CHICOPEE, MA–Host Elms outscored the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's basketball team, 18-9 in the final 5:40 and went on to defeat the Corsairs, 82-69 in a non-conference game at Picknelly Arena Thursday evening.
After falling behind by 19 points five minutes into the second half, the Corsairs rallied, and a three-pointer by sophomore guard Jake Laga (Northampton, MA/Northampton HS) cut the Blazer lead to 64-60 with 5:44 remaining. But Elms connected on 12 free throws in the final 5:44 to seal the victory.
Laga led the Corsairs with 19 points, while freshman center Wale Abraham (Lynn, MA/Lynn Classical HS) and junior forward Eleazar Clayton (Boston, MA/East Boston HS/Monroe CC) each added 10. Andre French led the Blazers with 18 points, David McDaniel had 14 and Jamal Hulum contributed 12.
McDaniel had 11 rebounds, and sophomore center Alex Rodrigues (Fall River, MA/Durfee HS) had nine for UMD as the Blazers outrebounded the Corsairs, 49-39, and forced 21 turnovers while committing 13.
"We missed too many free throws, and didn't take advantage of our opportunities," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "We turned the ball over too many times tonight, and we fouled them too much, and they went to the line and made their free throws. We missed free throws in critical situations. I thought Wale Abraham played a good game, and Jake gave us some scoring tonight."
UMass Dartmouth dropped to 3-14 with the defeat, while Elms improved to 9-8 with the victory. The Corsairs will return to action when they host Plymouth State in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday.