The Lions opened their season with an average start, as they now stand at 3-2 after two tournaments and their regular season home opener.
The College battled Keystone College for its first home game and it went down to the wire as the team exchanged fouls to eventually give the Lions the 61-58 win.
Senior guard Brian Halligan, junior guard Corey Gilmore and junior forward Mark Aziz combined for 42 of the Lions’ points, scoring 14, 13 and 15, respectively. Aziz took seven rebounds away from the Giants.
The Lions opened the season by traveling to Susquehanna University for the Pepsi-Weis Markets Tournament. The Lions split their games as they went 1-1 overall in the tournament.
Aziz took control in the second game of the tournament against Penn College as he scored a career-high 22 points, eight boards and four steals, leading the team to a 79-56 win. Junior forward Jeff Warner scored 21 points.
“The highlight was picking each other up and going out the second game of both tournaments and playing well enough to win pretty convincingly,” Aziz said.
Halligan and sophomore forward Adam Gonzalez also reached double digits as they scored 15 and 12 points, respectively. The 12 points were a career high for Gonzalez.
Halligan had 12 points in the first game of the tournament against King’s College to earn a spot on the All-Tournament team along with Aziz. The College lost to King’s 67-44 in its opening game of the season.
In the second tournament of the young season, the Lions visited the Emory and Henry College Food City Tournament to face John Carroll University in the first game and Huntingdon College in the second.
Against the Blue Streaks of John Carroll, the Lions suffered an 80-48 loss. The Lions got to experiment, as freshman forward Matt Bramley had an impressive 13 points off the bench to lead the Lions. Aziz added eight points and six rebounds in the loss.
“We are starting to get more comfortable playing together which is very important because of how young we are and that most of us haven’t played together,” Aziz said. “I think we can upset a number of teams in the league and make it to the playoffs where really anything can happen.”
The College rebounded after the loss to take down Huntingdon and take third in the tournament with the 62-36 win.
Sophomore guard Jeff Molinelli feuled the Lions as he scored a career-high 20 points and tallied eight boards. Aziz followed close behind as he notched 18 points and six rebounds.
The Lions will return home this Saturday to host the Gothic Knights of New Jersey City University at 3 p.m.