NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- MCLA's Hayden Bird and Quentin Gittens combined for 32 second half points as the Trailblazer men's basketball team pulled away from visiting NVU-Lyndon 91-74 this evening in non conference play.
The win for MCLA (4-5) marked its second straight triumph. The Hornets drop to 1-5 overall.
Both teams traded runs in the opening half and MCLA led by double digits early. The Hornets fought back however and trail just 42-41 at halftime. Drury alum Bird and Taconic gradate Gittens were relatively quiet in the opening half combining for just 7 points on 1-for-5 shooting.
The second half was a different story.
Bird, who leads all of NCAA Division III in 3-point field goals made, went off for 19 second half points. He was 7-for-11 in the half and was was 6-for-9 behind the arc. He tallied 19 second half points to end with a game high 24-point night.
Early in the second half, it was Gittens who made his presence felt. The junior was a force down low as he scored eight straight points in one stretch to help MCLA open up a double digit lead. Gittens ended the half 5-8 from the floor and scored 13 of his 15 points in the closing stanza.
Even with Gittens torrid start to the half, MCLA led just 61-58 after a Hornet bucket with 12:16 left. MCLA responded with a 9-4 surge to take a 70-62 edge. Lyndon would keep battling and get the lead down to five points at 72-67, but a Bird triple and Noah Yearsley drive extended the margin to 10 and MCLA never looked back. Down the stretch, the lead stayed in double figures as Lyndon couldn't find much offense down the stretch.
Drury grad Reece Racette had his best offensive game of the season with 15 points and narrowly missed a double-double by pulling down nine rebounds. He added five assists to his stat line. Yearsley ended with 14 points in the win. Quincy Kelly had a nice night off the bench with a season best 10 points.
MCLA shot 48 percent in the win and owned a commanding 49-31 edge off the glass.
Lyndon was paced by Zach Falkenburg's 24 points. Luke Fredsell finished with 15 points while Antonio Carlisle chipped in with 16 points before fouling out.
MCLA is back in action on Tuesday when it hosts Elms College.
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