Slow Start Hurts Cougars, Unable To Come Back
HOLYOKE, MA - Holyoke Community hosted a very talented Lincoln College of New England team Tuesday night at People's Bank Gymnasium. The up-tempo pace seemed to favor the Wildcats as the Cougars fell 69-80. Freshman guard Ruben Delrosario (Springfield) led all scorers with 20 points to go along with 5 steals and 4 assists. The Cougars scored a season-high 69 points but also allowed a season-high of 80.
Freshman guard Jose Gonzalez (Holyoke) put the Cougars on the board early with a 3-pointer. HCC enjoyed an early 3-2 lead before the Wildcats went on a 11-0 run putting the Cougars in a 13-3 hole. By the halfway point of the first half, Holyoke had cut the Lincoln lead to 21-19. The Wildcats didn't commit a foul until 4:05 remaining in the first half. While the Cougars were not getting to the line at all in the first half, forced turnovers and fast break points brought them to within 4 at halftime (37-33).
HCC opened the second half on the free-throw line as a result of a Wildcat technical foul with no time remaining in the first. Gonzalez converted both free throws for the Cougars, cutting the defecit to only 2.
The two teams continued to trade baskets to beign the half. Delrosario, who entered the night averaging 16 ppg, led with 2 fast break lay-ups off steals before Lincoln countered with 2 3-point baskets. With 15 minutes left in the game, the Wildcats led 54-45. Game speed picked up noticeably mid-way through the second half, making for a helter-skelter pace. HCC had kept the game in reach, trailing by only 8 with 1:53 remaining, but could not close the gap as Lincoln came away with the win.
Freshman forward Eloy Figueroa (Holyoke) contributed a double-double for the Cougars, scoring 16 points and pulling down 10 rebounds. Lincoln's Matthew Corria led the Wildcats with 19 points.
The Cougars will travel to Groton CT on Saturday, Dec. 3 for a 3 p.m. game vs. UCONN Avery Point.
Story and photos by Matt Patenaude