DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Senior Arinze Obiora (Hyde Park, Mass.) scored 23 points, grabbed eight rebounds and recorded five steals to lead four players in double figures as UMass Dartmouth posted a 90-75 non-league college men’s basketball victory over Tufts Monday evening at the Tripp Athletic Center.
The host Corsairs (7-4), winners of three straight and seven of their last nine heading into the holiday break, used an Obiora three-point play and a pair of three-pointers from freshman Sean Leahy (Hanson, Mass.) to take a 19-10 lead just 7:45 into the contest, and after the visiting Jumbos (3-5) sliced that margin to five (21-16), UMass Dartmouth rattled off 10 straight behind five points from sophomore Jake Ashworth (Fairhaven, Mass.) and a triple from freshman Adam Seablom (Lakeville, Mass.) to take a 31-16 cushion with 6:22 remaining in the half. Tufts responded by scoring 13 of the game’s next 15 points to pull to within four (33-29) on sophomore Justin Kouyoumdjian’s (La Canada, Calif.) three with 1:28 to play in the opening half, but Leahy’s third triple of the game extended the hosts’ edge to seven at the break.
The Jumbos used a 13-7 run in the opening 4:49 after intermission to pull to within one (43-42) on sophomore Brennan Morris’s (East Hampstead, N.H.) three, and Tufts took its only lead of the second half (47-46) on freshman Tyler Aronson’s (Holliston, Mass.) two free throw conversions with 12:38 to play. Junior Marquis Jones (Randolph, Mass.) gave the Corsairs the lead for good with a lay-in on the ensuing possession, as UMass Dartmouth maintained a trio of six point advantages before closing out the contest by scoring their final 14 points of the night from the charity stripe that included five conversions from senior Atakan Akcam (Ankara, Turkey).
Ashworth finished with 21 points and four rebounds for the Corsairs, who received a career-high 17 points, four boards and four assists from Leahy. Akcam added 11 points and eight caroms for the hosts, who received eight points and three assists from Seablom along with six points and four assists from freshman Marcus Azor (Brockton, Mass.). UMass Dartmouth shot 45 percent from the field overall (30-67) but hit at a 56 percent clip (10-18) from behind the arc that included four triples each from Ashworth and Leahy. The Corsairs held a 38-34 rebounding edge and converted 19 turnovers into 22 points for the contest, as the hosts shot 80 percent (20-25) at the line overall that included a 19-24 performance in the final 20 minutes of play.
Aronson, Kouyoumdjian and junior Eric Savage (South Brunswick, N.J.) each had 13 points to pace six players in double figures for Tufts, which received a double-double effort of 12 points, 10 rebounds and three assists from Morris along with 12 points, nine boards and two blocks from sophomore Luke Rogers (Boxboro, Mass.). Sophomore Will Brady (Ridgefield, Conn.) added 10 points for the Jumbos, who shot 42 percent (23-55) from the floor and connected for seven three pointers. The visitors also shined at the charity stripe on the night, shooting at an 85 percent clip (22-26).
UMass Dartmouth will be idle until Thursday, January 3, 2019 when the Corsairs host Becker in a non-league outing that tips-off at 6:00 pm, while Tufts heads to Framingham, Mass. on Wednesday evening to take on Framingham State in a non-league clash that tips-off at 7:00 pm.
(Photo Credit: Rainier Almonte '19)