Hartford, Conn. – Junior Nick Seretta (Greenfield, Mass.) scored 15 points to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 66-64 win over the Husson College Eagles in the opening round of the Hampton Inn Jim Beaudry Men’s Basketball Classic this evening at Alfond Forum. Trinity wins its second-straight season opener and will face the host University of New England Nor’Easters in the tournament finals tomorrow at 3 p.m. New England downed Fitchburg State, 117-102, in the early game tonight. Husson, which drops to 1-1, will play Fitchburg State in tomorrow’s consolation game at 1 p.m.
Trinity got off to a rocky start and trailed, 14-5, just under four minutes into the game, but used a 13-to-2 run to take an 18-16 lead on a layup by junior Kyle Padmore (Milton, Mass.) at the 8:14 mark of the first half. It was a seesaw battle for the remainder of the opening stanza, and Trinity led, 34-33 at the break with Seretta and classmate Christian Porydzy (South Glastonbury, Conn.) contributing eight points apiece. The first half was sloppy with 26 combined turnovers, but Trinity dominated on the glass with a 23-to-13 advantage.
Padmore nailed a trey midway through the second half with the score tied at 46-all, and the Bantams maintained their lead from that point until the final whistle. Another Padmore jumper pushed the Trinity advantage to double digits at 61-51 with 3:46 on the clock, but the Eagles rallied and pulled to within five points at 64-59 on a three-pointer by Brett Cunningham at the 1:07 mark. Seretta made a pair of free throws down the stretch but three Bantam misfires from the charity stripe and a last-second long ball by Husson’s Justice Kendall cut the final score to two at 66-64.
Padmore and Porydzy scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, to join Seretta in double figures, while Padmore also blocked two shots and Porydzy also dished five assists. Trinity sophomore guard Colin Donovan (Westborough, Mass.) came off the bench to grab a team-high seven rebounds, while sophomore forward Donald Jorden (Tampa, Fla.) and senior guard Tim Flynn (Hartford, Conn.) added six boards apiece. D.J. Bussey poured in a game-high 20 points for Husson, Cunningham scored 14 points off the pine, and Kendall added 13 points, three assists, and three steals. Trinity finished with a 47-to-30 edge on the boards to offset 28 turnovers and 12 missed foul shots.