Owls, Grillo Start Hot in 96-78 Victory Over MCLA
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. 12/8/09 - The Keene State College men's basketball team, led by a career-high 18 points from freshman guard Tyler Grillo (Saugus, Mass.),had five player reach double figures and picked up their second road victory of the young season with a 96-78 win over the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) Tuesday night in non-conference action. The win lifts the Owls to 4-5 on the year, while the loss drops the Trailblazers to an even 4-4 on the campaign.
"The biggest positive about tonight's game is that we established ourselves in the first half," said KSC assistant coach Kyle Brudvig. "Guys we were waiting on to come out and have a good impact on our team came out and did that tonight."
The Owls, who had started out all their games slow this season, came out fighting against the Trailblazers. After an MCLA bucket to open the game, KSC went on a 7-0 run capped by a layup by freshman guard Tyler Grillo (Saugus, Mass.). "We came out hot for a change," said Grillo. "Coach Colbert told us to come out and compete right from the beginning and we did that tonight."
The Trailblazers answered back with a 7-2 run of their own when junior guard Benny Cuprill (Albany, N.Y.) put in a layup and free throw to even the game at nine apiece with eighteen minutes left in the first half.
MCLA continued to pressure, grabbing their largest lead of the game on a Cuprill three pointer to make it 18-13 in favor of the hosts.
The resilient Owls would battle back, going on an 11-4 run finished with a leaner from freshman guard Geoffrey Woodberry (Hyde Park, Mass.) to give the visitors the 24-22 lead with 10:58 remaining in the half.
Keene State opened up the lead, and started to bury shots from beyond the arc, as Derek D'Amours (Agawam, Mass.) would net two trifectas and Eric Fazio (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.) and Matt Petruzzelli (Gardiner, N.Y.) added one apiece to stretch the Owls lead to 43-28 with less than five minutes remaining before the break.
The Owls grabbed their biggest lead of the half on a steal and a bucket by Grillo with 4:38 left in the first half for the 45-28 lead.
At the end of the half, KSC freshman Orlando Zayas (Boston, Mass.) joined in on the scoring, hitting a jumper with eight seconds left. MCLA ran it down the floor finding guard Brendan Kordana (Adams, Mass.) for a buzzer-beating basket to make it 53-39 at the half in favor of the Owls.
Keene State shot 56 percent (22-39) from the floor in the first half and 50 percent (4-8) from beyond the arc. The Owls, who have had turnover troubles their last five games, took better care of the ball by creating 13 first half assists.
In the second half, the Trailblazers would claw their way back into the game, on a layup from freshman center Tyler Lennox (Bernardston, Mass.) to cut the Owl lead to 67-58 with 13:28 left in the contest.
Keene State would then open the game back up by going on a 13-4 run, capped by a Grillo old-fashioned three point play to give KSC the 80-62 advantage.
MCLA cut the lead down to 13 on a layup from sophomore guard Chris Harris (Dorchester, Mass.) with 4:34 to play, but that is as close as the Trailblazers would get as Cody Snow's (Leyden, Mass.) jump shot with 51 seconds sealed the Owls 96-78 victory.
D'Amours led the Owls with 19 points and added six rebounds. Grillo had a solid performance with 18 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Fazio added 17 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Sophomores Snow and Petruzzelli added 14 and 12 points respectively.
For MCLA, Jon Greenberg (Antwerp, Belgium) scored 19 points and added a game-high 11 rebounds for the double-double. Bilal Shabazz (Schenectady, N.Y.) scored 11 points, while Harris and Karl Sims (Detroit, Michigan) each added 10 points in the losing effort.
The Owls will look to end their first semester of the season by evening out their overall and conference record, with a game on Saturday December 12th, at the University of Southern Maine at 3 p.m.