NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts men's basketball team used a strong second-half defensive effort as they earned a much-needed victory over the visiting SUNY-Canton Kangaroos, 78-67.
The Trailblazers held the 'Roos to just 24 second-half points to improve to 2-5 overall. Canton dropped to 2-5 overall.
John Jones came off the bench to score 22 points, including 17 after halftime. Vernon Cross chipped in with 19.
MCLA jumped out to a 32-21 lead with 7:32 remaining in the opening half, only to see Canton outscore the Trailblazers 22-4 to grab a 43-37 halftime lead. The Trailblazers began the second half with a full-court trapping defense that pressured Canton into 18 turnovers in the half.
MCLA opened the second half with an 11-2 spurt to grab a 47-45 lead. After Canton tied it at 47, the Trailblazers used a 13-4 run to grab a 60-51 edge. Canton would get no closer than seven the rest of the way.
Canton was led by Michael Pulci's game-high 24 points off the bench. Khalid Vaughn added a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds, while also finishing with six assists. Xzavier Fisher finished with 14. The Kangaroos were done in by 30 turnovers on the night.
For MCLA, Jones was 8-15 from the floor for his 22 points. He completed the double-double by grabbing 13 rebounds. Cross was 8-16 from the floor and grabbed seven rebounds. MCLA turned the ball over 24 times.