Southern Maine Deals Men's Basketball 77-70 Setback in Regular Season Finale

Southern Maine Deals Men's Basketball 77-70 Setback in Regular Season Finale
GORHAM, Maine – Despite a late push by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Southern Maine utilized a 7-0 run in the final 1:19 of play to deal the Corsairs a 77-70 setback in the regular season finale on Saturday at Fifield Court. The Corsairs earn the No. 3 seed heading into next week's Little East Conference Tournament.
The Basics
Score: Southern Maine 77, UMass Dartmouth 70
Records: Southern Maine (10-15, 5-9 LEC) | UMass Dartmouth (16-9, 9-5 LEC)
How it Happened
A 6-0 run to open the contest gave Southern Maine enough padding for the first half despite UMass Dartmouth staying within a single-digit deficit for most of the stanza. After Jacob Littlefield (Mechanic Falls, Maine) pushed the hosts' lead to 10 points midway through, senior Chris Mendes (Somerset, Mass.) buried a 3-pointer, generating a small 7-0 streak for the Corsairs to cut within a possession. The Huskies responded in kind and built their advantage back to 11, and held on for a six-point intermission lead when Jalen Lincoln (Nobleboro, Maine) hit a basket from beyond the arc to extend the advantage to 38-32.
The Corsairs remained in contention to start the second, and eventually overtook the Huskies for their first lead of the game at 13:00. Senior Jon Robinson (Chatham, Mass.) cashed in from 3-point range beforeJoshua Imadiyi (Lynn, Mass.) upped the score to 51-49 on a jumper. Twice within the next six minutes, the visitors pushed ahead as much as six.
With six and a half minutes remaining, Southern Maine's James Starks III (Miami, Fla.) cut the Husky deficit to three on a dunk, and Littlefield followed with a 3-pointer to knot the score at 64. Robinson registered back-to-back layups, putting the Corsairs back on top briefly, but again the hosts drew even at 70-all with 1:19 remaining. The Huskies then forced two turnovers and three missed Corsair buckets in the final 59 seconds while making three foul shots and a pair of layups to capture the win.
Inside the Numbers
  • With the win, Southern Maine snaps an eight-game losing streak to UMass Dartmouth dating back to 2013. The last Husky victory came via an 82-78 decision on Jan. 12, 2013.
  • Five Corsairs reached double-figures on the outing, led by Imadiyi's 15 points to match his career-high. Sophomore Atakan Ackam (Ankara, Turkey) totaled 13 points, while Mendes and Robinson chipped in 10 apiece.
  • Starks III put up monster numbers for the Huskies, going 10-of-16 from the field for 26 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Littlefield tallied 17 points.
  • UMass Dartmouth was ultimately doomed by its 27 percent (10-of-37) shooting performance in the first half, while the Huskies connected on 16-of-30 (53 percent) in the final 20 minutes.
Up Next
The Corsairs will host No. 6 seed Rhode Island College on Tuesday for the Little East Conference quarterfinal round beginning at 7:30 p.m. The victor will advance to Friday's semifinal round at Eastern Connecticut.