DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Junior Jordan Rezendes (Onset, Mass.) and senior Jake Laga (Northampton, Mass.) combined for 48 points to lead the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to a 90-80 victory over visiting Curry College this evening in a NCAA Division III men's basketball contest at the Tripp Athletic Center.
The Corsairs scored at least 90 points for the second straight game to improve to 3-2 on the campaign, while the Colonels evened their ledger at 2-2.
UMass Dartmouth shot 46.0 percent (29-for-63) from the field, including 40.0 percent (8-for-20) from behind the three-point arc, to turn in its second-highest offensive output of the season. Rezendes led the hosts with 27 points on 11-for-21 from the floor, along with seven rebounds and three assists. Laga connected on three triples and 10 free throws to account for 19 of his 21 points. Junior Wale Abraham (Lynn, Mass.) also reached double digits in scoring with 14 points, while pulling in a team-high eight rebounds and redirecting four attempts.
Senior Antonio Jones (Dorchester, Mass.) carried the visitors' offensive attack with a game-high 35 points, including four three-pointers and a 9-for-12 showing from the charity stripe. Classmate Matt Russell (South Portland, Maine) logged a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 12 boards, while sophomore James Pina (Warwick, R.I.) contributed 14 points and four rebounds. Senior Jordan Vieira (Marbella, Spain) handed out a team-best four helpers.
The Corsairs raced out to an early double-digit advantage, scoring 14 of the opening 18 points. Rezendes sandwiched a lay-up between triples from Laga and senior John Genkos (Worcester, Mass.) to push the hosts' lead to 14-4 just five minutes into regulation.
Curry responded with a 23-7 run to take its largest advantage of the game, 27-21. Jones fueled the surge with 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, while Pena added four.
Both teams exchanged baskets for the following six minutes before UMass Dartmouth used an 8-2 spurt to forge a 40-40 tie, bookended by threes from Laga and senior Josh Castillo (Lynn, Mass.). Jones scored the final bucket of the frame to provide the Colonels with a 42-40 edge at the intermission.
In a tight second stanza, neither team was able to open a lead of greater than five points until two Abraham free throws pushed the Corsair advantage to seven (75-68) with just over five minutes remaining on the clock.
With just over four minutes left on the clock, UMass Dartmouth scored three points on consecutive possessions to gain some breathing room. Abraham started the surge with an original three-point play with a dunk and free throw, then Laga drained a triple from the left corner to give the hosts an 83-74 advantage.
Rezendes sealed the contest by scoring the Corsairs' final six points to earn their third consecutive victory.
UMass Dartmouth won the battle on the boards (38-32), while forcing 16 turnovers and committing 15 of its own.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 1 p.m. on Nov. 29, when the Corsairs host Roger Williams University.