DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Despite a comeback effort in the waning minutes, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team fell short to Little East Conference (LEC) opponent Western Connecticut, 77-70, behind the sharpshooting of Colonial junior Tyler Rowe's (East Hartford, Conn.) game-high 26 points.
Score: Western Connecticut 77, UMass Dartmouth 70
Records: Western Connecticut (5-3, 2-0 LEC) | UMass Dartmouth (6-2, 1-1 LEC)
How it Happened
UMass Dartmouth saw double-double performances from both senior Joshua Imadiyi (Lynn, Mass.) and junior Arinze Obiora (Lagos, Nigeria). Imadiyi led the Corsairs with 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Obiora tallied 15 points with a career-high 15 boards.
After falling into an early hole, Western Connecticut stormed back halfway through the first half to take a lead that the Colonials would never surrender for the remainder of the contest. The visiting squad rode the playmaking abilities of point guard Rowe, who generated 16 first-stanza points.
The Colonials hit the ground running to start the second half of play, opening the period on a 15-0 run with junior Eli Rodriguez (Bristol, Conn.) chipping in five points during the span. UMass Dartmouth did not go down without a fight, as the hosts went on a run of their own in the ensuing minutes to cut the deficit to single digits with 10:50 remaining after Obiora's steal and layup on the other end.
The hosts' backcourt connected for a crucial 3-pointer with just under three minutes remaining, as Brandon Williams Jr. (Dorchester, Mass.) fed teammate Nick Bond (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) to nudge the Corsairs to within seven, 72-65.
In the final 90 seconds, UMass Dartmouth struggled to find the net as they missed multiple shots that would have narrowed the slim margin. Despite their difficulties on the offensive end, the Corsairs suffocated the Colonials in the waning minute to force the visitors into a contested jumper with the shot clock winding down, but Rowe drained a deep 3-pointer to put the contest out of reach.
Inside the Numbers
- Western Connecticut's accuracy from the field kept UMass Dartmouth at bay, as the Colonials posted a field goal percentage of 48.4 to the hosts' 39.7.
- The Corsairs held the advantage for points in the paint, 38-30.
- With double-digit scoring performances from Imadiyi, Obiora, and freshman Jake Ashworth (Fairhaven, Mass.), UMass Dartmouth has had at least three players net 10-plus points in every contest so far this season.
- Obiora and Imadiyi both upped their double-double totals on the season to four apiece.
- Entering the contest, UMass Dartmouth had won each of the previous six matchups against Western Connecticut dating back to the 2013-14 season.
UMass Dartmouth faces a quick turnaround, as they travel to MIT on Monday, Dec. 11, with tip-off set for 7 p.m. Western Connecticut will head to New York to take on SUNY New Paltz on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.