By Steven Merritt
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON – First year Avery Lee tallied a career-best 26 points for the Vassar College Men’s Basketball team as the Brewers couldn’t complete a second half comeback and fell 81-71 to Bard in a Liberty League matchup on Saturday afternoon. The Brewers drop to 6-11 overall and 4-6 in conference play while the Raptors improve to 10-7 on the season and 5-5 in Liberty League action.
Vassar earned a 11-8 lead on a three-pointer from first year Shea Fitzgerald at the 16:52 mark before Lazaros Panagiotounis knocked down a three to give Bard a one point advantage.
The Brewers reeled off a 12-3 run, led by two three-pointers from junior Alex Walters and a triple from Lee, to take a 23-15 lead with 9:18 remaining.
The Raptors closed the first half on a 18-5 run as Heston Tucker tallied five points along with four points each from Rowan Heinze and Azriel Almodovar to take a 33-28 run into the halftime break.
Vassar finished the first half shooting 40-percent overall while connecting on 7-of-12 from three-point range.
Bard also shot 40-percent from the field, shooting 5-for-13 from three, and was 4-for-6 from the free throw line.
Bard’s lead grew to 10 points on an Elliot Harris triple before Vassar battled back to tie the game at 42 on a three-pointer from Walters at the 15:06 mark.
Following a free throw from first year Kreekor Karageuzian that knotted the game at 45, the Raptors rattled off 17 straight points behind eight points from Heinze and seven from Harris to go ahead 62-45 with 8:35 remaining.
Sean Wilcox’s triple at the 6:09 mark pushed the lead up to 16 before two free throws from Fitzgerald cut the lead to 12 with 4:44 to go.
Lee’s lay-in with 1:18 remaining trimmed the lead down to eight before his three-pointer with 58 seconds cut the Bard lead to 76-69.
The Raptors knocked down free throws down the stretch to earn the 10 point victory.
Vassar finished the second half shooting 54.2-percent, including 7-for-13 from three, and were 10-for-16 from the free throw line.
Bard concluded the half shooting 53.1-percent overall, going 6-for-13 from bonus distance, and connected on 8-for-12 from the free throw stripe.
For The Brewers
Lee tallied 26 points off the bench on 9-for-13 shooting, including 5-for-7 from three-point range.
Fitzgerald finished with 16 points and three assists while Walters recorded 14 points, four boards and two blocks.
Karageuzian registered a team-high five assists along with first year Eric Zhang adding six points.
For The Raptors
Heinze led the Raptors with 24 points on 9-for-15 from the field and added five assists and seven rebounds.
Harris finished with 15 points, six boards and four assists while Panagiotounis recorded 12 points, three assists, two steals and two boards.
Wilcox tallied 11 points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks along with Almodovar adding six points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.