Hornets are unable to hold halftime lead and fall to Colby-Sawyer

Hornets are unable to hold halftime lead and fall to Colby-Sawyer

Lyndonville, VT - Colby-Sawyer College rallied from a 16-point second half deficit to defeat Lyndon State College, 85-74, in North Atlantic Conference men's basketball on Saturday afternoon.  The Chargers remain unbeaten in conference play at 3-0 and move to 5-2 overall.  The Hornets fall to 1-6 on the season and 1-3 in the NAC.

Lyndon played perhaps their best half of basketball this season in the opening stanza.  After a pair of threes from Patrick Coffey (Westford, MA) and Taylor Grande (Bedford, MA) staked the Chargers to an early 6-4 lead, two Kevin Love (Bristol, CT) baskets sanwiched around a Zach Knowlton (Franconia, NH) three-pointer gave the Hornets an 11-6 advantage.  Lyndon gradually built on that lead, and when Darnay Gray (Mashantucket, CT) knocked down a jumper with 6:59 to go, the Hornet lead had swelled to 33-19.  Colby-Sawyer then went on a seven point run, capped by a three-pointer from Austin Boudreau (Old Orchard Beach, ME) to cut the lead to 33-26, but Lyndon steadied themselves and a Corey Frost (Hamden, CT) three-pointer sent the hosts into halftime with a 47-34 advantage.

Lyndon shot 55.9% from the floor in the openig half, compared to only 27.8% for Colby-Sawyer.  The Chargers were able to maintain contact thanks to forcing the Hornets into 11 turnovers in the half.

Knowlton opened the second half with a three-pointer to give the Hornets their largest lead of the game, 50-34.  After Dana Bean (Franklin, NH) converted a pair of free throws, Darren Williams Jr (Wiesbaden, Germany) answered with a driving layup to move the lead back to 16.  Colby-Sawyer then capitalized on three straight Hornet turnovers and a pair of threes from Taylor ans Boudreau to cut the deficit back to 10 at 52-42 with 16:39 to go.

The Hornets continued to be plagued by turnovers and went cold from the floor at the same time, allowing the Chargers to continue to creep closer.  Coffey's layup brought Colby-Sawyer even at 60-60 with 9:47 to go.  Lyndon missed a pair of free throws on its next possession, and Bean's putback gave the Chargers their first lead since the early moments.  Gray quickly tied things, but another Grande three gave Colby-Sawyer a lead that they would never relinquish.

The Chargers gradually grew their advantage to eight following a Coffey jumper to make it 73-65 with 5:38 to go.  Gray scored inside on Lyndon's next possession, and following a defensive stop the Hornets missed a wide open three that would have cut the lead back to three.  Lyndon wasn't able to get any closer the rest of the way, and Colby-Sawyer came away with the 11-point victory.

After shooting 55.9% in the first half Lyndon cooled to 33.3% following intermission.  On the other hand, Colby-Sawyer heated up, shooting 50.0% from the floor and 44.4% from behind the arc after halftime.  Lyndon also hurt themselves with 15 more turnovers in the second half, giving them 26 for the game.  The Chargers also owned a huge advantage from the foul line in the contest, converting 22 of 27 attempts while the Hornets only made good on six of 14.

Grande led Colby-Sawyer with 27 points while Coffey chipped in 25.  Bean tallied 16 points and nine rebounds.  Gray topped four double figure scorers for the Hornets with 20 points.  Knowlton added 14 and Love posted a double double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.  Williams was Lyndon's final double figure scorer with 10.

The Hornets return to action next Saturday when they travel to NCAA Division I University of New Hampshire for a 7:00 pm exhibition game.  That contest will be televised on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.  Colby-Sawyer travels to Daytona, Florida for the Land of Magic Classic, where they will take on Brooklyn College on December 29th.