DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The UMass Dartmouth men's basketball squad shot 30-of-63 (47 percent) from the floor on Wednesday, including 54 percent in the second half, to rise to 6-5 in Little East Conference play with an 84-71 victory over Rhode Island College at the Tripp Center.
Senior Jordan Rezendes (Onset, Mass.) led a trio of Corsairs (13-9 overall) in double-figures, dropping 31 points on 8-of-15 shooting and 12-of-13 from the foul line to go along with a game-high eight assists. Freshman Nick Portelance (Fairhaven, Mass.) generated his team-best ninth double-double on the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds, while junior Abi Akanni (Fitchburg, Mass.) registered 11 points and six assists.
Rhode Island College's Jimmy Fritzson (Sharon, Mass.) paced the visitors with 20 points, as sophomore Chris Green (Taunton, Mass.) added 17 including five buckets from beyond the arc. Two Anchormen, freshmen Gianni Carwin (Stamford, Conn.) and Jason Jones (Roxbury, Mass.) each hauled in seven boards.
Green nailed his first 3-pointer right at the beginning for the first points of the contest, but a Portelance jumper at 16:23 gave the Corsairs a lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the night. UMass Dartmouth then embarked on a 12-4 over the next four and a half minutes, including five points from Rezendes.
The score remained tied at 18-9 for the next three minutes, until junior Tom Keyes (Fall River, Mass.) broke the dry spell with a 3-pointer at 9:16, increasing the hosts' lead to 12. Back-to-back Green 3-pointers cut the RIC deficit to eight, but Rezendes found junior Jahleel Moise (Brockton, Mass.) for a dunk before sinking a long range bucket at the buzzer to put UMass Dartmouth up 38-27 at half.
In the first stanza, the Corsairs capitalized with 10 points from seven RIC turnovers while getting to the foul line 13 times.
Baskets were traded as the second half began until the 17:12 mark, when a Carwin free throw kicked off an 8-2 RIC run that included two more Green 3-pointers, cutting the deficit to only six. The Corsair lead hovered between six and 10 points for the ensuing six minutes, when UMass Dartmouth slowly began to pound ahead further.
Akanni put in a layup at 7:03 to give the Corsairs their highest lead of the night at 14. Six-straight free throws from Rezendes in the closing minutes were the dagger to preserve the double-digit victory. UMass Dartmouth used the boards to its advantage in the second stanza, out-rebounding the visitors 23-14.
With the loss, the Anchormen slip to 4-18 on the season and 3-8 in the LEC.
Both teams continue the final week of the regular season on Saturday, as the Corsairs travel to LEC leader Eastern Connecticut and Rhode Island College makes the trek to Southern Maine. Both games are slated for a 3 p.m. start.