Salem State Holds off Men’s Basketball in Season Opener, 67-63

Salem State Holds off Men’s Basketball in Season Opener, 67-63

SALEM, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team had its second-half comeback fall short in the season opener as it dropped the non-conference matchup with Salem State 67-63 on the road.  

The Basics

Score: Salem State 67, UMass Dartmouth 63
Records: Salem State (1-0, 0-0 MASCAC) | UMass Dartmouth (0-1, 0-0 LEC)

How it Happened

UMass Dartmouth closed the first half strong, scoring on back-to-back possessions to cut the deficit to 33-26.  

Salem State kept the visiting Corsairs at bay as the team's exchanged blows in the opening 10 minutes of the second stanza. With 8:04 to go, the Corsairs grabbed a 50-47 lead when Joshua Imadiyi (Lynn, Mass.) capped off a 9-2 run with a 3-pointer. It was UMass Dartmouth's first lead of the game since the 11th minute of the opening period.  

In the closing three minutes of the game, the Vikings tried to separate themselves, but were unable to completely as jumpers from Jake Ashworth (Fairhaven, Mass.) and Imadiyi bookended free throws from Salem State's Drew Healey (Lowell, Mass.) to keep the score locked at 58.

Moments later Salem State took the lead for good when sophomore Sean Bryan (Lowell, Mass.) knocked down a triple to give his team the 61-58 advantage. The teams exchanged free-throws, but a missed conversion from the Vikings gave the Corsairs an inkling of hope.  

With the gap down to two points, the Corsairs aggressively pursued a bucket, but were called for a travel, preventing the comeback from completely taking shape. The Vikings knocked down their final free throws for the four-point victory.  

Inside the Numbers

  • UMass Dartmouth finished the game 26-of-65 (40%) from the field and 6-of-17 (35.3%) from three while Salem State ended up 25-of-71 (35.2%) and 4-of-23 (17.4%) in the same categories.
  • The Vikings had 17 chances from the foul stripe to the Corsairs' seven and also controlled a large advantage in points created off turnovers (21-to-4).
  • UMass Dartmouth were outscored 33-26 in the first-half, but had the advantage 37-34 in the final period.
  • Imadiyi led all scorers, picking up his first career double-double for the Corsairs with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Juniors Atakan Akcam (Ankara, Turkey) and Arinze Obiora (Lagos, Nigeria) each finished in double-digits with 14 and 13 points, respectively. 

Up Next

The Corsairs host their first game of the year Friday against Elms College at 7:30 p.m. to kick off the 2017 Hampton Inn Tournament. Castleton and Curry will meet in the first contest beginning at 5:30 p.m.