Lesley holds off late rally to move past WNEC in Golden Bears' Men's Hoop Classic

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Golden Bears' Men's Hoop Classic - First Round
Trinity 77, Norwich 50
Lesley 71, Western New England College 65

Chris Devine
Chris Devine
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Junior point guard John Sanchez (Carson, CA) scored 21 points and had seven assists along with six rebounds in leading Lesley University (Mass.) to a 71-65 victory over Western New England College in a first round game of the Golden Bears' Men's Hoop Classic Saturday night (Nov. 20).

This was the first win of the season for the Lynx (1-1) who will meet Trinity in the championship game at 3:00 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 21). The Golden Bears (0-2) will play Norwich in the third-place game starting at 1:00 p.m. in the Alumni Healthful Living Center.

Sanchez made only two field goals, both three-pointers, but he was 15-of-16 from the foul line. He made 11 of his team's last 13 points (all from the charity stripe) in the final 5:23.

WNEC put up a good fight all night trying to rally from a pair of large double-digit deficits. The Golden Bears trailed by as many as 14 in the first half, but cut the margin to six (40-34) at halftime.

Lesley went on an 18-5 run to open the second half, going ahead by 19 (58-39) following a three-pointer by freshman forward Charles Watson (Dolton, IL) who finished with 10 points off the bench. Interestingly, that was the Lynx' last field goal of the contest.

Western New England College used a 12-0 run (holding the visitors scoreless for 6:54) to get within 58-51 when senior guard Andre Shaw (New York, NY) made three foul shots with 5:42 left.

Sophomore guard Damon Alston (New Britain, CT) drained an off-balance three to get the hosts within five at 65-60 with 1:05 left. He then swished another long three-pointer to cut the margin to four at 69-65 with 11.4 seconds remaining.

The pesky Sanchez, however, again delivered a pair of free throws a second later to cement the victory.

The Golden Bears had three players in double figures with senior guard Chris Devine (Wilbraham, MA) scoring 16 points. Alston ended with a career high 15 points while Shaw had 10.

Both teams shot over 40% from the field, but the taller Lynx had a 41-26 advantage off the boards as senior center Jesus Trejo (Methuen, MA) had a game high nine rebounds along with eight points.

Trinity 77, Norwich 50

The James Cosgrove coaching era at Trinity College is off to a successful start.

Senior guard Brian Ford (Bronx, NY) led three players in double figures with 17 points as the Bantams opened their season with a 77-50 victory over Norwich in the first round of the Golden Bears' Men's Hoop Classic Saturday night (Nov. 20) at the Alumni Healthful Living Center.

Senior forward Luke MacDougall (Baldwinsville, NY) added 14 points and eight rebounds while senior guard Jared Pimm (Chelmsford, MA) contributed 12 points and five rebounds coming off the bench.

Trinity led by only three at intermission (31-28), but broke the game open by outscoring the Cadets 46-22 in the second half.

Junior forward Antonio Davis (Albany, NY) led Norwich with 18 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Jaren Jeffcoat (Dallas, TX) added 11 points.

The Bantams shot 54.7% from the floor while the Cadets (0-2) managed to make only 2.8% of their field goal attempts. Trinity also had a 38-29 advantage in rebounding.

Cosgrove, who starred at Saint Anselm, previously coached Adelphi (NY) to 160 wins in eight seasons and four appearances in the NCAA Division II Championship.