DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Paced by senior Jon Robinson's (Chatham, Mass.) career-high 23 points with 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc, UMass Dartmouth men's basketball defeated a nationally-ranked Keene State team for the first time since 2007 on Saturday. With an 83-71 victory, the Corsairs handed the No. 13-ranked Owls their first loss of the season as both teams debuted in Little East Conference play at the Tripp Center.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 83, Keene State 71
Records: UMass Dartmouth (4-2) | Keene State (5-1)
How it Happened
Keene State was plagued by turnovers from the get-go, and UMass Dartmouth took full advantage in the first stanza, leading for the entirety of the opening 20 minutes. Two-straight 3-pointers by Robinson starting at 13:36 opened up a nine-point advantage for the hosts for the largest lead of the half, and UMass Dartmouth maintained a five-point edge at half. Robinson was 4-of-6 from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range on the opening frame, with his squad generating 14 points on 14 Owl turnovers.
The Owls found a rhythm to restart, opening with an 11-3 run bookended by baskets from senior Matt Ozzella (Medway, Mass.) and delivering Keene State's first lead of the afternoon. Neither squad could expound on a lead until 8:41, when UMass Dartmouth again seized control. Six-straight Nick Portelance (Fairhaven, Mass.) points broke the tied score, and began a 17-3 Corsair run that ultimately decided the contest. Keene State cut its deficit to eight with 41 ticks remaining, but five-straight Corsair points by Joshua Imadiyi (Lynn, Mass.) built the advantage back up to lasting double-digits.
Inside the Numbers
- UMass Dartmouth snaps last season's three-game skid to the Owls, including a five-point loss in the 2016 LEC Championship game. Overall, the Owls hold the overall advantage in the close series at 25-22.
- Saturday is the first time UMass Dartmouth has defeated a ranked opponent since the No. 8-ranked Corsairs dispatched No. 22 Brandeis by a 92-82 score on Nov. 24, 2009.
- Portelance registered his third double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore Atakan Akcam (Hoosac Falls, N.Y.) turned out his first career double-double of with 13 points and 11 boards.
- Robinson's five 3-pointers is a career-high for the senior, who also snagged four rebounds and swiped three steals.
- Imadiyi and freshman Mert Sert (Hoosac Falls, N.Y.) rounded out the five Corsairs in double figures at 11 and 12 points, respectively, both career-highs.
- Keene State's Ty Nichols (Springfield, Mass.) topped four Owls in double-figures with 16 points, while Ozzella notched a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards.
- The Corsairs out-rebounded Keene State 57-46 on the game, and nearly grabbed as many offensive boards (26) as defensive (31).
The Corsairs kick off a three-game week next week on Tuesday, hosting Worcester State at 7 p.m., while the Owls are at Lasell next Thursday starting at 7 p.m.