BRIDGEWATER, Mass. - The Wheaton College men's basketball team held off a late rally as the Lyons defeated host Bridgewater State College, 73-69, this afternoon from the Tinsley Center in Bridgewater.
With the loss, the Bears fall to 1-4 on the season as they have dropped four straight games. Wheaton improves to 4-1 on the young season.
Freshman guard Anthony Coppola (Watertown, MA) paced the Lyons with 15 points and 4 steals, while sophomore forward Jaxon Leo (Leesburg, VA) chipped in with 13 points and 5 rebounds. Freshman guard Bud Gaffney (Berkley, MA) finished with 8 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals.
Junior forward Roland Millien (Stoughton, MA) led the way for Bridgewater State as he posted a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Millien tossed in 13 points and pulled down 10 boards in the second half alone. Freshman guard Cesar Oliveira (Taunton, MA) was the only other Bear in double figures as he finished with 11 points. Sophomore center Jim Torney (Braintree, MA) added 8 points and 9 rebounds (5 offensive) in just 13 minutes of action.
Wheaton led 36-24 at the half and was up by as many as 13 points (46-33) with 15:23 remaining in the second half. BSC went on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 46-41 with just under 13 minutes left on the clock.
The Lyons expanded that lead to 62-51 at the 4:43 mark, but watched as Bridgewater responded with a 9-2 run capped off by a three-point play from Millien, which pulled the Bears to within four points at 64-60. Down 70-64 in the final minute, Oliveira cut the deficit to three points with another three-point play, and, after Wheaton hit just one of two free throws, Millien made it a two-point game (71-69) with only 17 second remaining. Leo, however, calmly sank a pair of free throws with 10 second left to put the game away.
Neither team shot the ball very well with Wheaton connecting on 38% (24-for-63) of their field goal attempts while Bridgewater shot just 36% (24-for-66) from the floor. The Lyons hit on just 4 of 24 three-point attempts while the Bears finished 0-for-9 from beyond the arc.
Bridgewater State travels to Plymouth State next Thursday night for a 6 o'clock game with the Panthers. Wheaton hosts Connecticut College on Tuesday night at 6 PM.