CHICOPEE, Mass. – A strong defensive performance and balanced offensive attack fueled a 66-62 win for the Elms College men's basketball team over Lesley in New England Collegiate Conference play in Picknelly Arena on Wednesday night.
Elms led by as many as 11 points in the first half before the Lynx cut that lead down to seven points, 36-29, at the break. Lesley quickly erased the Elms advantage, starting the second half on an 11-2 run to take a 40-38 lead. The Lynx led by as many eight points in the second half, taking a 50-42 lead with 10 minutes to play before the Blazers responded with a 9-3 spurt to keep the game within reach.
After Lesley's Nathaniel Chambers made a layup with 4:53 to play to put the Lynx ahead 56-53, the Lynx went 4:39 without a field goal before hitting a 3-pointer with just four seconds left, but it wasn't enough to overcome the five-point lead Elms had built in the meantime.
The win is long overdue for the Blazers (1-15, 1-6 NECC), who entered the contest at 0-15 after dropping several tight games throughout the season. Lesley drops to 10-7 overall and 5-2 in the NECC.
DeAngelo Cousar led all scorers with 17 points while Greg Metelus added 12 and Andre Peguero finished with 11 to lead the Blazers. Peguero corralled a team-best nine boards while Pablo Ortiz finished with nine points and nine rebounds for Elms.
Joey Martin led the Lynx with 16 points while Marquise Johnson added 13 points and 11 boards. Lesley, however, struggled against a fierce Blazer defense most of the night, shooting just 31 percent (19-of-61) from the field and 25 percent (5-of-20) from 3-point range.
Elms shot 46 percent from the field in the game and hit 6-of-16 3-pointers (37.5 percent). The Lynx had a 42-40 rebounding advantage and committed just 11 turnovers in the game, while Elms finished with 18 turnovers.
The Blazers will host Becker on Jan. 27 at 1:00 p.m. before playing five of their next six games on the road. Lesley will visit Wheelock at 2:00 p.m. on Jan. 27.