Afonja Reaches 1000-Point Plateau in Men’s Hoop Home Opener

Afonja Reaches 1000-Point Plateau in Men’s Hoop Home Opener

WESTON, Mass. – Senior Ademola Afonja (Staten Island, N.Y.) scored his 1,000th career point on a free throw late in the first half, but it was Wheaton College making their free throws as well as converting on second chance opportunities, as the Lyons defeated Regis College, 90-67, Thursday night in a non-conference men's collegiate basketball game at Higgins Court.

Needing 13 points coming into the game to reach the 1,000-point mark, Afonja, already with 12 points, was fouled with 5.5 seconds remaining in the first half and made both free throws. After the first one, his 1,000th career point, the crowd provided a standing ovation while his four teammates currently in the game huddled around him with congratulations. Afonja finished the game with 18 points, shooting 8-of-12 from the field, and now has 1,005 career points, just one point behind Phil Alibrandi (2007-2010) for fourth place on the Regis all-time scoring list.

Wheaton (6-1) put together a 14-4 scoring run early in the first half, punctuated by a three-pointer from Niles Cohen, to take the lead at 16-8. The Pride closed to within three at 30-27 late in the first half, but the Lyons received a made jumper by David Carbonello as time ran out in the half to extend their lead to 46-39 at halftime.

The two teams exchanged baskets for the first three minutes of the second half before Wheaton pulled away thanks to a 13-5 scoring run, led by Carbonello with six points. Dimitri Rosa (Tiverton, R.I.) hit two three-pointers to keep the Pride within range, but the Lyons continued to build on their lead, eventually establishing an advantage of more than 20 points as the game wound down.

Rosa hit four three-pointers in the game for 12 points, while Shawn Wedderburn (Bronx, N.Y.) contributed 10 points. As a team, Regis shot 41.3 percent (26-of-63) from the field, including 6-of-22 from behind the three-point line, and 50 percent (9-of-18) from the free throw line.

Carbonello shot 9-of-16 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free throw line to finish with 24 points along with four rebounds, three assists, and five steals. Nick Geremia ended up with 16 points and six rebounds, Duaka Ekwensi collected 15 points and nine rebounds, and Cohen enjoyed a perfect shooting night, making three three-point shots, two two-point attempts, and two free throw chances for 15 points.

The Lyons won the rebounding battle, 50-31, including 18 offensive rebounds that led to 15 second chance points. Riley Tetreault led all players with 12 rebounds. Wheaton also took advantage of 16 Regis turnovers, scoring 23 points off those mistakes, plus the Lyons earned 18 fast break points.

Regis (4-3) heads to Clark University for a matinee against the Cougars this Saturday, Dec. 1, at 1 p.m. The Pride return home to face Rhode Island College Monday, Dec. 3, starting at 6 p.m. at Higgins Court.