By Steven Merritt
POUGHKEEPSIE – First year Avery Lee tallied 16 points off the bench to lead the Vassar College Men’s Basketball team to a 76-72 victory over the Union Garnet Chargers on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics and Fitness Center. The Brewers improve to 8-13 overall and 6-8 in the Liberty League while Union falls to 11-9 on the season and 6-8 in conference action.
Vassar scored the first seven points of the game as Lee connected on a three-pointer along with a jumper from junior Luke Adams and a lay-in from sophomore Nathan Denham.
Brendan Reid’s triple cut the early lead down to two with 13:04 remaining before six straight points from the Brewers extended the lead to eight on a jumper from Adams at the 9:11 mark.
First year Sebastian Medina’s bucket with 6:10 to go put Vassar up 22-13 until Union battled back to within four on a bucket from Jack Plesser.
Vassar built its lead back to seven at the end of the first half as Lee canned a triple at the horn to take a 37-30 lead into the halftime intermission.
The Brewers shot 48.3-percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes while going 4-for-12 from three and 5-for-6 from the free throw line.
The Garnet Chargers finished the first half shooting 37.9-percent overall while finishing 4-for-14 from three-point range and 4-for-4 from the free throw stripe.
Vassar pushed its lead to double digits for the first time at the 13:59 mark on three free throws from junior Alex Walters followed by a layup from Logan Scott to put the Brewers ahead 50-38.
Union answered with a 12-3 run as Tanner Tedesco rattled off eight points to trim the lead down to 53-50 with 9:20 remaining.
Five straight points from Christian Dufort knotted the game at 55 at the 7:07 mark before Lee connected on a triple to push the Brewers back ahead.
The lead grew to 66-59 on an Adams triple with 3:39 to go and a layup from Denham pushed the advantage to nine.
Tedesco connected on a three-pointer with 19 seconds left to reduce the lead to 72-69 before a Dufort three-pointer put the Garnet Chargers within one with 10 seconds to go.
Vassar made three free throws in the final 10 seconds and held Union scoreless to earn its second straight victory.
The Brewers finished the second half shooting 43.5-percent from the field, cashing 2-of-3 from three-point distance and going 17-for-24 at the free throw line.
Union shot 39.4-percent in the half while going 8-for-20 from three and 8-for-10 from the free throw stripe.
For The Brewers
Lee tallied 16 points off the bench on 5-for-10 shooting while senior Case Parsons tallied 10 points, six rebounds and two assists.
Walters added 11 points of the bench along with first year Shea Fitzgerald recording nine points, three assists, four boards and two steals.
Adams tallied nine points and two assists and first year Kreekor Karageuzian finished with nine points, four assists and four rebounds.
For The Garnet Chargers
Tedesco recorded a game-high 19 points to go along with five assists and six rebounds.
Connor Cepiel finished with 10 points and five boards while Jack Plesser added 12 points off the bench.
Dufort registered 10 points and seven rebounds also off the bench and Matthew Garside tallied eight points.