WORCESTER, Mass. - Freshman Mikey Spencer (Abington, Mass.) sunk a 3-pointer at the final horn to lift his Salve Regina Seahawks to an 82-81 win over Worcester State University in non-conference men's basketball action Saturday afternoon at John P. Brissette Court.
With the loss, the Lancers fall to 4-6 overall on the season, while the Seahawks improve to 4-5.
The Lancers jumped out to an early lead as the offense got going in the opening minutes of the contest. Juniors Will Watkins Jr. (Southbridge, Mass.) and Tyler Dion (Barre, Mass.) both hit a pair of threes in just the beginning four and a half minutes, leading their team to an early 15-7 advantage. The Seahawks refused to go away however, responding with an 8-0 run to tie the score at 15 with 13:15 remaining in the first half.
Worcester State held a steady lead throughout the remainder of the half, but could not pull away for good. Leading by as many as 10 with just over five minutes to go, the Lancers went into the locker room with a lead of 41-35.
The hosts slowly added onto their lead when the teams emerged from the break, and took their largest lead of the day at 14 points on a fast-break dunk from freshman Eddie Hassell (Milton, Mass.) with 7:44 remaining in regulation, putting the Lancers up 71-57. The dunk forced a Seahawk timeout, and Salve Regina went to work chiseling away at the Lancer lead.
Salve Regina sophomore Kevin Kelly (Valhalla, N.Y.) took over the contest from that point on, scoring 12 points after Hassell's dunk to lead the Seahawk comeback. After Kelly hit a pair of free throws with 32 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 81-79, the Seahawks used a successful full-court press to get the ball back on a Cameron Collins (Oakdale, Conn.) steal. Kelly missed a look from three to take the lead with 16 seconds to go, but the Seahawks would grab the offensive board and called a timeout to draw up one last play. Out of the break, Kelly found Spencer in the corner for the dagger three, silencing the Brissette Court crowd.
As was brought to the forefront on the final possession, offensive rebounding and second-chance points were a huge factor in the contest, as the Seahawks grabbed 12 offensive boards and scored 19 second-chance points in the win. Despite the win, the Seahawks only led for 54 seconds of game action in the contest, all in the opening two minutes of the game with a 2-1 lead. The Lancers led for 38:07, and the game was tied for 59 seconds.
Kelly had a standout performance on the day, finishing with 29 points (21 in the second half), seven assists, and six rebounds. Spencer and Collins both finished in double-figures for the Seahawks as well, recording 16 and 14 points respectively.
Dion and junior Shaun McCarthy (Oxford, Mass.) both finished with 22 points to lead the Lancer offense. Dion and Watkins Jr. were both 4-of-7 from three, as Watkins Jr. ended the afternoon with 16 points.
Next up for the Lancers, they will play their final game before the holiday break on Tuesday evening at Becker College. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. Salve Regina is in action the same night with a home game against Mitchell College.