Hayden Bird's Career-High Leads MCLA Men to Road Win

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CASTLETON, Vt. -- The MCLA men's basketball team erupted in the first half, shooting a torrid 68 percent, and  cruised from there in defeating the Castleton University Spartans, 95-71, on Tuesday night.
Drury graduate Hayden Bird scored a career 25 points off the bench to lead all scorers.  He scored 17 of them in the pivotal first half. Noah Yearsley scored all 19 of his points in the opening half while Chris Becker tallied 14 of his career best 20 in the opening half of play.
MCLA (3-2) never trailed as they started out hot. Becker scored on consecutive putbacks for an early 4-0 lead and when Yearsley connected from deep, MCLA led 7-0. Another Becker bucket made it 9-0 before Castleton finally got on the scoreboard.
The Spartans (0-2) clawed back to within 16-14 after Amadou Diakite scored, but MCLA responded with a powerful 11-0 run capped off by a Bird layup to put MCLA on top 27-14. A few minutes later with the score now 45-31, MCLA made a late surge to put the game away.
The Trailblazers used a 20-9 run to close the half as Yearlsey scored the final seven points of the half. MCLA shot a sizzling 68% in the half and held a decided 23-7 edge off the glass.
Castleton did not get any closer than 18 points in the second half as MCLA cruised home.
Bird was 10-for-17 from the floor to notch his career high. He added 7 rebounds and 4 assists in the win.  Yearsley was 8-for-9 from the floor with 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Becker easily had his best game of his young career.  He went 10-for-12 from the field and pulled down 5 boards.
Ki-Shawn Monroe had a tremendous floor game ending with 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
The Trailblazers finished the contest shooting a solid 54%. They owned a 47-27 edge in rebounding as well.
After five straight road tilts to start the season, MCLA opens up at home on Saturday when they host Becker.
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Use Year-end Bonus (Or Gift) Wisely

As 2019 draws to a close, you may be anticipating – or have already received – a year-end bonus from your employer. Or you might be receiving a substantial cash gift for the holidays. (If you're really lucky, you might get both.)

You can doubtlessly think of many ways to spend this money right now, but how can you use it to help yourself in the long run?

Here are a few suggestions:

* Pay off some debts
. Virtually all of us carry some type of debt, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. For example, your mortgage not only gives you a place to live and a chance to build equity in your home, but the interest payments are typically tax deductible. Other debts, though, such as those on consumer items, are not so positive – you generally can't deduct the interest payments, and the items themselves probably won’t enhance your personal wealth. Plus, the bigger your monthly debt payments, the less you’ll have to invest for your future. So, you might want to use your bonus or monetary gift to pay off, or at least pay down, some of your less productive debts.

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