Late Run Lifts Hawks Past Corsairs

Late Run Lifts Hawks Past Corsairs

DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Roger Williams University utilized a balanced offensive attack as five players reached double digits in scoring to earn a 67-61 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth this afternoon in a NCAA Division III men's basketball game at the Tripp Athletic Center.

The Hawks snapped a four-game losing streak to improve to 2-4 on the season, while the Corsairs saw their three-game winning streak come to an end to slip to 3-3.

Sophomore Andrew Wasik (Gainesville, Fla.) led the visitors in scoring with 16 points, while freshman Jaylen Jennings (Norwalk, Conn.) came off the bench to produce 13 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes of action. Classmate Alex Puzone (North Haven, Conn.) netted all 12 of his points in the first half, while senior guard Ryan Palumbo (Warwick, R.I.) and classmate Joseph Henry (Medway, Mass.) each scored 10 points. Roger Williams dominated the low blocks with a 41-31 edge in rebounds, and scoring 36 of its 67 points in the paint.

Junior Jordan Rezendes (Onset, Mass.) led the Corsairs with a game-high 23 points, including five 3-pointers, while pulling in six boards and handing out an assist. Senior captains John Genkos (Worcester, Mass.) and Jake Laga (Northampton, Mass.) each contributed 13 points. Genkos collected a team-best eight rebounds and matched Laga with a team-high four assists.

UMass Dartmouth raced out to an early advantage, scoring 11 of the opening 13 points. Rezendes fueled the surge with six points, while Genkos was responsible for the remaining five.

Following a timeout, the Hawks responded with a quick 4-0 run, but the Corsairs drained back-to-back triples from Rezendes and Laga to open their largest lead of the game, 17-6, with 12 minutes, 36 seconds remaining in the half.

Roger Williams then utilized a 17-3 run over the subsequent six minutes, 23 seconds to swing the momentum into its favor. Puzone knocked down a three-pointer to give the visitors their first advantage of the contest, 21-20. He proceeded to convert on his next trip down the court to cap the run.

Genkos temporarily stemmed the tide with a triple, but the Hawks sandwiched a Jennings layup between three-pointers by Wasik and Puzone to open up an eight-point lead. The visitors carried a 35-26 advantage into the locker room.

Roger Williams scored on its first second-half possession to take its largest advantage of the contest, but UMass Dartmouth responded with a 20-8 run over the following six minutes, 17 seconds to regain the lead at 46-45. The Corsairs relied on their outside shooting to turn the tide, knocking down four trifectas during the surge. Rezendes was the offensive catalyst, scoring eight points, including the go-ahead basket with 13 minutes, 4 seconds remaining.

The score remained frozen for nearly three minutes until a Laga lay-up gave the hosts their largest lead of the second half, 48-45, with 10 minutes, 17 seconds remaining on the clock.

The Hawks stormed back with a 10-0 run to gain a lead they would never relinquish. Jennings started the surge with a pair of makes from the charity stripe, while Henry capped the run with the final six points.

UMass Dartmouth used a 7-0 spurt of its own to forge a 59-59 tie with just over three and a half minutes left on the clock. Rezendes accounted for five of the seven points, closing the surge with a lay-up.

However, Roger Williams scored eight of the final 10 points to earn the non-conference victory, sealing the win with consecutive baskets by Jennings.

UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2, when the Corsairs host Worcester State University.