Lyndonville, VT - The Northern Vermont University-Lyndon men's basketball team led from wire to wire in posting a 105-93 victory over NVU-Johnson on Wednesday night. The Hornets conclude the 2018-2019 season with an overall record of 4-21 and a 2-12 mark in North Atlantic Conference play. The Badgers conclude their campaign with a 3-21 overall mark and a 2-12 record in conference.
Early baskets from Ricky Shuford (Prattville, AL) and Kyle Cary (Selkirk, NY) put the Hornets in front, 4-0. After Donell Shaw got the Badgers on the board, Corey Frost (Hamden, CT) connected on the first of his six three-point goals to make it 7-2 Lyndon. Johnson managed to tie things at 7-7, and again at 12-12. CJ Jimmy (Modesto, CA) then found a cutting Zach Falkenburg (Kirkville, NY) for a layup to put the Hornets back in front and Johnson was never able to pull even again.
Lyndon gradually extended their lead, and when Damon Denteh (Jamaica, NY) found Frost for an open jumper, the Hornets led 37-27 with 4:26 to go in the opening half. Johnson was able to mount a rally at that point, and when Tyrese Smith knocked down a three-pointer to cap a 9-1 Badger run, the visitors were back within 38-36 with just over two minutes remaining until the half. Lyndon repsonded, however, as Cary found Shuford for a layup, then scored himself, and Denteh scored off of a Falkenburg steal followed by a Shuford steal and free throw, and the Hornet lead was back to nine. Smith's layup closed the first half scoring and sent Lyndon to the locker room with a 45-38 advantage.
The Badgers' Vernon slater knocked down a jumper to open the second half scoring, but on Johnson's next possesion Jimmy blocked a Slater layup, then found Shuford on the break for a highlight film dunk that kept the lead at seven. Johnson would not go away, however, and when Shaw found Robert Dubose inside, the Badgers were within 49-47 with 16:49 to go. Frost's three on Lyndon's next posession moved the lead back to five.
Johnson was still within four follwing two Shaw free throws at the 14:35 mark, but Frost connected on another three, Cary sandwiched two inside scores around another Frost basket to key a 9-0 run that made the score 66-53 at the 13:07 mark. Lyndon was able to keep the Badgers at bay the rest of the way, taking their biggest lead at 84-70 on another Frost three with 6:55 to go. Johnson again chipped away, and Slater's basket and free throw brought the Badgers within five a 88-83 with 3:41 remaining. The Hornets closed out the game with a 17-10 run to account for the final score.
Cary topped five double figure scorers for Lyndon, finishing with 25 points on a perfect 11 for 11 from the field. He also pulled down nine rebounds. Frost, playing his final game in a Hornet uniform, finished with a career high 24 points. Shuford ended up with 15 points and eight rebounds. Jahleel Gabriel (Springfield, MA) notched a double double with 14 points on seven of seven from the floor and ten rebounds. Denteh also reached double figures with 11 points while Falkenburg handed out a team best seven assists.
Slater had a big night for the Badgers, finishing with 29 points and five assists. Shaw added 19 points, while Dubose and Winston Jones shipped in with 16 and 15 points respectively.
With tonight's Lyndon victory, the Hornets and Badgers split the season series. As a result, each school earns a half point in the race for the NVU President's Cup, the annual competition for athletic superiority between the two NVU campuses.
Prior to tonight's game, Lyndon honored their three senior players, Frost, Jimmy, and Kevin Love (Bristol, CT), along with assistant coaches Raymond Monroe and Darren Williams Jr., who will also be graduating from NVU this spring. The seniors were joined on the court by family members, friends, and teammates.