The men’s basketball team earned its second straight win Thursday night, defeating the Rivier University Raiders 91-34 at the Athletic Center. The homecourt victory edges the Lasers closer to a .500 win percentage, as they are currently tied with Johnson and Wales University for sixth place in the GNAC’s south division, standing at 9-11.
A game that stayed close at the beginning of the first half quickly shifted in the Laser’s favor, as they gained a 21-12 lead. To make matters worse for the Raiders, coach Galetta’s squad went on a 17-8 run to end the first half thanks to graduate guard EJ Day and senior guard Demerrick Warren.
In the second half, Day picked up right where he left off for the Lasers, nailing a three-point shot, while also finding an instance to play “floor general” on a three-pass display of perfection between him, Warren, and graduate forward Almando Marinez. The three Lasers combined for a total of 50 points.
Coming out of a timeout, the Lasers went on a 12-2 run to give them 73 points, but more impressively, the men in Carolina blue were able to hold the Raiders to 29 points at the time of the offensive spurt.
As the game began winding down, Galetta found an opportunity to go deeper into his bench and allow some younger players to get more minutes.
“I got the nerves out right away,” said first-year guard Benny Martinez. “Everyone cheered me on when I got [on the court]. It was a great feeling.”
Martinez, who had been waiting the whole season for an opportunity to earn his first collegiate playing time, said he noticed his coach’s eyes glare across the bench right before getting the nod to enter the game. Moments later, he had scored his first point as a Laser after hitting a free throw with just a couple of minutes left in the match.
The Lasers will hit the road and play Anna Maria College in their next game at noon on Saturday, before making their way to Regis College on Wednesday, a matchup that will start at 5 p.m.