DANBURY, Conn. -- Freshman Marcus Azor (Brockton, Mass.) scored a career-high 23 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists to lead five players in double figures, as UMass Dartmouth claimed its 11th win in the last 13 outings with a 96-76 Little East Conference men’s basketball victory over Western Connecticut Monday evening at Feldman Arena.
The visiting Corsairs (15-6, 9-3 LEC) used a 15-3 run over a 7:13 stretch to break open a seven-point game and take a 37-18 advantage on freshman Sean Leahy’s (Hanson, Mass.) three-pointer with 5:24 remaining in the first half, as UMass Dartmouth grabbed a 47-29 edge at the break on the strength of Azor’s 14 points and an 8-13 effort (62 percent) from behind the arc. The Corsairs’ hot shooting continued after intermission, as the visitors shot 53 percent (17-32) from the field overall in the final 20 minutes of action and extended their lead to as much as 31 points (66-35) on sophomore Jake Ashworth’s (Fairhaven, Mass.) lay-in with 14:28 to play.
Azor connected on 9-12 attempts from the floor and canned a trio of three-pointers as part of his career-high night for UMass Dartmouth, which received 16 points (including four triples), six assists and five rebounds from senior Atakan Akcam (Ankara, Turkey). Senior Arinze Obiora (Hyde Park, Mass.) notched a near double-double effort of 11 points and nine boards for the winners, who received 11 points and seven caroms from sophomore Harry Alexander (Washington, D.C.). Freshman Adam Seablom (Lakeville, Mass.) rounded out the quintet in double figures with 11 points for the Corsairs, who received seven points, three rebounds and three assists from Leahy along with seven points from sophomore Patrick Gavin (Beverly, Mass.). Junior Marquis Jones (Randolph, Mass.) hauled down six boards for the visitors, who also received four assists from freshman Dhalyn Sanders-Dyer (Worcester, Mass.). UMass Dartmouth shot 51 percent (35-69) from the floor and connected at a 55 percent clip (11-20) from behind the arc for the contest, as the Corsairs registered 22 assists and held a 47-41 rebounding edge to sweep the regular season series between the two squads.
Senior Geary McLeod (New London, Conn.) scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the setback for the host Colonials (14-7, 8-4 LEC), who received 10 points each from junior Tracy Cleckley Jr. (Rosedale, N.Y.) and freshman Ahmod Provitt (Middletown, Conn.). Senior Aaron Samuel (Stratford, Conn.) hauled down eight boards for Western Connecticut, which shot 40 percent (39-73) from the field on the evening.
UMass Dartmouth, which is just a game back in the loss column for the top spot in the league standings, hosts Rhode Island College in a Little East Conference clash on Wednesday evening at the Tripp Athletic Center that tips-off at 7:30 pm, while Western Connecticut travels to Keene, N.H. on Wednesday evening for a Little East outing with Keene State that also tips-off at 7:30 pm.
(Photo Credit: Lyrik Gelmete '21)