READING, Pa. - Hood College trailed by just three points with 14:33 to go in the game, but Albright used a 25-7 run over the next nine and a half minutes to pull away for an 82-62 win over the Blazers.
The loss, paired with a win by Stevenson, dropped Hood into fourth place in the Commonwealth Conference standings at 9-6, one game behind the Mustangs. Stevenson defeated Messiah, who is now tied for first place with Alvernia at 11-4, two games ahead of the Blazers with three regular season games to play. The Blue and Gray are a game ahead of Albright in the standings. The Lions currently own the final playoff bid to the conference tournament, while Lebanon Valley's 7-8 mark is good for sixth.
A 3-point field goal by Trevor Magnuski (Mechanicsburg, Pa. / Cumberland Valley) brought Hood within 43-40 early in the second half, but Evan Ward scored nine of his 11 points for the Lions during the back-breaking run that resulted in a 68-47 score with five minutes to play.
Pedro Perez scored 11 of Albright's first 15 points of the game, but the Blazers never trailed by more than seven in the first half and a Cameron Cook (Baltimore, Md. / Calvert Hall) three at the first half buzzer made it a 30-26 game at the break.
Cameron Cook and Chris Cook (Mechanicsburg, Va. / Lee-Davis) scored 14 points apiece for Hood. Cameron Cook hit four 3-pointers and now has 295 in his career, the most among active players in Division III. The senior shot 5-for-11 in the game finished one rebound shy of a double-double with a team-high nine boards. Chris Cook hit a pair of threes in the game and had five rebounds and three steals. Justin Bowens (Frederick, Md. / Tuscarora) had five assists.
Perez led all players with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting for Albright. Sameen Swint (12 points) and Evan Ganz (10) gave the Lions four players in double digits. Kyle Jordan finished with 10 rebounds and six blocks.
Hood looks to return to its winning ways with a game at Elizabethtown on February 15 at 3 p.m.