Damon Alston Scores Game-High 29 Points in 66-51 Win over Lyndon State

Damon Alston Scores Game-High 29 Points in 66-51 Win over Lyndon State
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--Senior co-captain Damon Alston scored 22 of his game-high 29 points in the second half, and junior Dennis Rinaldi added 15 points, as the Western New England men's basketball team overcame an eight-point deficit to post a 66-51 non-conference victory Monday against Lyndon State at the Alumni Healthful Living Center field house. The Hornets of the North Atlantic Conference fall to 8-8 on the season, while the Golden Bears improve to 6-10.

Jason Gray led the Hornets with a double-double of 11 points and game-best 10 rebounds, and completed his all-around game with three assists, three blocked shots and three steals. George Carle added 11 points and eight rebounds, and Jose Fortunato (6 points) chipped in 10 rebounds and four assists.

Trailing 27-26 at the half, Western New England used an 8-0 run during a 2-minute, 10-second span to start the second half. Alston scored five points on a trey and a lay-up and Rinaldi scored a traditional three-point play to give the Golden Bears a 34-27 lead, which they would not relinquish for the rest of the contest.

Western New England was able to mostly solve LSC's full-court press it employed for most of the game, taking advantage of scoring easy baskets with a 34-24 advantage with points in the paint. The Golden Bears also had a season-high 19 assists (junior Ryan Mickiewicz, 5) at home 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, after missing their previous five attempts.

Gray's alley-oop dunk highlighted Lyndon State's 5-0 mini-run that gave the visitors its biggest lead of the night at eight points, 17-9, with 7:41 remaining, but the Golden Bears eventually fought back to within one point at the intermission.

In the second half, Western New England shot 47.2 percent from the field and outscored the Hornets 40 to 24.

Sophomore Musa Elsir (7 points) led the Golden Bears with nine rebounds.