Jan. 3, 2010
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL-Wesley scored the final 12 points of the first half, took a 46-32 halftime lead, and went on to defeat the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team, 91-72, on the Corsairs' second and final day of action at the Eastern College Athletic Conference Holiday Classic at the Milk House at Walt Disney World Sunday.
UMass Dartmouth, which led for the first 10 minutes, got two free throws and a lay-up from senior forward Matt Walker (Brockton, MA/Brockton HS) to cut their deficit to 34-32 with 2:37 remaining in the first half. But Kevin Johnson hit a couple of free throws and a pair of lay-ups, and Paul Reynolds and Rudy Thomas added lay-ups as the Wolverines increased their lead to 14 points at halftime.
Senior forward Brandon Shelton (Cambridge, MA/Cambridge Rindge & Latin HS/UMass Lowell) connected on a pair of jump shots and Walker added a lay-up as the Corsairs began the second half with an 11-2 run and closed their deficit to 48-43 with 16:42 to play. But a pair of lay-ups by Reynolds ignited a 6-0 Wesley run, and UMD never got closer than eight points again.
"Wesley is a very good basketball team, but we didn't play very well," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "They hurt us with their penetration and their ability to get to the basket, and they were also able to get to the foul line a lot. We forced 24 turnovers, but we turned the ball over 23 times ourselves. We didn't take very good care of the ball. They did a good job inside, we were a little but undersized, and we took advantage of it. It was disappointing to come down here and play two games and lose."
Sophomore guard Paul Rose (Boston, MA/North Cambridge Catholic HS/Massachusetts Bay CC) led the Corsairs with 19 points, while Walker had 18, and became the latest member of the UMD 1000 Point Club when he scored the one thousandth point of his career on a free throw with 3:38 remaining in the first half. Junior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) added 15, and Shelton contributed 10. Johnson of the Wolverines led all scorers with 23 points, Thomas added 21, and Reynolds and Manny Valentin each had 13. Walker had nine rebounds for UMD, while Reynolds had seven for Wesley as the Corsairs out rebounded the Wolverines, 43-42. But Wesley was 22 of 31 from the free throw line to UMD's 12 of 19, and the Wolverines made 57.1 per cent of their shots from the field to 33.3 per cent for the Corsairs.
The Corsairs dropped to 6-4 with the defeat, while the Wolverines improved to 6-4 with the victory. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they visit Roger Williams Thursday evening.