Newport News, VA --- Sophomore Paul Brooks (Arlington, MA) finished with 12 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks to help pace a balanced scoring attack and Worcester State to a 64-52 victory over Otterbein in the consolation round of the Christopher Newport Captains Shootout this evening.
With the win the Lancers end a four game drought to improve to 3-8 while the Cardinals slip to 2-9 in the setback.
Senior Charles Gunter (Boston, MA/New Mission) also recorded 12 points with eight rebounds and a trio of assists while classmate Brendan Rios (Easthampton, MA) notched 12 points, five caroms and three steals.
Junior Manny Cabral (Roslindale, MA) went 6-for-6 at the free throw line and chipped in with 11 points.
For Otterbein, sophomore Bryan Mackenzie (Westlake, OH) paced his club with a game-best 14 points and second-year teammate Jake Phillis (Zanesville, OH) tallied 12.
Freshman Matt Hughes (Columbus, OH) added eight points and 10 caroms for the Cardinals.
Trailing 27-23 at the intermission, the Lancers used an 11-0 run to start off the second half and took over a 34-27 advantage five minutes into the frame. WSU was sparked by a traditional three-point play by Gunter and a triple by Rios who ignited the skein.
The Cardinals responded by outscoring their opponents 11-4 and knotted up the game at 38-38 with 11:37 remaining in regulation. Phillis scored six of his points to lead the charge for Otterbein.
After going back and forth with the fourth tie of the frame, a trifecta by Cabral and an old-fashioned three-point play helped the Lancers open up a 54-48 advantage near the 4:30 mark.
Sophomore Grant Fenner (Shelby, OH) netted a bucket to pull within four points, but Worcester State soon built up their margin and closed out the period with a 10-2 surge to earn the hard-fought win.
Brooks had a pair of key rejections in the post with two minutes on the clock and the Lancers sank their last six shots at the line to seal things up.
The Blue and Gold staked the early 19-14 advantage with 7:01 left in the first period before Otterbein answered with a 13-4 spurt to finish off the opening stanza with the four-point edge at the halftime break. Mackenzie and Hughes netted the final nine points of the period for the Cardinals.
For the contest, WSU hit 38 percent of their shots overall (21-for-55), but struggled from the free throw line (19-for-30 – 63 percent). The Lancers also held the slim 34-30 margin in the paint.
The Cardinals connected for 33 percent from the field, however, only converted one of 16 from the three-point arc. Otterbein missed just three of their attempts from the charity stripe (13-for-16) and utilized a 44-38 rebounding margin to hold a 13-11 advantage in second-chance baskets.
With 32 boards over the course of two games, Brooks reset the tournament record and earned a spot on the Captains Shootout All-Tournament team.
The Lancers will play Gordon on Friday in a 7 PM matchup at WPI to start off their 2015 slate while Otterbein continues OAC play with Capital on Wednesday, January 5.