DARTMOUTH, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth junior Tucker Bouchard (Kingston, Mass.) generated 17 of his season-high 19 points in the second half, leading a late resurgence as the Corsairs handed No. 9 Tufts its fourth loss of the season by a 91-82 score at the Tripp Athletic Center on Tuesday.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 91, Tufts 82
Records: UMass Dartmouth (13-7) | Tufts (16-4)
How it Happened
The Corsairs battled out an early edge in an evenly-contested first half that featured six lead changes and three ties. After senior Chris Mendes (Somerset, Mass.) scored his team's first five points, Tufts kept the margin within a possession and twice edged ahead by three on back-to-back baskets by Patrick Racy (Ridgefield, Conn.).
Two minutes later, Tarik Smith's (Bronx, N.Y.) 3-pointer extended the Jumbos' lead to four before UMass Dartmouth generated an 11-2 run over three minutes to steal back control. Five Corsairs scored during the streak until Vincent Pace (Bridgewater, N.J.) ended the run with a traditional three-point play at 7:54. Jumbo junior Ben Engvall (Barrington, R.I.) knotted the score at 26 two minutes later with a 3-pointer, but Jon Robinson (Chatham, Mass.) registered eight of the Corsairs' next 10 points to help the hosts to a 36-34 lead at half.
The opening 10 minutes of the second half featured much of the same back-and-forth, until a quick 7-1 Tufts run with five points by Pace put the Jumbos up six at 11:20. For the next minute, UMass Dartmouth dominated possession, and clawed back to jump back ahead by a point when Joshua Imadiyi (Lynn, Mass.) sunk his foul shot at 10:10.
The Corsairs would then hold off the Jumbos' surges for the remainder of the game. Pace again pulled Tufts even with 2:45 remaining, but was immediately silenced by Bouchard's lay-up and corresponding foul shot. With the momentum swing complete, the hosts pushed ahead eight, and sealed the game by securing all seven free-throw chances in the final 30 seconds.
Inside the Numbers
- UMass Dartmouth has now defeated three NESCAC opponents in a single season for the first time in program history. The last time a Corsair team played three opponents from the conference was in 1995-96, posting a 2-1 record.
- Tuesday marks the second game this season that UMass Dartmouth has upended a top-15 opponent. The Corsairs previously downed then-No. 13 Keene State on Dec. 3.
- Five Corsairs reached double-figures, led by Bouchard and freshman Mert Sert's (Istanbul, Turkey) 14-point, 10-rebound double-double. Sophomore Arinze Obiora (Hyde Park, Mass.) chipped in 15 points for his third-straight double-digit point total.
- Pace finished with a game-high 25 points, followed closely by Smith's 18. Tufts junior KJ Garrett (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) added 10 points and 10 boards.
- With 44 rebounds, the Corsairs achieve their highest total on the boards since snagging 67 rebounds against Western Connecticut on Jan. 8.
- UMass Dartmouth snaps a six-game losing streak to Tufts, dating back seven years. The last win for a Corsair team over the Jumbos came on Feb. 2, 2010, with the last win at the Tripp Center dating to Feb. 4, 2009.
The Corsairs seek a season-sweep of Little East Conference foe Western Connecticut on the road on Saturday at 3 p.m., while Tufts returns to NESCAC play at Trinity (Conn.) on Friday at 7 p.m., hoping to snap a two-game skid.