MEN’S BASKETBALL FALLS AT AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL, 82-74
Springfield, Mass. – Spencer Braithwaite scored 18 points to lead American International to an 82-74 win over the Le Moyne College men's basketball team on Wednesday night in Northeast-10 Conference play at Butova Gymnasium.
Senior guard Gamal Mohamed (North Plainfield, N.J./Immaculata) tallied a career-high 20 points, including 15 in the second half, to lead the Dolphins in the setback, while adding a career-best eight rebounds. Junior forward Brian Zapisek (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) recorded 12 points, a career-high six assists and five rebounds, while senior guard Derrek Tartt (Chicago, Ill./Oak Park Fenwick/UAlbany) and junior center Jim Janson (Scotia, N.Y./Scotia-Glenville) had 11 points each.
Braithwaite posted 12 of his team-high point total in the second half, while adding five assists and three rebounds. David Campbell registered 17 points, 13 of which came in the second half, and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Ricky Hudson added 15 points, while Jason Perrier scored 12 points, all from behind the three-point line.
Over the opening seven and one-half minutes of the game, the teams went back and forth with the score being tied four times, the last of which came at 13-apiece. Zapisek had five of Le Moyne's 13 points, while Braithwaite had four for the Yellow Jackets.
After Janek Schmidkunz nailed a three-pointer to give American International a 16-13 lead with 11:59 left in the half, the Dolphins scored seven points in a span of 73 seconds to take a four-point lead. Junior guard Nate Champion (Logansport, Ind./Logansport) started the run with a jumper, while Mohamed followed with a jumper and a three-pointer.
The Yellow Jackets answered with a 10-1 run to regain the lead. D.J. Gutridge made two free throws, Campbell converted a lay-up and then Perrier nailed consecutive three-pointers.
The Dolphins scored five of the next six points to get within 27-26 with 4:10 left in the half, but the Yellow Jackets scored the last seven points of the half to take a 34-26 lead at the intermission. Tartt had a conventional three-point play for the Dolphins and Naté Gause (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Poughkeepsie/Quinnipiac) followed with two free throws. In AIC's 7-0 spurt, Braithwaite scored off his own miss, Schmidkunz nailed a three-pointer and then Hudson knocked down a jump shot.
Mohamed scored the first seven points of the second half to pull the Dolphins within 34-33 with 16:33 left, but American International countered with eight consecutive points to open up a nine point lead. Hudson started the streak with a jumper, Perrier nailed a three-pointer and Campbell followed with his first of three straight three-point plays.
After Gutridge made a lay-up to give AIC a 50-40 lead with 12:33 left, the Dolphins scored nine straight points and 12 of the next 13 to take the lead. Tartt began the run with a free throw, Janson recorded a conventional three-point play and added another free throw, Tartt hit two more free throws, Janson dunked the ball off a feed from Tartt and then Zapisek drained a three-pointer to give the Dolphins a 52-51 edge with 9:00 left.
The teams then traded 5-0 runs over the next 3:12. Campbell had a lay-up and a free throw and Braithwaite had a put-back after Hudson failed to get high enough to dunk the ball, while Champion followed with a jumper and Mohamed nailed a three-pointer for the Dolphins. Braithwaite then made two free throws and Sesoo Ikpah drilled a three-pointer to put the Yellow Jackets back in front.
Champion and Tartt answered with back-to-back baskets to tie the score at 61 with 5:11 left, but the Yellow Jackets regained the lead for good on consecutive three-pointers by Braithwaite and Hudson.
American International pushed its lead to as high as 11 points, while maintaining at least a six-point edge over the final 2:18.
Le Moyne (1-2, 1-2 NE-10), which has dropped back-to-back games to the Yellow Jackets, returns to action at home on Saturday against New Haven at 3:00 p.m.