Men’s basketball falls to Pace 69-45 in home opener


Photo courtesy of Tyler Wells

The New Haven men’s basketball team heads to halftime against Pace University, West Haven, Nov. 23.

In their first game at home since Feb. 25, 2020, the New Haven men’s basketball team suffered a 69-45 loss on Tuesday night against Pace University. The energy within Charger Gymnasium quickly faded as the worst-case scenario for the team’s return to West Haven played out in front of everyone.

At tip-off, there was a buzz in the air that signified the return of a noticeably missing piece of the New Haven sports season. Students who haven’t left campus for Thanksgiving break filed in to get their first glimpse of basketball in 21 months.

In the first quarter, it took the Chargers some time to get on the board, as Pace jumped out to an early 7-0 run. Finally, senior guard Quashawn Lane drilled a three pointer to get New Haven on the board five minutes into the game. Bryant University transfer and graduate forward Nick Crocker followed up with a three of his own to cut the score to 8-6.

Defensively, each side remained stout in limiting easy attempts for their opponents. Pace forced the Chargers to move the ball, closing out quickly on any open shooters. This made New Haven become more selective in their shot taking, which didn’t play in their favor as the Chargers shot just 37% in the half; this included just three makes in their 15 attempts from beyond the arc.

New Haven’s Majur Majak blocks a Pace shot, West Haven, Nov. 23. (Photo courtesy of Tyler Wells)

Senior center Majur Majak, the 7-foot-1 transfer from Saint Peter’s University, made his presence known in the paint defensively. He sent one shot back and altered others as Pace learned how to adapt their game to the big man.

With under five minutes in the half, Pace connected on a pair of jump shots to take a 25-16 lead. Graduate guard Derrick Rowland responded with two contested layups to cut the lead to seven. A three from junior forward Davontrey Thomas, the Northeast-10 (NE-10) Player of the Week in week one, brought New Haven within four with less than two minutes left.

Pace responded quickly, making a three of their own and drilling a mid-range jumper as time expired in the half, sending the Setters to the break with a 32-24 lead.

New Haven started the second half firing offensively, as a Rowland layup and a pair of free throws for Lane quickly cut the lead in half. Graduate guard Sean Smith Jr. then made a layup and a free throw to bring New Haven within one. In two minutes, the Chargers came storming back into the game and seemed to finally find a rhythm offensively.

However, Pace’s Powell brothers started connecting on offense, helping stretch the Setters lead each possession. First, it was Brandon connecting on a three off the assist from his brother. Then, Bryan made a layup to give Pace a six-point cushion; the brothers combined for 34 points and led the Pace offensive charge all night.

The Chargers then began to fall apart on both sides of the ball, allowing Pace to run away with the game. With the score at 41-34, Pace went on a 13-0 run before the next New Haven basket and left the crowd quiet. They continued outscoring the Chargers, benefiting off unnecessary turnovers and missed opportunities.

Throughout the second half, it appeared that New Haven lacked the edge they usually play with; the team seemed softer and less aggressive.

For New Haven, it seemed as though nobody could step up offensively to string together some major baskets and cut into the lead. An off night from Thomas and a second half foot injury to Lane didn’t help this, as no Chargers were able to replace that offensive production.

When the buzzer sounded, Pace walked away with a dominant 69-45 win in a hostile road environment.

Rowland and Lane were the only New Haven players in double-figures for scoring, posting 11 and 10 points respectively. Lane also led the team with six rebounds, while Majak finished with five rebounds and three blocks.

The loss drops New Haven to 3-2 (0-2 NE-10) and gets the team off to a losing streak to begin conference play. Pace improves to 5-0 (2-0 NE-10) with the win and continues their hot start to the 2021-2022 campaign.

Men’s basketball returns to the court for an out-of-conference game against Dominican College on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Charger Gymnasium. More information can be found at


Men’s Basketball v. Pace Photo Gallery