BOSTON, Mass. – Sophomore EJ Day (Norwalk, Conn.) hit a baseline jumper with two seconds remaining Saturday afternoon as Lasell University knocked off Emmanuel College, 69-68, in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) opener at Andy Yosinoff Court.
Day hit a three-pointer with 24 seconds remaining to give Lasell a 67-66 advantage. Emmanuel regained the lead with seven seconds on the clock on a pair of free throws by Marcus Fox (Danbury, Conn.), but after a timeout, Day hit the game-winner for the Lasers.
Day finished with 20 points and six rebounds on the afternoon, while juniors Jonathan Friberg (North Attleboro, Mass.) and Kevin Vanderhorst (Lawrence, Mass.) contributed impressive double-doubles. Friberg made 9-of-17 shots and finished with a season-high 24 points and 12 rebounds while Vanderhorst added 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Fox paced the home team with 18 points and nine boards, while Gio Ciampa (Tewksbury, Mass.) added 16 points and Zach Crisafulli (Easthampton, Mass.) contributed 13 points.
Day and junior Keith Poitier (Hartford, Conn.) connected on a pair of three-pointers to give Lasell an early lead, 14-11, but Fox controlled the paint for the Saints to take the lead back with eight remaining in the half, 17-16. Lasell pulled away to a three-point lead as Day collected six points in a row. Day continued to dominate with assists and baskets through the remainder of the half, but EC took the lead at the half after an offensive rebound turned layup by Devin Pulsifer (Winthrop, Mass.), 31-30.
EC came out of the break with a spark as Ciampa extended the lead to six on a three-point field goal, but Friberg utilized his size to score eight points for the Lasers in the paint, heading into the final 10 minutes behind the Saints, 48-45. Crisafulli and Jack Moulder (Newtown, Conn.) worked in tandem to move the Saints ahead by eight, 58-50, with five and a half left in regulation, but Lasell pulled back to a two-point deficit thanks to sharp-shooting from the foul line, tying the game at 62 with two minutes remaining and setting up the dramatic finish.
Lasell will look for its second GNAC victory on Tuesday, January 21, at Norwich University at 5:30 p.m. EC heads on the road on Tuesday, January 21 to Providence, R.I. to face Johnson & Wales University in a 7 p.m. GNAC matchup.
(Contributions from Emmanuel Sports Information)
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