Jan. 12, 2010
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Visiting Eastern Connecticut State took a 42-31 halftime lead and went on to defeat the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team, 84-78, in a Little East Conference game at the Tripp Athletic Center Tuesday evening.
The Warriors, who led by 10 points with 4:11 remaining, had to hold off a late rally by the Corsairs. Junior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) hit a couple of free throws with 2:02 remaining, sophomore guard Alex Klepadlo (Bernardston, MA/Pioneer Valley HS) added a lay-up, and sophomore guard Paul Rose (Boston, MA/North Cambridge Catholic HS/Massachusetts Bay CC) made a free throw to cut the lead to 80-75 with 1:28 left. Sophomore guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY/Irvington HS) made a lay-up with 35 seconds left, then Rose connected from three-point range to make it 82-78 with 15 seconds left. Senior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford, CT/East Catholic HS) then hit a pair of free throws to account for the final score.
The Warriors made 62.1 per cent of their shots from the field in the first half in building an 11-point lead. UMass Dartmouth came back in the second half and shot 53.1 per cent from the field and outscored Eastern Connecticut, 47-42.
Stephens made nine of 16 shots from the field and led the Corsairs with 22 points. Rose added 17 points, and senior forward Brandon Shelton (Cambridge, MA/Cambridge Rindge & Latin HS/UMass Lowell) contributed 11. Ortiz led all scorers with 25 points, sophomore forward Jeremy Thompson (Berlin, CT/Berlin HS) added 20, junior forward Bill Roveto (South Windsor, CT/East Catholic HS) had 15, and Nedwick added 11. Shelton had six rebounds for UMD, while sophomore forward Jamie Kohn had 10 rebounds for the Warriors, who out rebounded the Corsairs, 42-24. UMass Dartmouth forced 22 turnovers while committing just 11, but ECSU made 16 of 24 free throws to eight of 10 for the Corsairs.
"As a team, we need to work on consistency," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "We play hard in spurts and we play soft in spurts and we need to play with more of a sense of urgency. I thought our players who saw some extra minutes responded well. Our team is capable of playing, and I'm sure they'll respond in a positive way."
The Corsairs dropped to 8-5 and 2-2 in the Little East Conference with the victory, while the Warriors improved to 10-3 and 3-1 in LEC play with the victory. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they visit Salem State Thursday evening. ECSU will host Wentworth Thursday evening.