BFA led by three at the half, 23-20, and several times in the third quarter was poised to break the game open only to see the Hornets battle back. The pattern held for the first few minutes of the fourth, with the Hornets’ continuing to stay close thanks to their five 3-pointers in the second half, including four by Grant Robinson.

But there would be no Essex response to BFA’s decisive burst, an 11-4 run in the middle of the final period to turn a 50-48 lead with 5:45 left into a 61-52 lead with 3:03 to play.

“Essex did a great job in half-court defense,” BFA coach Matt Toof said. “They slowed us down a tremendous amount in the first half. But I think we’re a tough team to play four quarters, and that showed up again today.”

Grant Robertson led the Hornets (6-15) with 17 points and Robbie Meslin scored 16. Robertson connected on five threes, while Meslin had one and was 5 for 6 at the foul line. Stephen Astor hit a pair of threes for Essex, which also got 3-point baskets from Cameron Quinn and Bryan Linarte (5 points).

Threes accounted for more than half of Essex’s scoring, producing 30 of the team’s 57 points, but it wasn’t enough to catch BFA who ultimately won the game 57-74.