BANGOR, Maine – Husson University defeated Lyndon State to earn the 2011 North Atlantic Conference Championship. With the win, the Eagles earn a bid to play in the NCAA National Tournament.
Josh Jones earned the tournament MVP award to go along with the NAC Player of the Year honors. He scored 25 points and had 11 rebounds to help Husson secure the victory. Jay Uhrin recorded 25 points, Daeshawn McMorrin had 12 points and Luis Medina scored 10 along with nine rebounds and seven assists.
North Atlantic Conference Rookie of the Year Phil Warrick (Springfield, Mass.) earned All-Tournament honors, and led all scorers with 26 points thanks to seven three-pointers. Antonio Mena (Central Falls, R.I.) was also named to the All-Tournament Team by recording a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds in the title game. Jose Fortunato (Boston, Mass.) scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Hornets.
Jones and Uhrin led the host Eagles with nine points each in the first half. Medina was active from the point dishing out four assists in the period while Warrick led all scorers with 18 first half points on 6-for-9 shooting from behind the arc. Mena scored seven points and grabbed five boards in the first 20 minutes of play for the Hornets.
Husson led by two at the break, 40-38 - and as many as 16 in the first half - and were seemingly cruising mid way through the frame, but Lyndon rallied back. They would go up by four points after one of Warrick's six first half three pointers before Husson fought to go up by two at the break. As a team the Eagles shot 46.4 percent from the floor and 46.2 from three point range. Lyndon shot 37.9 from the field in the first, but held the slight advantage over Husson in the rebound column, 15-14.
Despite leading by only two at the break, Husson stretched their lead to as many as 13 in the second half. The Eagles shot 44.1 compared to the Hornets' 33.3, but Lyndon maintained a slight edge on the boards, out-rebounding Husson 36-35.
On Friday, in the semifinal round of the NAC Championships, the second-seeded Hornets held form and beat the No. 3 Terriers of Thomas 111-108. It was a tale of two halves as the Hornets led by 20 at the break, but Thomas rallied back for a thrilling finish.
Warrick led all scorers with 32 points, and was one of five Hornets in double figures. Mena added 21 points and 17 rebounds in the win. Thomas was led in scoring by Franklin Salvador who finished the game with 29 points, thanks largely to eight three-pointers. Andrew Duncanson scored 24 of his own, and Jarrad DeVaughn recorded a double-double with 20 points and 18 rebounds for the Terriers.
The Hornets led at halftime by a score of 58-38 thanks in large part to outrebounding the Terriers 35-24. Thomas had trouble getting the ball through the rim, shooting just 28 percent from the floor, and going 5-22 from three-point range. Lyndon -in fact took two less shots, but made nine more than the away team. Mena led all first half scorers with 15 points and 10 boards, and was one of three Hornets in double figures before the break. DeVaughn led the Terriers with 10 points of his own.
The Terriers found their stroke midway through the second half and cut the lead down to 12 with just over two minutes left after having been down by as many as 30. The teams went back and forth with Thomas chipping away down the stretch, and got the game to within one possession with about 19 seconds remaining. Lyndon came through with some tough defense in the clutch, forcing Thomas to lose possession of the ball, and any shot at a comeback.
2010-11 NAC All-Tournament Team
Mike Knight Sr. Castleton
Andrew Duncanson Sr. Thomas
Phil Warrick Fr. Lyndon
Antonio Mena Fr. Lyndon
Eric Modica So. Husson
Josh Jones Sr. Husson