Balanced scoring leads men’s basketball past Lesley

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Media: Rachel Culver

Freshman James Beckwith scored 18 points with 4 three pointers in 19 minutes off the bench for the Lions.

By Ethan McDowell, Sports Editor

The men’s basketball team defeated Lesley University on Tuesday by its largest margin of victory so far.

A 54-point first half gave the Lions an early advantage, and they never trailed on their way to a 103-70 win. 

The Lions started the first half with six straight points—including four from sophomore center Jarred Houston. Lesley’s tallest player is 6’5”, and the 6’10” Houston scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, leading the Lions in both categories. Houston credits his teammates with his performance. 

“I think my guys found me when I had a good position,” Houston said in a post-game interview. “They just made it really easy for me around the basket today.”

After shooting over 50 percent from the field in the first half, the Lions continued their hot shooting performance into the second half. The Lions hit six threes and led by no less than 18 points in the half. Head coach Bill Curley said the team did not relax after claiming a large lead. 

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“Sometimes you get up to a big lead and it’s hard to maintain, and guys start looking for their own shot,” Curley said in a post-game interview. “I think if you look across the board, these guys really shared the ball. They weren’t just coming down like ‘I’m going to shoot every time.’ I think that’s a great sign for our team.” 

Nine players scored at least six points against Lesley—including four Lions reaching double figures. Houston considers the Lion’s offense to be their strength but said he is proud of the progress the Lions are making on defense. 

“I think our offense is what leads us, sometimes to a fault where we focus a little bit too much on our offense,” Houston said. “But I think we’re getting better defensively, and I think from where we started the very first day, we’ve taken a huge jump in all aspects.”

Coming off of an 11 rebound performance against Amherst College, senior Jack O’Connor recorded seven assists against Lesley to go along with 17 points. Curley praised O’Connor’s versatility. 

“He’s showing that he’s one of the most dominant players out there, and he doesn’t have to score to dominate,” Curley said. “He’s doing it on the boards, he doing it sharing, and then he can score. He’s playing phenomenal, and he opens up the game for [Zach Waterhouse], for [Nate Martin] and [Houston].”

The Lions play their next game on Jan. 2 against Nichols College on the road at 7 p.m.