Eagles Strong Second Half Leads to Win in Conference Opener

Eagles Strong Second Half Leads to Win in Conference Opener

LYNDONVILLE, Vt. – The Eagles used several runs in the second half as the Green Mountain College men's basketball team emerged with a hard-fought 84-72 win over Lyndon State College in the first North Atlantic Conference (NAC) game of the 2017-18 season for both teams at Stannard Gym on Tuesday evening.

Green Mountain (3-2, 1-0 NAC) trailed for the majority of the first half after getting down by seven at the 12:37 mark following a Gerald Fleming free throw for the Hornets. The Eagles responded and eventually knotted the score at 21-21 on the strength of a De Shaun Carr (Moreno Valley, Calif.) three-pointer two and a half minutes later. The visitors couldn't sustain the momentum and only a Diante Warner (Albany, N.Y.) bucket in the lane at the buzzer salvaged a 38-38 halftime tie.  Senior Darren Williams, Jr. led the Hornets with 10 points in the opening half, while Carr led the guests with 12.

Matt Hess (Rising Sun, Md.) scored the first basket of the second half to put Green Mountain in front, and although the contest remained tight, the Hornets would never lead again as GMC's offense hit its stride by sinking over half of its shots in the period while its strong defensive effort continued. 

When Duane Goodman Jr. (Charlotte, N.C.) scored off of an assist from Carr, the Eagles found themselves with a 51 42 lead with 16:47 remaining.  Lyndon (0-4, 0-1 NAC) responded with a 12-4 run of its own, capped by a pair of Williams' free throws that narrowed the gap to 55-54 with 10:07 to go. 

Green Mountain would score the game's next eight points, however, and Sean Leflore's (Moreno Valley, Calif.) layup built the Eagle lead back to 63-54 with 8:57 left.  Lyndon was never able to get closer than four the rest of the way, as Green Mountain built the lead to as many as 15 while finishing with the 12-point win.

Carr tallied 19 points to top four double figure scorers for the Eagles.  Green Mountain's two starting frontcourt players both recorded double doubles, with Hess posting career-highs in points (17) and rebounds (12) and Leflore adding 13 points and a career-high 11 rebounds.  Duane Goodman, Jr. contributed 11 points. Warner provided six points and three rebounds as the team's top reserve while Jacob Plum (Temecula, Calif.) playing his first extended minutes of the season contributed five points and three rebounds off the bench.

Williams led the Hornets with a career-high 18 points, while Fleming added 13 points and eight rebounds.

The Eagles held a slight advantage in points in the paint (38-32) and on the glass (47-44) while the Hornets' reserves outscored the visitors' (24-18).

The Eagles return home for their next game as the men host Colby-Sawyer on Saturday with game time slated for 3 p.m.