FRANKLIN, Mass. – Sophomore transfer EJ Day (Norwalk, Conn.) poured in a game-high 32 points as Lasell University overcame a 14-point second-half deficit Tuesday evening to pull out a dramatic 95-87 overtime victory over Dean College in non-conference men's basketball action at Pieri Gymnasium.
The Lasers staged a second-half comeback after trailing 54-40 with 15 minutes remaining and 58-46 with 13 minutes to play. Baskets by Day and senior Stefan Masciarelli (Northbridge, Mass.) cut the deficit to single digits (58-50), and a 20-12 rally over the next six minutes, capped by a Masciarelli three-pointer, tied the game at 70-apiece with six minutes to play.
The game stayed a one-possession game the rest of regulation play, and Lasell pulled ahead 80-77 with 14 seconds remaining on four straight free throws by Masciarelli. Dean senior D'Caran Anderson (Compton, Calif.) hit a clutch three-pointer with 10 seconds remaining to knot the game at 80-all, and two Lasell shots in the closing seconds were off the mark, setting up overtime.
After trading two baskets each in the first two minutes of the extra session, Lasell went on a 9-0 run, with three points each from Day, Masciarelli and junior Kevin Vanderhorst (Lawrence, Mass.), to take an insurmountable 93-84 lead with a minute to play, and the hosts couldn't recover.
Day made 11-of-23 shots and added seven rebounds, four assists and six steals. Vanderhorst and junior Jonathan Friberg (North Attleboro, Mass.) posted impressive double-doubles for the Lasers as Vanderhorst tallied 15 points and a season-high 18 rebounds and Friberg made 9-of-14 shots for a season-high 19 points and 10 rebounds. Masciarelli chipped in with 17 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Senior Jordan Booker (Waterbury, Conn.) led the Bulldogs with 30 points, five rebounds and seven assists, and Anderson filled up the stat sheet with 21 points, nine boards, four assists and four steals. Junior Jordan Lynch-Rexroth (Harrisburg, Pa.) added 17 points for the home team.
Dean will continue to be a rival for the Lasers as the Bulldogs join Lasell in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) beginning next season.
Lasell will continue its five-game road trip next Wednesday, January 15, with a non-conference encounter against GNAC foe Regis College at 7 p.m. Dean gets right back into action on Wednesday, January 8, with its New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) opener at New England College at 6 p.m.
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