NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The visiting Nichols College Bison recieved 40 points from Ryan Sheehan as they defeated the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Trailblazers, 94-83, Monday evening at the Amsler Campus Center. With the win, the Bison move to 2-0 on the season. The Trailblazers dropped to 0-1.
Nichols sprinted out to a big first-half lead, which was as much as 19 points (33-14) before settling for a 41-25 halftime lead. MCLA would not go quietly though, storming back in the second half.
With Nichols holding a comfortable 52-38 lead following a Marlon Bennett layup, MCLA began to make a run. They rattled off an 10-0 spurt to pull within four at 52-48 with just under 12 minutes to play. The Trailblazers knocked down three straight triples by Vernon Cross, Paul Maurice, and Ruben DelRosario to ignite the run.
Nichols answered though, pushing out to an eleven point margin at 60-49. Craig Merrick drilled a couple of deep threes in the run. The lead was cut to six at 66-60 at the five minute mark, but Nichols closed out MCLA with a crucial 17-5 run ignited by Sheehan. He tallied nine points in the spurt.
MCLA got no closer than nine the rest of the way.
Sheehan was too much for the Trailblazers all night, collecting 18 first half points to go along with 22 in the closing period. He shot 13-26 from the floor, but added an impressive 11-12 showing from the charity stripe. He also posted 8 boards and 4 steals.
Sheehan was not alone however as teammate Jessy Michaud chipped in with 11 points and a game high nine assists.
For MCLA, John Jones notched a double double effort of 18 points and 11 rebounds on 6-13 shooting. DelRosario finished with 17 points as did senior Vernon Cross. Maurice finished with 13 points in his first game in a Trailblazer uniform.
The fast paced game did result in a bunch of turnovers. Nichols committed 28 turnovers, while MCLA added 20.
The difference in the game was shooting percentage as Nichols shot 49 percent compared to just 34 percent for the hosts.
MCLA is off until Sunday when they will face crosstown foe Williams College at 6 p.m.