NORTON, MA- The Wheaton College men's basketball team came up short against visiting Roger Williams University on Thursday night in Emerson Gymnasium, as the Lyons suffered a 64-60 setback while moving to 0-3 in games decided by four points or fewer.
Wheaton falls to 0-4 on the young season, while the Hawks improved to 4-1.
Lyon senior Anthony Coppola (Watertown, MA/Watertown) led all scorers with 16 points, going 4-of-5 from beyond the three-point stripe, while junior Anthony Weeks (Fitchburg, MA/Worcester Academy) had 14 points and five rebounds off the bench.
Junior Brendan Degnan (Narragansett, RI/Bishop Hendricken) chipped in nine points, and classmate Shawn Daily (Mount Vernon, NY/Mount Saint Michael Academy) grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds, including eight offensive, to go with six points as a reserve.
Hawk senior Taylor Petruccelli (Stratford, CT/Saint Joseph) led a balanced scoring attack with 13 points and five boards, while juniors Gary Madison (Waterbury, CT/Crosby) and Pat Flanagan (Somerville, MA/Somerville) added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Lyons trailed the entire second half, falling behind by as many as nine points at 57-48 with 4:14 remaining before battling back to make things interesting. Wheaton reeled off 10 of the game's next 12 points in slicing its deficit to 59-58, as a Weeks rebound and putback gave the Lyons hope with 27.7 ticks on the clock.
A trio of Roger Williams freebies made the score 62-58 in the waning seconds before a tip-in from Lyon sophomore Brian Johnson (Roxbury, MA/Brimmer and May School) brought it to 62-60 with 3.3 seconds left, but the Hawks iced the win by converting a pair of free throws with 0.8 ticks showing.
Eight lead swings and four ties highlighted a back-and-forth start to the opening half. With the score knotted at 17, the visitors went on a 9-0 spurt over 1:35 to lead 26-17 at 6:15. Three different Lyons hit lay-ups to make the score 26-23 with four minutes to play before Roger Williams responded with five straight points to extend its advantage to 31-23 with a shade under three minutes to go before the break. The Hawks entered the intermission with a 33-27 edge.
The Lyons remain at home on Saturday to face local foe Bridgewater State University in the back end of a doubleheader at 3:00 p.m. The Bears have qualified for the past two NCAA Tournaments.