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Johnson capitalizes on Hornet miscues to capture NAC victory

Johnson capitalizes on Hornet miscues to capture NAC victory

Lyndonville, VT - Johnson State College forced the Lyndon State College men's basketball team into 35 turnovers en route to a 109-86 North Atlantic Conference victory on Tuesday evening.  The Badgers improve to 4-7 overall and 2-4 in the NAC while the Hornets fall to 1-10 on the season and 1-5 in conference.

The Hornets and Badgers battled on even terms in the early stages of the contest.  Gerald Fleming (Riverview, FL) scored the game's first basket on a feed from CJ Jimmy (Modesto, CA), but Shakeel Irvin (Orlando, FL) answered with a layup for Johnson.  Baskets from Darren Williams Jr (Wiesbaden, Germany) and Zach Knowlton (Franconia, NH) sandwiched a Badger free throw and gave Lyndon a 6-3 advantage.  Irvin's three-pointer tied things and a steal and layup by Demetirus Slade (Washington, DC) gave Johnson its first lead.  Layups from Williams and Fleming put Lyndon back in front by two.

The Hornets still held a two-point advantage, 13-11, when Johnson's Jeyquan Johnson (Harlem, NY) connected on the first of his three first half three-pointers to give Johnson a lead that they would never relinquish.  The Badgers took advantage of 17 first half Hornet turnovers to move out to a 53-40 halftime lead.  Johnson went six for six from the floor in the opening half, good for 18 points, to pace the Badgers.  Alexander Vetere (Craftsbury, VT) and Robert Dubose Jr. (Philadelphia, PA) came off the Badger bench to tally nine first half points each.  Ricky Shuford (Prattville, AL) and Corey Frost (Hamden, CT) each scored nine points for the Hornets.

The teams traded baskets through the early minutes of the second half.  Following back to baskets from Knowlton and Shuford, Lyndon had cut the Badger advantage to 4-54 with 13:27 to go.  At that point Lyndon turned the ball over on six consecutive possessions over the next two minutes, allowing Johnson to extend their advantage to 73-54.  Lyndon was never able to get closer than to within 15 the rest of the way, as Johnson cruised to the victory.

Johnson led the Badgers with 33 points on 12 of 15 shooting, including three of four from beyond the arc.  He also pulled down five rebounds and handed out six assists.  Marqwon Wynn (Wilmington, DE) added 19 points, 13 coming in the second half, to go along with five assists and five steals.  Shuford led the Hornets with 21 points and Jimmy added 13.

For the game the Badgers connected on 41 of 74 shots (55.4%) including making 11 of 27 (40.7%) from behind the arc.  The Hornets made 34 of 69 (49.3%) but only three of 16 from three-point range (18.8%).  Johnson scored 44 points off of 35 Lyndon turnovers, allowing them to overcome a 44-28 Hornet rebounding advantage.

The Hornets will travel to Green Mountain College on Saturday.  That NAC contest is set to tip off at 3:00 pm.  Johnson hosts Vermont Technical College on Thursday evening.