DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The UMass Dartmouth men's basketball team mounted a thrilling comeback Saturday evening, downing visiting Springfield College 74-71 at the Tripp Athletic Center to claim the 2015 Hampton Inn Tournament title.
The game saw only three lead changes, with the Pride controlling most of the game until the 8:26 mark in the second half. The Corsairs then rattled off 13 unanswered points over the next four minutes of play, tying the game at 66 before claiming the lead for good with only 33 seconds remaining.
Senior Jordan Rezendes (Onset, Mass.) scored five of the streak's 13 points, while assisting on two other scores with two rebounds and a steal to put the Corsairs back in control. He then buried four foul shots in the final 33 seconds to seal the win. On the evening, Rezendes posted 21 points with 17 coming in the second half, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. For his efforts, he was named the Hampton Inn Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Freshman Nick Portelance (Fairhaven, Mass.) earned the first double-double of his UMD career, scoring 13 points while snagging 19 rebounds (14 defensive). Additionally, Portelance secured three blocks while shooting 5-of-7 from long range. The forward was UMD's second recipient of All-Tournament honors.
Springfield led by as much as eight in the first half and owned a 43-36 lead heading into the break. Much of the Pride's production on the game came from senior Alex Garstka (Westfield, Mass.), who completed the evening with 18 points and three assists and was tabbed Springfield's All-Tournament recipient.
Larry Piretra (Oakland, N.J.) posted a quality night for the Pride, registering a double-double with 16 points and 18 rebounds. The senior collected 11 of his rebounds in the first half, while dropping 17 points in the second frame. Sophomore Andy McNulty (West Springfield, Mass.) also reached double-digit points with 11.
For the Corsairs, juniors Abi Akanni (Fitchburg, Mass.) and Jon Robinson (Chatham, Mass.) each recorded 12 points on the evening, with Akanni draining a huge three-pointer at the 5:05 mark to put UMD within two points. Classmate Jahleel Moise (Brockton, Mass.) completed the night with nine points and six boards.
Also earning All-Tournament Team accolades for the weekend were Fitchburg State's Kwame Lee (Brockton, Mass.) and Mitchell College's Donavan McClean (Jersey City, N.J.).
The Corsairs begin the season at 2-0, and will return to action next Wednesday, Nov. 18 at home against Brandeis at 6 p.m. The Pride will return to the court next Thursday, Nov. 19 at Elms.