WESTON, Mass. – Wheaton College held off a late rally from Regis College as the Lyons defeated the host Pride, 66-60, in a non-conference men's basketball contest on Saturday afternoon in Weston, Mass. The Lyons push their record to 2-2 on the year, while the Pride have dropped four-straight and sit at 1-4.
Freethrow shooting would prove the difference in the game as the Pride struggled at the charity stripe, only hitting 13-of-27 (48.1%) from the line.
Wheaton jumped out to an early 4-0 lead to open the game and Aygei Gregory (St. Thomas, Virgin Islands) connected on a deep three to stretch the lead to 7-2 just over two minutes into the contest. Another Gregory three made it a 10-2 game before Ryan Chambers (Abington, Mass.) connected on a triple of his own to cut the deficit to 10-5. Both offenses stalled over the next few minutes and Carlos Bermudez-Glean (Boston, Mass.) buried a freethrow line jumper to end the scoreless stretch and make it a three point game.
Bermudez-Glean tied the game up at 10-all following an and-one layup and the Pride took its first lead of the game a minute later on a pair of freethrows by the sophomore. Wheaton quickly erased the deficit, scoring three-straight baskets to take a 16-12 lead with less than 10 to play. Jaren Scrubb (Stowe, Vt.) checked in off the bench and connected on a three pointer to make it a one point game, but the Lyons closed the half on a 14-3 run to take a 30-18 lead headed into the break.
Carlos Bermudez-Glean led the Pride with seven points at the intermission, while Chris Leak Jr. (New Haven, Conn.) added four points and five rebounds. Wheaton was paced by eight points apiece from Will Bayliss (Manchester, N.H.) and Gregory.
The Lyons opened the second half scoring six of the first seven points as Aygei Gregory buried a pair of tough threes with a hand in his face to give the Lyons their largest lead of the game at 36-19. Regis slowly chipped away and a Ryan Chambers triple with 10:54 to play made it a 38-30 game. Leak Jr. scored on a nifty pass from Bermudez-Glean and then added two freethrows for a personal 4-0 run that cut the deficit to only four.
Wheaton answered with a 4-0 run of its own to stretch the lead back to eight and following a Zach Parsons (Belchertown, Mass.) fast-break layup, the Lyons held a 54-41 advantage with 4:14 remaining in the game. The two teams traded baskets before Ahmad Charles stepped in the passing lane and stole a pass and went coast-to-coast to cut the lead to 57-49.
Will Bayliss went 3-for-4 at the freethrow line over the next 30 seconds to push the lead back to 11, but the Pride turned up the defense and scored six unanswered points to make it a 60-55 contest. Following a Wheaton turnover after a Chambers jumper, the Lyons were forced to burn a timeout. Chambers could not connect on the ensuing Pride possession and the Lyons got out on the fast break and pushed the ball ahead to Billy Battaglia (Simsbury, Conn.) where he drove to the basket and drew a flagrant foul on the Pride.
Battaglia calmly stepped to the line and nailed four freethrows, giving the Lyons a 64-55 lead with less than a minute to play. Ahmad Charles and Osanto Marc Jr. (Kissimmee, Fla.) made it interesting late combining for five points in the final 40 seconds, but it was too little too late as Wheaton held on for a 66-60 victory.
Regis won the rebounding battle 43-34, including 23 offensive rebounds, which led to 13 second-chance points. The Lyons shot an efficient 21-of-45 (46.7%) from the floor and shot even better from beyond the arc, nailing 9-of-17 from long range. The Pride shot only 34.4% from the field on the day and hit only 5-of-17 three pointers.
Ahmad Charles led the Pride with 15 points, while Chris Leak Jr. posted his second-straight double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, including eight offensive boards. Carlos Bermudez-Glean finished the day with 10 points and a team-high four steals. Ryan Chambers scored eight points and is now only eight away from reaching the 1,000 point plateau.
Wheaton was paced by 17 points apiece from Aygei Gregory and Billy Battaglia. Gregory connected on 4-of-5 threes and also added six rebounds. Will Bayliss joined the duo in double-figures with 15 points and a game-high five assists. Alex Sugarman (Concord, Mass.) and Zach Parsons chipped in six rebounds each.
The Pride return to action on Tuesday night when they host Eastern Nazarene College in a 7:00 p.m. matchup. The Lyons are also in action on Tuesday, taking on Roger Williams in Bristol, R.I. at 7:00 p.m. as well.