WNEU rallies past Lyndon

WNEU rallies past Lyndon

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Damon Alston scored a game-high 29 points, and Dennis Rinaldi added 15, to lead the Western New England men's basketball team to a 66-51 non-conference victory over Lyndon at the Alumni Healthful Living Center Fieldhouse.

With the loss, the Hornets fall to 8-8 overall on the season, while the Golden Bears improve to 6-10.

Jason Gray (East Thetford, Vt.) led the Hornets with a double-double of 11 points and game-high 10 rebounds. He complimented his all-around game with three assists, three blocked shots and three steals. George Carle (Central Falls, R.I.) added 11 points and eight rebounds, and Jose Fortunato (Boston, Mass.) chipped in six points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

Trailing 27-26 at the half, Western New England went on an 8-0 run to start the second half. Alston scored five points on a three-pointer and a lay-up and Rinaldi scored a traditional three-point play to give the Golden Bears a 34-27 lead.

Western New England was able to solve Lyndon's full-court press it employed for most of the game, taking advantage of scoring easy baskets with a 34-24 advantage on points in the paint. The Golden Bears also had a season-high 19 assists, with Ryan Mickiewicz getting five, on 26 field goals.

Both teams struggled early in the first half. Western New England led 4-0 before the Hornets scored their first field goal at the 15:12 mark.

Gray's alley-oop dunk highlighted Lyndon's 5-0 mini-run that gave the visitors its biggest lead of the night at eight, 17-9, with 7:41 remaining. But the Golden Bears eventually fought back to within one at the intermission. In the second half, Western New England shot 47.2 percent from the field and outscored the Hornets 40 to 24.

Musa Elsir (seven points) led the Golden Bears with nine rebounds.