DARTMOUTH, Mass. – A 28-6 run midway through the first half distanced the No. 3-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth from No. 6 Rhode Island College for good, as the Corsairs dominated Tuesday's Little East Conference quarterfinal contest by a 86-67 final score at the Tripp Athletic Center.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 86, Rhode Island College 67
Records: UMass Dartmouth (17-9, 9-5 LEC) | Rhode Island College (11-14, 5-9 LEC)
How it Happened
UMass Dartmouth led from the very beginning, but it wasn't until junior Joshua Imadiyi's (Lynn, Mass.) layup six minutes in that the Corsairs found a consistent rhythm. With that basket, UMass Dartmouth exploded over the next 10 minutes of play to outscore the Anchormen 28-6.
At 11:40, junior Tucker Bouchard (Kingston, Mass.) and senior Jon Robinson (Chatham, Mass.) traded 3-pointers to put the Corsairs up 13. The lead would never shrink back below double-digits, as the duo again went for back-to-back long-range buckets moments later. Bouchard clinched a layup at 4:41 to build the advantage to 27 points before Rhode Island College was able to put the halftime margin at 45-24.
The Anchormen outscored UMass Dartmouth in the second half, but the Corsairs' start proved too far of a distance to reach. Justin Campbell's (New Haven, Conn.) six points led a 12-3 streak for RIC over the first four minutes of the frame as UMass Dartmouth fell cold, but the hosts would rebound in quick fashion. Bouchard put in his third 3-pointer at 13:57, and six-straight points by sophomore Nick Portelance (Fairhaven, Mass.) helped build the lead back to 27. In the final 10 minutes, RIC was able to lower its deficit, but the Corsairs pulled away.
Inside the Numbers
- UMass Dartmouth advances to the LEC semifinals for the fourth-straight year and is now the winner of five-straight against the Anchormen.
- Portelance led all scorers with 18 on the contest to go along with eight rebounds and three assists. Classmate Arinze Obiora (Hyde Park, Mass.) was a force on both ends, totaling 14 points and 13 boards in his first career double-double.
- Bouchard went 5-of-9 from the floor to total 13 points, while Imadiyi chipped in 12. Bouchard has now gone for double-figures in five of UMass Dartmouth's last seven games.
- RIC's Benjamin Vezele (Providence, R.I.) led the Anchormen with 16 points and eight rebounds, with Campbell posting 15 points.
- The Corsairs outperformed RIC 47-35 on the boards, including 22-13 on the offensive end, and 55-37 on points in the paint.
The Corsairs will square off with No. 2 Keene State on Friday for the semifinal round, to be hosted by top seed Eastern Connecticut. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m. UMass Dartmouth split with the Owls on the season, and looks to avenge a 90-86 loss on Jan. 21. The winner of the game will meet the victor in the second semifinal between ECSU and No. 5 UMass Boston.