Lyons move to 12-7 all-time versus Bears
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Wheaton College men's basketball team downed host Bridgewater State University, 71-62, in non-conference men's basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Tinsley Center.
Sophomore guard Billy Battaglia (Simsbury, Conn./Taft School) paced the Lyons with 15 points, two assists and one steal, while senior guard Will Bayliss (Manchester, N.H./Tilton School) contributed eight points, three rebounds and a game-high five assist. Wheaton also received solid production from its bench as the Lyons' reserves accounted for 37 of the team's 71 points. Freshman forward Zach Parsons (Belchertown, Mass./Belchertown) came off the bench to score 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting in addition to grabbing nine boards.
Bears' junior forward Michael Lofton (Mansfield, Mass./Mansfield) led the hosts with 18 points and nine rebounds. Lofton made his first eight shots before missing two hurried three-point attempts in the final five seconds. Classmate Kyle Gibson (Franklin, Mass.Franklin) added 13 points, six rebounds and three steals.
Bridgewater State made four of its first five shots to jump out to an 11-2 lead and held a 15-6 advantage as the clocked ticked under 14 minutes. Wheaton responded quickly with a 12-0 run and held the Bears scoreless over the next four minutes to take an 18-15 lead. The Lyons never trailed again in the contest as Bridgewater State only connected on just 7-of-23 field goal attempts the rest of the half and shot just 38-percent (23-60) from the floor for the game.
A three-pointer by sophomore guard Tyler DeMello (East Freetown, Mass./Apponequet) to close out the first half jumpstarted a 12-4 Bridgewater State run which closed the gap to one (40-39) with 17:13 remaining in the second half. The Bears continued to battle in the final stanza and trailed 58-54 with less than six minutes left in regulation. A back-court violation, however, erased a potential odd man advantage and a chance to make it a one possession game.
Wheaton answered with a 10-3 run to put the game out of reach highlighted by four points from Parsons during that stretch. Bridgewater State struggled from behind the arc connecting on just 6-of-26 (23%) three-point attempts. The Bears were also just 10-for-17 (59%) from the free throw line and were outrebounded 46-32. The Lyons shot 46.6-percent (27-for-58) from the floor and 72.2-percent at the line (13-for-18).
Wheaton (4-3) has some time off until the Lyons travel to face Gordon College on January 2nd at 6 p.m. The Bears (1-5) return to action on Thursday as they host Anna Maria College at 7 p.m.