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AMCATS Fall at Lasell in GNAC Showdown

AMCATS Fall at Lasell in GNAC Showdown

Newton, Mass. – The Anna Maria College men's basketball team fell to the Lasers of Lasell College by a 92-72 margin in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action on the road on Wednesday evening.

The AMCATS drop to 3-17 on the season and 3-10 in the conference while the Lasers rise to 13-7 overall and 10-3 in the GNAC.



The AMCATS were led by freshman forward Mike Rapoza (Charlton, Mass.) who posted a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Junior Kenneth Graham (West Haven, Conn.) followed that lead with 14 points and Liam Pickett (Oxford, Conn.) rounded out double-digit scoring for the AMCATS with 11 points on the night.

Lasell guard, Armin Omanovic led all scorers with an impressive 32 points in the victory. Forward John Powell posted a double-double for the Lasers with 31 points and 12 rebounds to lift the home team over the visitors. Omanovic and Powell combined for 63 of the Lasers 92 points. Sophomore guard, Tim Blair added 20 points to go along with three rebounds and three steals in the win. 

The Lasers shot 58.3% from the field compared to the AMCATS 45.6 field goal percentage. Lasell outrebounded the AMCATS 42-32 and outshot the visitors at the free-throw line with a percentage of 43.5%. The AMCATS forced 17 turnovers by the home team and converted them into 24 points. Lasell caused 13 turnovers by the visitors and tallied 15 points from those mistakes. Anna Maria's bench was able to add 18 points in the loss while the Laser's bench combined for just two points.



The teams combined to score 20 points in the game's first five minutes and ended up shooting 48 percent from the field in a fast-paced first half. Lasell built a 53-37 lead at the intermission, thanks in large part to Omanovic scoring 15 of 25 points from beyond the arc.

After splitting the first six points, Lasell went on a 12-2 run to open an 18-7 lead less than six minutes into the contest. Omanovic hit two consecutive triples in that span and eventually five of his first seven. His shot to close that span extended the hosts' advantage to 11, its smallest at any point until the end of the opening frame.
Lasell quickly extended its lead as Omanovic hit a pair of threes in a 20-second span and junior, Derek McMahon contributed one of his own for a 16-point advantage just past the halfway marker. Powell notched one of the game's highlights for Lasell with 8:29 to play as he took a feed from Omanovic for a monstrous dunk that forced AMC to call timeout.
Omanovic posted two more baskets in quick succession as the half wound down, including a layup that lifted the hosts to a 19-point lead with six minutes to play. Junior Chris Contento (Marshfield, Mass.) hit a pair of baskets to bring the visitors within 12 in the final three minutes, but a pair of free throws from Villalon and two more Omanovic baskets closed Lasell's scoring in the half.
The visitors scored 13 of the first 16 points in the second half and closed Lasell's lead to as few as six points as Graham hit five field goals in less than a five-minute span.
Again, the Lasers extended their lead in the late stages of the half as Powell missed just one of his seven field goals, scoring eight straight points from the 3:51 to 2:44 marks. Blair hit two of Lasell's three second-half triples, including one with 5:35 to play. He finished the night's scoring with a layup after forcing a steal with 2:06 left.


Anna Maria hosts Norwich University on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 3:00 p.m. in GNAC play, followed by the Anna Maria College annual Alumni Basketball game at 5:15 p.m. Lasell hosts Albertus Magnus in conference play on the same day at 3:00 p.m.