New London, CT – The Lyndon State College men's basketball team was unable to hold a two-point halftime advantage, and fell to Connecticut College, 87-80, in the opening round of the Coaches vs Cancer Tip-Off Classic. The tournament is co-hosted by Connecticut College and the United States Coast Guard Academy, with Saturday's games being played at Coast Guard. The loss dropped the Hornets to 0-2 on the season. It was the Camels' season opener.
The Camels got a three-point play the old-fashioned way from Phil Leotsakos (Arlington, MA) to start the game and held the lead through the opening eight minutes of action. A Charles Correa Jr. (Prospect Heights, RI) trifecta gave Lyndon its first lead at 18-17, but Jason Bird (Raynham, MA) answered with a trey on the other end to put the Camels back on top.
The Hornets then held the Camels without a field goal for nearly six minutes and built a six-point lead after a pair of Kevin Love (Bristol, CT) free throws. Lyndon took a 42-40 advantage into the halftime break.
After a tight start to the second half, Connecticut College went on a 15-3 run and looked to be pulling away. David Labrossiere (Stoneham, MA) scored nine of the last 13 points during the run. The Hornets responded, however, and Darnay Gray's (Mashantucket, CT) layup narrowed the Camel lead to 71-68 with 7:49 on the clock. That was as close as Lyndon would get, however, as the Camels were able to hold on for the win.
"We battled for 40 minutes against a quality oppionent from one of the best Division III leagues in the country," remarked Lyndon head coach David Pasiak. "We made some great strides since our season opener. Our objective is to get better each game, so we look to build on tonight's performance tomorrow."
Labossiere led five Connecticut College players in double figures with 20 points. Bird added 15 points and dished out four assists.
Correa paced Lyndon with 26 points and added five rebounds. Love registered a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds, and Gray added 13 points.
Tomorrow's action shifts to Connecticut College. The Hornest will face Coast Guard at 4:00 pm, following a 2:00 pm matchup between the Camels and the University of Southern Maine.