February 8, 2014

Abraham's Double-Double Lifts Corsairs Past Huskies

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Sophomore Wale Abraham (Lynn, Mass.) posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to a 66-56 victory over Little East Conference foe the University of Southern Maine this evening at the Tripp Athletic Center.

The Corsairs (13-8) snapped a two-game conference skid to raise their record to 6-4, while the Huskies (6-15) suffered their second straight Little East setback to slip to 2-8.

Abraham registered his fifth double-double to lead all five UMass Dartmouth starters in double digits in the scoring column. He connected on all eight of his attempts and a pair from the foul line to score a season-high 18 points. The freshman backcourt duo of Ryan Walsh (North Dighton, Mass.) and Tucker Bouchard (Kingston, Mass.) along with junior Jake Laga (Nothampton, Mass.) each produced 11 points, while sophomore Abi Akanni (Fitchburg, Mass.) contributed 10. Bouchard pulled in five boards and handed out five assists, while Walsh dished out four helpers for the hosts.

Senior Tyler Penney (Barnstead, N.H.) was the lone Southern Maine player to reach double figures in scoring with 13 points. Classmate Conor Sullivan (Scarborough, Maine) and sophomore Darius Bradford (Rosenberg, Texas) each registered nine points, while senior James Odneal (Pontiac, Mich.) hauled in 10 rebounds.

The Corsairs shot 42.9 percent (24-for-57) from the field, including 38.9 percent (7-for-18) from behind the 3-point arc. The Huskies connected on 39.3 percent (24-for-61) of their attempts, including only 22.2 percent (4-for-18) from downtown. UMD held a 38-35 advantage on the glass and had a slight edge in the turnover battle (11-12).

In a closely contest first 20 minutes of regulation, Bouchard scored six unanswered points to hand UMass Dartmouth its largest lead of the half (13-6). Southern Maine countered with a mini 7-1 run, capped by a triple from Bradford, to trim its deficit to one point. The hosts were unable to build their advantage past two possessions for the remainder of the half, taking a 37-32 lead into the locker room.

The Corsairs utilized a 9-3 surge out of the intermission break to earn their first double digit advantage of the afternoon, capped by a Akanni trifecta. The Huskies tried to halt the hosts' momentum with a lay-up, but Walsh fueled an 11-3 run with a triple to balloon UMass Dartmouth's lead to 17 points (57-40). The Corsairs never looked back as they stretched their advantage to a game-high 18 points on a dunk by Abraham with just 3:13 remaining on the clock. The Huskies scored the final eight points of the evening against the Corsair reserves.

UMass Dartmouth will return to action on Tuesday, Feb. 11, when the Corsairs welcome intra-state rival University of Massachusetts Boston to the Tripp Athletic Center. Southern Maine will also be in action on Tuesday night, when the Huskies travel to Plymouth State.