North Adams, MA- The MCLA Men's Basketball team used a late run and placed four players in double figures as the Trailblazers rallied past the visiting Sage Gators 87-80 in non-conference action in the Amsler Campus Center. Both teams are now 4-4 on the season.
The Gators never trailed in the first half and held a 43-37 lead at halftime. They would continue to stay in control and led 72-63 after a Joshua Gonzalez layup with 8:46 remaining. From there, it was all MCLA.
Quentin Gittens would start a 15-0 run with a pair of free throws. Davis would convert a putback and then Yearsley would drill a three to make it 72-70 forcing a Sage timeout. After a stop on defense, Monroe would tie things up on a drive to the basket and then following a turnover, Yearsley converted a pair of free throws to give MCLA their first lead at 74-72, still with six minutes remaining.
The run was capped off by a Monroe turnaround jumper and MCLA led 76-72. They would never relinquish the lead, but had some nervous moments in the final minute of action. With the score at 83-80 and Sage in possession, Davis made arguably the biggest play of the game. He picked Sage's Darius Denmark's pocket with 17 seconds left and promptly was fouled. He made both freebies to ice the game for MCLA. The Trailblazers would add two more to account for the final margin.
In the first half, Sage never trailed. They led 13-12 after MCLA's Hayden Bird connected from three point land with 13 minutes to play. From there, the Gators got red hot from deep themselves. They would convert six straight three pointers to ignite an 18-2 spurt that gave them their largest lead of the half at 31-14 with 9 minutes til halftime. MCLA would respond with a burst of their own however.
The Trailblazers would embark on a 14-2 run over the next three minutes to cut the margin to just 33-28. MCLA canned four three's in the run as Bird nailed two to start the run. Bright Afful scored on a drive to the hoop to cap the spurt. The teams would trade jabs over the final six minutes as the Gators would take a 43-37 lead into halftime.
Yearsley was 5-10 from three point land and added 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Davis collected 4 steals in the win. Monroe had a team best 8 rebounds.
Sage was paced by Denmark and Gonzalez who finished with 12 points apiece.
MCLA is back in action on Saturday when they host Rivier.