FRAMINGHAM – Junior Manny Payton led a trio of Rams in double figures with 25 points as the Framingham State University men’s basketball team held off a second half comeback by Clark University for a 72-68 victory this afternoon in non-conference action at the Athletic Center in Framingham.
With the win, the Rams improve to 2-5 on the young season, while with the loss the Cougars are now an identical 2-5.
Payton led all scorers with his game-high 25 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor to go along with seven rebounds and two assists. Sophomore Tyri Hampton added 18 points, nine rebounds and two assists, while classmate Charles Valbrun recorded a double double of 14 points and a game-high 11 boards. Senior Ben Roache chipped in with seven points, while sophomore Steve Vayda added six off the bench.
The Cougars were led by a team-high 23 points from junior Luca McCormick. McCormick connected on 7-of-17 from the field and added five rebounds. Freshman Tyler Davern and classmate Biko Gayman added 14 points apiece, while junior Adam Converse grabbed a team-high seven boards.
The first half went back and forth and saw three ties and four lead changes. The Rams jumped out to an early 9-4 lead on a three from Hampton, but the Cougars tied the game at 10-10 on a three pointer from John Piscareta. Clark led 21-19 on a layup by Davern with just over eight minutes remaining, but the Rams closed the half with a 16-8 run started by a bucket in the pain on the break from Payton to take a 35-29 lead at the half.
The Rams opened the second half with 16-4 run taking a 51-33 lead with 14:30 left in the second quarter. Payton scored four times on the spurt including a dunk in transition, while Vayda capped the spurt with a three from the corner.
The Cougars responded with a 24-5 run of their own over the next eight minutes to take the lead, 57-56, with 6:41 on the clock. McCormick tallied 11 points on the spurt, while Gayman added 10 including the go ahead jumper.
The Rams tied the game on a free throw from Roache and then tallied the next four points on a layup from Valburn and a Hampton jumper to take the lead for the good.
Clark cut the lead to one with 2:34 remaining on a three by Davern, but Hampton sank a pair of freebies to push the lead back to three and Payton added a pair pushing the advantage to five with under a minute remaining.
The Rams are back in action on Tuesday night when they host Plymouth State in non-conference action at 6 p.m.
Release courtesy of Framingham State athletics