NEWTON, Mass. (12/8/16) -- The Lasell College men's basketball team cruised to a 97-79 victory against nationally-ranked opponent Keene State College on Thursday night in the Athletic Center.
Thanks to 14 three-pointers and a 12-0 run at the beginning of the second half, Lasell improves to 6-3 on the season with its second straight win, while No. 19 Keene State dips to 5-2 after a season-opening, five-game winning streak.
All three of Lasell's seniors and five total players scored in double figures with Armin Omanovic (Wilkesboro, N.C.) posting a game-high 31 points, including 17 in the second half, as five of his eight field goals came from three-point range. Yordan Villalon (Miami, Fla.) posted 11 points and a career-high 19 rebounds for his third double-double of the season, while John Powell (Ashland, Mass.) was 6-of-10 from the field and totaled 17 points.
Junior Scott Arsenault (Walpole, Mass.) shot 5-of-11 from long distance for a season-high 17 points, while sophomore Tim Blair's (Newington, Conn.) 11 points made him Lasell's lead scorer off the bench. Fifteen players saw action for Lasell with seven getting on the scoreboard.
All three Owls in double figures scored at least 18 points with junior Dziel Wright (Springfield, Mass.) leading the way with 21 on 9-of-18 shooting from the field. Senior Matt Ozzella (Medway, Mass.) and sophomore Ty Nichols (Springfield, Mass.) scored 19 and 18 points, respectively.
Omanovic and junior Derek McMahon (Hatfield, Mass.) scored back-to-back triples in the first 1:14 as the hosts built 8-0 and 11-1 leads early on. The Owls staged an immediate 14-2 run after calling timeout less than five minutes into the contest, which Nichols completed with 11:30 to play in the first half.
The Owls would never lead by more than a basket at any point in the game, although the first half saw five ties and six lead changes. Ozzella brought KSC back within one, but the Lasers came back quickly with Blair and Omanovic making consecutive threes in a 31-second span to bring their lead to 30-23 with 5:12 to play before halftime.
Lasell led 41-30 at the break, but extended the score right out of the gates in the second half. Arsenault bookended the 12-point run at the start of the half with three-pointers before the Owls broke the stretch with a Wright jumper.
Villalon put Lasell up 60-36 with a dunk 5:07 into the second half, then Omanovic sank a pair of threes in between Keene junior Jimmy Layman's (Wrentham, Mass.) second basket of the game, which gave Lasell a 28-point lead ― its largest of the night ― with 13:52 left.
Lasell scored 56 points in the latter half, including 14 from Arsenault and 13 from Powell. Powell added an exclamation point to the victory with a one-handed dunk with 2:41 to play.
Ozzella led KSC with eight rebounds, but Lasell held a decided 52-34 advantage in that category. The Lasers hit seven, three-point shots in each half for a 14-of-29 finish, while the Owls shot just 6-of-26 from outside.
The Lasers return to action ― for the final time this season in non-conference play ― on Saturday, December 10 at 1:00 p.m. when they travel west to take on the No. 1 team in the nation, Amherst College. The Owls' next contest is also on Saturday, back in Little East Conference play against UMass Boston at 3:00 p.m.