Jan. 7, 2012
DANBURY, CT- The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team lost to host Western Connecticut, 91-87, in a Little East conference matchup at Feldman Arena Saturday evening.
The two teams battled in a back-and-forth first half, which featured four lead changes and three ties. A pair of free throws from WCSU senior forward Michael Kennedy (Newtown, CT/Newtown HS) gave the Colonials their largest lead of the half, 20-13, with 10:32 on the clock. A 17-10 run by the Corsairs pulled them even at 30-30 with 3:53 remaining in the first half. UMD senior center Lance Greene (Dorchester, MA/Charlestown HS/UMass Lowell) made a pair of free throws in the final minute, but WCSU junior guard Michael Jensen (Gales Ferry, CT/Ledyard HS) connected on a three-pointer giving the Colonials a 39-38 lead at halftime.
The Colonials lead the opening ten minutes of the second half, with the Corsairs tying the score three times, and lay-up from sophomore guard John Genkos (Worcester, MA/Doherty HS ) gave the Corsairs their first lead of the second half, 62-61, with 9:15 to play. Back-to-back three-pointers from Colonials senior guard Da'Quan Brooks (Atlanta, GA/Bristol Central) regained a lead that Western Connecticut wouldn't give up. UMD pulled to within two points twice in the seven minutes of play, but clutch free throw shooting down the stretch secured the 91-87 victory for WCSU.
"We played hard and we played well," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "It was a tough game, it was tight all the way down to the wire, and if we would have done a better job on the free throw line we might have come out ahead. Da'Quan Brooks hit some big threes when the game was on the line. Some of our guys on the bench played well. [Freshman] Jordan Grace (Cambridge, MA/Rindge & Latin HS) did a great job, [freshman] Alex Rodrigues (Fall River, MA/Durfee HS) played a great game, and John Genkos made two long threes at the end of the game. We also got a very good effort from [freshman] Eleazar Clayton (Boston, MA/East Boston/Monroe CC)."
The Corsairs had five players register double figures in points during the contest. Clayton led the way with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Greene added 13 points, while Rodrigues chipped in with 10 points. Grace had a career-high 14 points off the bench, and Genkos netted a team-high 17 points, connecting on 5-of-8 three point attempts. WCSU was led by Brooks with a game-high 22 points, a game-high nine assists and four rebounds. Jensen also contributed 22 points and senior forward Gary Robinson (Torrington, CT/Hotchkiss HS) had 16 points in the win.
The Corsairs out rebounded Western Connecticut, 45-38 during the contest. UMD made 32 of 68 shots from the field for 47.8 per cent to the Colonials 30 of 67 for 44.8 per cent.
The Corsairs dropped to 7-6, and 1-2 in the Little East with the defeat, while the Colonials improved to 12-1, 3-0 LEC with the victory. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they host Eastern Connecticut State in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader Tuesday. Western Connecticut will travel to Keene State Tuesday.
UMASS DARTMOUTH BASKETBALL