Lions eat Firebirds for lunch

By Nick Crispino

The Molloy men's basketball team pounced on their East Coast Conference rivals, the University of D.C., in a 90-66 thrashing, on Senior Night, Feb. 22, at the Quealy Gymnasium in Rockville Centre NY. Senior John Petrucelli ended his last home game of season in spectacular fashion, finishing with a game-high 32 points and 10 rebounds, elevating the Lions record to 15-10 overall and 12-5 in the conference. The other senior on the team, 7'0" center Tyler Hammett also produced a strong game, collecting 11 points, 8 rebounds and his first recorded three-pointer in his career.

The University of D.C. dropped to 3-21 overall and 1-17 in the conference. "I thought we worked hard, I was very happy for our seniors," said Head Coach Charles Marquardt. "I thought it was a team effort and a good win." You couldn't come up with a better story for Senior Night. The men's basketball team constantly put pressure on an undermanned team and only had 1 turnover.  "With me and Tyler going out, our team really stepped up and we really appreciate that," said Petrucelli after the game. The Lions went on a 17-4 run midway through the first halve, eventually leading 43-29 at halftime. Petrucelli had 14 point in the first halve while junior forward Matt McLeod was one step behind him with 11 points.

The Lions kept the intensity up in the second halve, excelling in the transition game and constantly taking the ball to the basket. Several highlight reels include; Petrucelli creating a put back dunk on multiple opponents, sophomore guard, Brandon Williams dishing an ally-op to freshman guard, Jaylen Morris, and aggressive slam dunks by junior forward Rich Zoller and sophomore forward Chucks Obunse. McLeod finished with 14 points and eight rebounds while Morris collected 11 points. Williams had a quiet game shooting but constantly kept the ball moving and helped keep a steady pace throughout the game. The 32-points Petrucelli produced also ties Alumni Kenneth Francis for most points in a season with 600.

Molloy College also hosted a fundraiser involving maroon "Support Our Troops" t-shirts that were sold to fans and guests with all the proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project. The Lions face a three-game road trip heading into the East Coast Conference Championship Tournament. Their last game of the season is against New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury NY.