WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – After trailing by just four at half, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth mustered only 17 points in the final stanza of play to Eastern Connecticut's 40 as the Warriors handed the Corsairs their first Little East Conference loss of the season by a 78-51 score on Wednesday.
Score: Eastern Connecticut 78, UMass Dartmouth 51
Records: Eastern Connecticut (10-5, 4-0 LEC) | UMass Dartmouth (9-5, 3-1 LEC)
How it Happened
Eastern Connecticut gathered a small lead early, but both squads traded baskets throughout an evenly-matched first half that saw five ties and eight lead changes. With a Chris Mendes (Somerset, Mass.) 3-pointer at 13:37, the Corsairs overtook the lead for the first time. Neither team would lead by more than five for the remainder of the half, and it would take a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Collin Jordan (Cheshire, Conn.) for the Warriors to pad the lead to 38-34. The Corsairs owned the paint for the first 20 minutes, generating 20 points down low including 10 second-chance points.
The close competition would be short-lived in the second half, with UMass Dartmouth's shots falling cold. ECSU's Tarchee Brown (Rockville, Conn.) built the hosts' lead to 10 with a free throw midway through the half, and the advantage would only grow in the final minutes. The Warriors closed the contest on a 14-0 run with UMass Dartmouth unable to find the basket for the last five minutes and 19 seconds. For the stanza, the Corsairs could connect on only 7-of-29 (24 percent) from the field while Eastern Connecticut connected on 14-of-27 (51 percent) to clinch the eventual 27-point win.
Inside the Numbers
- The Corsairs were doomed by a season-low 35 percent (21-of-59) field goal percentage on the game while seeing just 11 free throw attempts.
- Senior Jon Robinson (Chatham, Mass.) was the Corsairs' high-scorer with his fifth-straight double-digit performance at 12 points. Mendes was the only other Corsair to reach double-figures at 10 points.
- ECSU's Brown erupted for 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting, while Hugh Lindo (Enfield, Conn.) posted an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double.
- Eastern Connecticut avenges last year's 60-55 loss to the Corsairs in the 2016 Little East Conference semifinals. Prior to that date, the Warriors had won 14-straight against UMass Dartmouth.
- All-time, UMass Dartmouth holds the series advantage dating back to 1972 at 55-41.
UMass Dartmouth returns to the Tripp Athletic Center on Saturday, looking to right the ship against Southern Maine as LEC play continues at 3:00 p.m.