Worcester, MA --- Junior Jon Greenberg (Antwerp, Belgium) logged a double-double with 17 points and 17 rebounds to help lead MCLA to a 59-55 victory over Worcester State in men's MASCAC basketball action.
With the win the Trailblazers up their record to 8-11 and 2-5 in the conference while the Lancers even out to 10-10 overall and 3-4 in the MASCAC.
Junior Benny Cuprill (Albany, NY) along with senior teammates Pat Ryan (Woodstock, NY) and Mike Perreault (Whitinsville, MA) combined for 21 points for MCLA with seven points each while senior Joey Paoletti (Orange, MA) pulled down a career high 10 boards with eight caroms coming off the offensive glass.
Senior Maurice Horton (Detroit, MI) netted 23 points with seven rebounds for WSC while freshman Tim Henault (Lunenburg, MA) added nine points with three treys. Sophomore Jamaal Atkins (Webster, MA) grabbed nine rebounds while junior Ryan Testagrossa (Athol, MA) dished out five assists.
The game was closely contested as there would be five ties and 18 lead changes in the game. The largest lead either team would have would come in the first half when MCLA held a 6-0 lead in the early minutes of the contest and the Blue and Gold would lead 19-13 midway through the opening stanza.
With Worcester State up 48-47 with 9:10 remaining in the second period, the Ryan scored a pair of buckets for the Trailblazers that helped give them a 52-48 lead with 5:20 left to play.
On WSC's next possession Greenberg was rung up for a pair of fouls - including a technical foul for his fifth violation which removed him from the game - allowing the Lancers to go 3-for-4 from the charity stripe and close the gap to one at 4:50 (52-51).
But the Trailblazers received a key jumper by Paoletti and a free throw by Ryan go up four with 2:43 remaining in regulation (55-51). Horton cut into the deficit with lay-up one minute later, but MCLA scored four straight points to make the score 59-53 and the Lancers would not threaten the lead for the remainder of the contest.
MCLA broke a streak of 11 games that Worcester State had out rebounded their opponents as they held a 50-38 edge overall and a 21-14 advantage on the offensive back boards. The Trailblazers shot poorly from the field in the first half as they only connected for 27 percent (9-for-33) before they improved to shoot 43 percent in the final frame (13-for-30). The story was on the glass, the Trailblazers were outrebounded by the Lancers in their first meeting by 22 (50-28) as the Lancers cruised to an 85-71. MCLA was led by Paoletti and Ryan, but got good minutes up front from E'lon Julien (Bronx, NY), Derek Gibbons (Rochester, MA) and Ben Correia (Westerly, RI). "Those guys were the difference in the game, we were physically out toughed in the first match-up and for those guys to step up with that energy and play that physical was a huge lift for us. I was really proud of those guys, especially the seniors" said Coach Morrison
The Lancers were held to 31 percent shooting for the entire contest.
Both teams continue their MASCAC schedule with 7:30 games on Tuesday as Worcester State will venture to Westfield State while the Trailblazers host Salem State.