PROVIDENCE, R.I. – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth junior Jordan Rezendes (Onset, Mass.) scored 31 points and pulled in 10 rebounds to post his second double-double of the season, but Rhode Island College stormed out of the halftime intermission with a 31-8 run to earn a 75-64 victory this evening at The Murray Center.
The Corsairs (12-12) suffered their third straight loss to fall to 8-5 in the conference circuit, while the Anchormen (17-7) clinched the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Little East Conference Championship tournament.
Rezendes registered 21 second-half points to eclipse the 30-point barrier for the fifth time this season to lead the visitors. The junior was 10-for-22 from the field and 9-for-10 from the foul line. Junior Wale Abraham (Lynn, Mass.) contributed 11 points and eight rebounds.
The three Rhode Island College seniors playing in their final home, regular-season game accounted for 72 percent of their offense, combining to score 54 points. Senior Eric Alleyne (Watertown, Mass.) led the Anchormen with 20 points, while classmate Chris Burton (New Rochelle, N.Y.) produced a double-double with 18 points and a team-high 10 boards. Senior Victor Smith (Providence, R.I.) rounded out the senior trio with 16 points and eight rebounds.
Rhode Island College, who led from wire-to-wire, scored the final six points of the first half to enter the intermission leading 32-29.
The Anchormen raced out of the gates, registering the opening 11 points of the second stanza to extend their advantage to 43-20. Burton keyed the surge with five points, while Smith added four.
Rezendes tried to stem the tide with a traditional three-point play, but the hosts exploded for an 18-5 run to take their largest advantage of the game, 63-31, with 11:33 remaining in regulation. Burton ignited the run with a thunderous dunk, while junior Patrick Matthews (Waipahu, Hawaii) capped the surge with six of the final nine Anchormen points.
However, the visitors would not go down quietly, as UMass Dartmouth utilized a 33-10 run to whittle its deficit to under 10 points, 73-64, with 42 ticks left on the clock. Rezendes was the catalyst during the comeback, producing 13 points, including the final five. Rhode Island College hit 2-for-4 from the foul line to keep the Corsairs at-bay.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21, when the Corsairs host Little East Conference rival Keene State College (17-7, 8-5). Prior to the start of the game, UMass Dartmouth will honor its four seniors who are playing in their final regular-season contest at the Tripp Athletic Center.