Eagles Struggle Early in Senior Day Loss to Pilgrims

Eagles Struggle Early in Senior Day Loss to Pilgrims

POULTNEY, Vt. – Green Mountain College was slow out of the gates and trailed the entire game in the Eagles' 87-64 loss to New England College in North Atlantic Conference (NAC) men's basketball action on Tuesday evening at the Eagle Dome.

The game was the Eagles' regular season home finale and the team took the opportunity to honor its two seniors Brandon Bellissimo and Diante Warner in a small ceremony before the game.

New England College (16-6, 12-3 NAC) took control of the contest from the start jetting out to a 14-0 run with eight of those points coming from Ricky Leonard.

Green Mountain (7-13, 5-10 NAC) scored the next four points to cut the lead to 10, but that was as close as the hosts would get for the remainder of the contest as the Pilgrims led from wire to wire leading by as many as 35 at one juncture in the game.

The Pilgrims outshot the Eagles 40.6 percent to 33.3 percent from the floor in the opening half, but were relentless on the glass outrebounding the Eagles 28-14 giving themselves multiple second chance opportunities.

Leonard led the Pilgrims with 15 first-half points while Izaiah Winston-Brooks contributed seven points. GMC got six points each from Tyrell Johnson and Diante Warner. Warner sparked the Eagles in the closing minutes of the half scoring four of his points in a matter of 12 seconds.

Green Mountain outshot the Pilgrims in the second half, edging the visitors 44.1 percent to 42.4 percent, but the Pilgrims hit 6-of-11 from beyond the arc which helped them continue to stretch their advantage and the Eagles never threatened the lead the rest of the way.

Leonard scored a game-high 19 points for the Pilgrims with Winston-Brooks notching 13. Will Melanson led the visitors' reserves with 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting from deep. Jason Jones was the game's leading rebounder hauling in 10 caroms in addition to his four points.

The Eagles' offense was buoyed by Jacob Plum's career-high 14 points and the forward also led the team in rebounding with seven boards. Warner and Alex Sanchez each tallied nine points with Warner also picking up three steals.

Green Mountain will head to Maine on Friday night for its next game to face UMaine-Farmington. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.