Johnson Rally Falls Short in NAC Quarterfinal
NEW LONDON, N.H. - A late Johnson rally came up short on Tuesday night as the Badgers saw their season end with a 75-69 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Quarterfinal loss at Colby-Sawyer College. JSC finishes their season with a 6-20 overall record while the Chargers improve to 19-7 and will advance to the NAC Semifinals Friday night facing the University of Maine-Farmington in a game that will be played at Castleton State College.
Johnson was led by junior point guard Andy Bousono (Philadelphia, Penn./Nueva Esperanza) (pictured) and his game-high 25 points and 3-for-4 3-point shooting. Sophomore guard Scott Moran (Amity, Conn./Orange) provided 16 points and sophomore center Billy Boyd (Walden, Vt./Hazen) went 5-for-6 from the field en route to an 11-point, seven-rebound night. Sophomore forward Bryan Hickey (Barre, Vt./Spaulding) chipped in with eight points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.
Colby-Sawyer received 19 points from senior guard Will Bardaglio as he connected on 4-of-7 3-point field goals. Both senior forward James Tobin and freshman forward Mike Dias added 15 points each and junior point guard Corey Willis supplied 10 points.
Colby-Sawyer jumped out to an early six point lead at 10-4 following a 3-pointer from Paul Holland with 15:41 left in the first half but Johnson would respond with a 10-5 run to cut the lead to one with 11:32 remaining in the stanza.
Trailing by six points with 4:24 left in the first the Chargers made perhaps the decisive run of the game closing the half with a 13-5 surge that included three 3-point field goals from Bardaglio to take a 44-30 lead into the locker room.
Johnson would stay within striking distance over the first eight minutes of the second half but the Charger lead would balloon to 19 points at 62-43 with 9:07 left in the game.
The Badgers would not go quitely as they would close to gap to 11 at one point but saw lead stand at 15 with 2:39 to go following a Dias jumper.
JSC's final surge came led by Bousono and Moran who combined for seven points in an 11-2 run that covered just 1:20 to make it 71-65 C-SC. The Badgers had the ball but could not covert on an open eight-footer that would cut the lead to four with :40 left. The Chargers would connect on enough free throws from their to hang on for the 75-69 win.
Johnson will lose three seniors to graduation in forwards Alen Turan (Essex, Vt./Essex) and Brian Phelps (Milton, Vt./Milton) and guard Timmy Respass (Philadelphia, Penn./Bucks County CC). There is reason for optimism for the Badgers going into the off-season as the top six scorers are slated to return as well as the top four rebounders.