DANBURY, Conn. – Despite career-highs for points by senior Joshua Imadiyi (Lynn, Mass.) and sophomore Brandon Williams Jr. (Dorchester, Mass.), the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team were unable to completely erase a 24-point second-half deficit, as it fell to Western Connecticut Saturday afternoon in a 91-79 LEC tilt.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 79, Western Connecticut 91
Records: UMass Dartmouth (11-8, 4-5 LEC) | Western Connecticut (10-8, 7-2 LEC)
How it Happened
Imadiyi posted a new career-high of 27 points on five three pointers while grabbing eight rebounds to lead UMass Dartmouth, as the team finished with all five starters in double-digits for points. Williams Jr. recorded a career-high of 19-point, adding six assists as well while junior forward Arinza Obiora (Lagos, Nigeria) picked up his 12th double-double of the season with his 10-point, and game-high 10-rebound outing. Atakan Ackam (Ankara, Turkey) and Jack Ashworth (Fairhaven, Mass.) rounded out the starters with ten points apiece.
For Western Connecticut, junior Tyler Rowe (East Hartford, Conn.) poured in a game-high 30 points on 8-for-18 from the floor and a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe. Aaron Samuel (Stratford, Conn.) led all reserve-scorers in the game with 13 points coming off the bench while Rashard Rodriguez (Trumbull, Conn.) and Shea Tracy (New Britain, Conn.) finished with 11 and 10 respectively.
After controlling the opening tip, the Colonials went onto score the first four points of the game, and held the lead throughout the first half. With 12:28 left in the opening period, the Corsairs faced their smallest deficit of the game following a made three-pointer from Imadiyi that made the score 19-17. But Western Connecticut controlled the action in the remaining time, edging UMass Dartmouth on a 24-19 run to taking 45-36 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, the team's opened by trading buckets as Williams Jr., Obiora, and Imadiyi all finished inside to keep pace with the opposition. With 18 minutes to go in the game, Western Connecticut found its rhythm on offense as it began to etch out a 18-9 run.
With 8:45 to go and the Corsairs facing the largest gap of the game at 72-51, the visitors began to chip away as ten straight points began to shift the momentum. The scoring streak activated a slight 18-15 Corsair run in the remaining seven minutes of play, but it was a product of not enough time, as the buzzer sounded on the 91-79 defeat.
Inside the Numbers
· Western Connecticut made opportunities count at the foul line, knocking down 23-of-27 for the game while UMass Dartmouth was 19-of-25 from the stripe.
· The Corsairs came away with a 41-37 advantage on the glass.
· Western Connecticut forced 21 turnovers in the game, scoring 28 points off of miscues.
· UMD's bench was limited to just three points, all from sophomore Marquis Jones (Randolph, Mass.), while the Colonials' bench contributed for 32 points.
· The road woes continued for the Corsairs who are 2-5 away from the Tripp Center and 8-2 when playing on their home court.
The Corsairs go up against Tufts University January 30th in the final non-conference contest, before entering the last stretch of LEC opponents in the regular season starting February 3rd at 3:00 pm against Southern Maine.