Second-Half Sharpshooting Carries Men's Basketball Past Salem State

Second-Half Sharpshooting Carries Men's Basketball Past Salem State

SALEM, Mass. – The UMass Dartmouth men's basketball squad capitalized on double-figure scoring marks from all five starters on the road Saturday, landing back in the win column with a 93-79 comeback  victory over Salem State at Twohig Gymnasium.

UMass Dartmouth (6-5) rallied in the second half, connecting on 22-of-34 (64 percent) from the field to overcome an 11-point halftime deficit and outscore the Vikings by 25 in the final stanza.

The Corsairs were paced offensively by senior Jordan Rezendes (Onset, Mass.), who led all scorers with 28 points while dishing out eight assists, and freshman Nick Portelance (Fairhaven, Mass.), who put forth the highest scoring mark of his career with 27 points while bringing down 15 rebounds.

Salem State controlled both ends of the court in the first half. The opponents traded baskets for the first 10 minutes of play, until the Vikings exploded offensively with 7:44 remaining, beginning an 18-8 run over the next five minutes to gain a 15-point lead. Led by junior Marcus Faison's (Cambridge, Mass.) 16 points, the Vikings garnered 36 of their 49 first half points in the paint while shooting 55 percent from the floor to carry a 49-38 advantage into the break.

In the second half, the Corsairs slowly chipped away at the Vikings, bringing the lead below 10 points with 10 minutes remaining following strong post play from Portelance and junior Jahleel Moise (Brockton, Mass.) and a three-point bucket from Rezendes.

A resounding dunk from Moise at 9:35 completed the comeback, with the Viking lead sitting at 65-64. Following a Rezendes 3-pointer seconds later, the Corsairs clinched the lead for good and closed the game on a 15-2 run to close the door. For the half, UMass Dartmouth turned the tides in the paint, scoring 34 points to the Vikings' eight and securing 17 second-chance points.

Moise finished with a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double, with juniors Jon Robinson (Chatham, Mass.) and Abi Akanni (Fitchburg, Mass.) contributing 12 and 11 points, respectively.

For the Vikings, Faison finished with 19 points and 11 boards, with sophomore Drew Healy (Lowell, Mass.) adding 16 points and classmate Shaquan Murray (Boston, Mass.) 15.

The Corsairs will play one more non-conference contest at Regis (Mass.) on Wednesday before returning to Little East Conference competition on Saturday.