Jan. 9, 2010
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team used a late 10-1 run to take the lead for good, then held off visiting Southern Maine, 75-69, in a Little East Conference game at the Tripp Athletic Center Saturday.
Trailing, 60-58 with 6:15 remaining, the Corsairs got a three-point field goal from sophomore guard Paul Rose (Boston, MA/North Cambridge Catholic HS/Massachusetts Bay CC), a pair of free throws from junior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) and another three-pointer from Rose to take a 66-61 lead with 4:47 remaining. Sophomore forward Leif O'Connell (Hodgdon, ME/Hodgdon HS) hit consecutive layups to cut UMD's lead to a single point, junior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) and junior guard Cortez Isaac (Washington, DC/Northwest HS) traded three-pointers, then Shelton connected on a jump shot to make it 71-68, UMass Dartmouth, with 2:17 left. Isaac hit a free throw a minute later, but Shelton connected on a lay-up and Stephens and Shelton added free throws as the Huskies did not score again.
Shelton led all scorers with 26 points and Stephens added 20 for the Corsairs. O'Connell led USM with 21 points, junior forward Otis Smith (Altamonte Springs, FL/Ocoee HS) contributed 15 and Isaac had 13. Stephens and Shelton each added seven rebounds for UMD, while Isaac grabbed 10 for the Huskies for a double double as Southern Maine out rebounded UMass Dartmouth, 35-25. The Corsairs forced 17 turnovers while committing just nine. made 13 three-point shots to six for USM, and held Isaac, who was averaging 28 points per game, to less than half that.
"Overall, it was a good win," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "We started off slowly, and it took us a while to get going. We were focused on Isaac. We tried to contain him, and we were pleased with our effort."
The Corsairs improved to 8-4 and 2-1 in the Little East Conference with the victory, while the Huskies dropped to 2-11 and 0-3 in LEC play with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they host Eastern Connecticut State in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader Tuesday evening. Southern Maine will visit Rhode Island College Tuesday evening.