Nassau Shoots Lights Out to Top Massasoit at Nationals, 91-70

#12 Rael Handy
#12 Rael Handy


LOCHE SHELDRAKE, N.Y. ----- Nassau started hot from downtown and never cooled down, shooting nearly 60 percent for the game as the Massasoit men's basketball team lost in the opening round of the NJCAA Division III National Tournament, 91-70, on Thursday at SUNY Sullivan.

Massasoit (20-7) will need to have a short memory, as it returns to the hardwood on Friday to face North Lake CC at 2 PM.

Nassau's first six baskets were 3s and despite playing right with the Lions for much of the first half, the seventh-seeded Warriors could not overcome the No. 2 seed's impressive shooting.

"I thought we played decent," head coach Jim Stapleton said. "They just shot lights out against. To shoot 60 percent for the game is impressive. We didn't turn the ball over much, we didn't get killed on the glass, and we shot around 45 percent and had five guys in double figures. There shooting just killed us."

Of the six 3s in the first six minutes of action, four came from lefty point guard Cheyenne Nettleton, who finished with 20 points in the first half.

The 3-point barrage from Nassau (27-4), which went 7-for-14 in the first half, put Massasoit in a 50-38 halftime hole.

Following intermission, the Lions went on a 19-6 run out the gate, and never looked back as the Warriors dropped their first ever NJCAA Tournament game.

Rael Handy (Easton) topped the Warriors in scoring, netting 22 points along with six rebounds and six assists. Rollksy Edouard (Holbrook) also filled up the box score, sinking five 3s for 15 points and added five rebounds and five assists.

Bobby Belezos (Holbrook), Mark Munroe (Quincy) and Mark Georges (Avon) all finished with 10 points.

Nassau also placed five players in double figures, with Nettleton pouring in a game-high 24 points. Patrick Gardner just missed a double-double with 18 points and eight boards for the Lions.

The Lions shot a blistering 59.7 percent (37 of 62) from the floor for the game and went 9 of 19 (47.4 percent) from 3-point range.