By Nico Manganiello – 1851 Contributor
All photos by Nico Manganiello
At 7 p.m on November 6, the Lasers took on the Husson Eagles in a non-conference matchup at the Athletic Center. It was the season opener for the Lasers, who lost 86-78.
The leader on the stat sheet for the Lasers was senior guard EJ Day. Day finished the game as top scorer with 25 points, along with four assists and five steals. Graduate forward Kevin Vanderhorst and senior guard Kevin Nunez both helped to chip in offensively with 16 points apiece.
The difference in the game was rebounding, despite graduate forward Jonathan Friberg grabbing 12 boards for the Lasers. The Eagles out rebounded the Lasers 42-30, and the offensive rebounds for the Eagles led to 12 second chance points.
Graduate guard Justin Thompson was the main reason for the Eagles dominance on the glass as he grabbed eight rebounds in the contest. However, it was senior guard Justice Kendall who ran the show for the Eagles. Kendall finished with 17 points, three steals, three assists, and three rebounds.
Despite the loss, the Lasers showed great fight as their largest deficit of the game was 19 points with just over 11 minutes remaining in the game. Freshman guard Karim Belhouchet came into the game and hit back-to-back threes to help give the Lasers momentum as they chipped away at the deficit.
With 54 seconds left, the Lasers found themselves trailing by a score of 80-71. The contest quickly became a game of free throws as Vanderhorst would sink two at the line, then was matched by Eagles senior forward Brett Cunningham.
Belhouchet then hit another massive three that was followed by EJ Day making the play of the game with a quick steal and score to bring the Lasers within four. Unfortunately for the Lasers, the Eagles would go on to ice the game with free throws.
After the game, Day credited the efforts of the freshman on the team, saying, “they played a big part for us.” Going forward Day said the Lasers need to focus on improving their defense, while also going on to praise the Lasers offense. “We’re pretty good on the offensive end. We have scorers from all levels from Friberg down low, Vanderhorst, Nunez, Conan [McCusker], Karim [Belhouchet]. Our big thing is getting stops. Coach [David Galletta] presses us to get locks, three defensive plays in a row.”
The Lasers will play next on Wednesday at Babson College, where they will take on the Beavers in another non-conference matchup.