Southern Conn. Pulls Away for 73-63 Win over Men's Basketball

damien rance

THE BASICS:

- Score:  Southern Connecticut State 73, Assumption 63

- Record: Southern Connecticut State (13-8, 8-5 NE10), Assumption (6-14, 2-11 NE10),

- Location: Worcester, Mass. (Laska Gym)

- The Lead: Assumption fought back from a second-half deficit to take the lead and held a 63-62 advantage with under five minutes left, however, Southern Connecticut State scored the final 11 points of the contest to come away with a 73-63 victory on Tuesday evening in conference play.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Both offenses struggled to start the game, but Assumption got its offense rolling with a three from Patrick Fleming (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. / Iona Prep) for a 3-0 lead. Southern Conn. St.'s offense came alive, going on an 11-0 run and prompting a timeout. Assumption finally ended the drought with a three from Michael Speight (Morningside, Md. / Wise / Canterbury) to make it 11-6. The Hounds came alive with a pair of threes from Speight and Matthew Kelly (North Potomac, Md. / Quince Orchard) to cut Owl lead to just four midway through the period.

- Damien Rance (Melbourne, Australia / Pope John XXIII / San Francisco State) made a bucket for a one-point game at 9:15. After trading buckets, Assumption tied it up at 20-20 with a three from Chris Crespo (Smithtown, N.Y. / Smithtown West). However, Assumption did not have an answer for C.J. Seaforth who led both teams with 14 points in the first half as the Owls eventually pulled away for a 32-25 lead at halftime.   

-  Kelly opened the second half with back-to-back threes to keep the Hounds within six, 39-33. However, Southern Conn. St. continued to score, forcing Assumption to call an early timeout after trailing 50-38. Speight connected on a triple at 13:17 to cut the Owl lead to eight. After trading buckets, Rance went off for eight straight points to pull within two. Cal Connelly (Rochester, N.H. / Spaulding / Tilton) nailed a go-ahead three at 10:16 to put the Hounds back in front, 55-54.

- After trading buckets and more impressive scoring from Rance, Assumption grabbed a one-point lead, 63-62 with just 4:58 remaining. SCSU responded with the final 11 points of the contest including two dagger three pointers from Isaiah McLeod in the last two minutes to come away with the ten-point victory over the Hounds, 73-63.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:  

- Assumption shot 41.8 percent from the field and was 15-for-33 from downtown, though the Owls made 50.0 percent of their field goal attempts and were 11-for-21 from beyond the arc. They also went 10-for-12 from the charity stripe and held a 30-28 rebounding edge over the Hounds.

- Rance paced the offense with 23 points and nine rebounds with three triples, while Kelly was also in double figures with 11 points and eight assists. Speight chipped in 14 points, two rebounds and one steal off the bench. Fleming posted three points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.

- McLeod led SCSU with 23 points and five rebounds while Seaforth finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. Kealan Ives dished off seven assists to go with his 20 points. All three made at least three shots from beyond the arc.

UP NEXT:

- Assumption returns to action on Saturday when the team travels to play Le Moyne at 3 p.m.

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