NEWTON, Mass. – Regis College controlled the first 27 minutes of its season opener, but Lasell College rallied down the stretch, and a driving layup in the final seconds gave the Lasers a 72-71 victory over the Pride Monday night in a non-conference men's collegiate basketball game at the Lasell Athletic Center.
Down 21 at 55-34 after a Dimitri Rosa (Tiverton, R.I.) three-pointer with 15:43 remaining in the second half, the Lasers started chipping away at their deficit thanks to five straight points by Dylan Murphy. However, a free throw and a layup by Shawn Wedderburn (Bronx, N.Y.) allowed the Pride to maintain a 17-point advantage at 60-43 with 12:42 left in regulation.
Lasell (1-1) went on a 20-4 scoring run over the next seven minutes, led by Stefan Masciarelli with 15 points during that stretch as well as a key three-pointer from Murphy. The Lasers could not pull ahead as they missed two shots and committed two turnovers on their next four possessions.
Two straight baskets by Ademola Afonja (Staten Island, N.Y.) extended the Regis lead back to four at 69-65, but Masciarelli hit a three-pointer to pull Lasell back within one at 69-68. After a jumper by Afonja, the teams exchanged three empty possessions apiece, and then Masciarelli hit a layup with 45 seconds remaining on the clock to close the Pride lead back to one at 71-70.
The Lasers pulled down a Pride missed shot, but immediately turned the ball over and were forced to commit a foul. After Regis missed the front end of a one-and-one, Liam Jacobs grabbed the rebound for Lasell and gave the ball to Masciarelli, who drove in for a layup to give the Lasers their first lead of the entire game. A final scoring chance by the Pride was unsuccessful as time ran out.
Afonja led the Pride with 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field, moving into fifth place on the Regis all-time scoring list as he now has 897 career points. Wedderburn finished with 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds, while Rosa and Juvens Dalger (City of Sunrise, Fla.) contributed nine points apiece.
Masciarelli scored 26 of his game-high 34 points in the second half to lead the Laser comeback, with Murray adding 13 points to the winning effort. Lasell won the rebounding battle, 52-44, led by Ben Bossuet with 11 rebounds and Vic Collazo with 10 boards.
Regis scored the first eight points of the game, five of them by Wedderburn, to take the early advantage. Lasell closed to within three at 12-9 five minutes into the contest, but the Pride responded with 14 unanswered points over the next five minutes, featuring seven points by Dalger, to extend their lead to 26-9 midway through the first half.
Rosa hit a three-pointer and Afonja hit consecutive layups to give Regis a 37-18 lead, and the Pride would maintain that advantage throughout the rest of the first half. Wedderburn capped the opening half with a layup in the final minute as the Pride took a 45-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.
After shooting 45 percent (18-of-40) from the field and 70 percent (7-of-10) from the free throw line in the first half, Regis was held to 27.8 percent (10-of-36) field goal shooting after halftime, plus the Pride made only 4-of-9 free throw attempts in the second half. The Pride forced Lasell into 21 turnovers, scoring 19 points off those mistakes, while the Lasers scored 18 points off 12 Regis turnovers.
Regis (0-1) heads right back on the court Tuesday night, Nov. 13, heading to Milton, Mass., to face Curry College beginning at 6 p.m. The Colonels lost an overtime thriller to Newbury Saturday afternoon, 107-100.