Connecticut College 55, Salve Regina University 54
Lopez Scores Game-Winning Hoop in 2nd Straight Win for Camels
NEWPORT, R.I. --(SRU Sports Information) Connecticut College sophomore forward Mason Lopez (Edgewater, N.J.) pivoted in the lane to sink a short jumper with eight ticks left on the clock as the Camels defeated the Salve Regina University Seahawks, 55-54, in a non-league matchup at the Rodgers Recreation Center.
"It wasn't our best performance but we had to come back twice against a very well coached and determined team and Mason made a great shot at the end," Connecticut College Head Men's Basketball Coach Tom Satran said. "I think we can handle the ball better than we did and am hopeful we will do so going forward."
Salve Regina, which fell on a buzzer-beater at Mitchell College on November 20, led most of the game despite shooting under 34 percent. The Seahawks led by as many as 13 (24-11 with 5:20 to go in the first half) after a free throw from Seahawk freshman and Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) rookie of the week Brendan Canova (Edina, Minn.). They led by nine (42-33) as late as 14:08 left in the second after senior guard Ryan Birrell (Scituate, R.I.) converted a steal into a layup.
Connecticut College then used a 13-2 run to take its first lead of the second half, keyed by seven points from sophomore guard Matt Vadas (Spring Lake Heights, N.H.) with two layups and a 3-pointer.
Canova swished a 3-pointer to regain the lead, 47-46, with 8:33 remaining. The score remained that way until a jumper by Salve Regina sophomore guard Patrick Dinneen (Medfield, Mass.) at the 6:08 mark.
A 3-pointer by junior Rob Harrigan (Milford, Conn.) tied the score at 49-all with 4:54 left. Lopez later hit a layup just under the four-minute mark and Vadas sank a free throw for the largest Camel lead, 52-49 with 2:49 showing.
Dinneen connected on a 3-pointer just as the 35-second shot clock expired, tying the game at 52-all with 2:10 left. Vadas gave the visitors a one-point lead with a free throw at the 1:48 mark.
In the final minute, the Seahawks forced a turnover on a five-second violation and then sophomore forward Jeff Bielefeld (Littleton, Mass.) worked inside for the go-ahead layup with 35 seconds remaining. The Camels called timeout after getting the ball over halfcourt with 28 seconds left to set up a final play.
After looking inside to Vadas who was guarded by Birrell, Lopez elected to drive into the lane from the right side. When that path became obstructed, he swiftly pivoted to alter his direction and then leaped to get off his game-winning jumper.
A missed 3-point attempt by Dinneen was rebounded and put back by Bielefeld but his shot caromed into the hands of Lopez as time expired. Dinneen finished with a team-high 17 points while Birrell led the Seahawks with eight boards.
Lopez and Vadas both finished with 17 points for the Camels who have not had an individual reach 20 points in a single game this season. Brian Mahoney (Quincy, Mass.) and Vadas each snared seven rebounds. Connecticut College (3-4) hosts Springfield College at the Luce Field House on Tuesday.
Salve Regina (4-4) visits New London, Conn., on New Year's Eve to face the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (1 p.m.).
December 10, 2011