoza and Perette helped the AMCATS stay within striking distance lead going into the half. Rapoza put up 10 points and seven rebounds, while Perette had eight points. Limage also helped clean up the boards as he pulled down five rebounds.

Lasell ran away from Anna Maria in the second half, gaining its largest lead of the day, with Masciarelli continuing to pour in the baskets. He finished with another 18 points in the second half.

Anna Maria showed some life with a quick rally to shorten the gap, causing multiple turnovers and forced shots. Rapoza went off for 19 points in the half to help the Amcats getting a little bit closer, but a determined Lasell squad would not be denied.

Lasell's play-off match-up at Albertus Magnus on Tuesday will be rematch of the regular season contest at Lasell on February 9th, won by the Falcons, 98-93. 

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