Jan. 25, 2011
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team defeated visiting Rhode Island College, 75-70, in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader at the Tripp Athletic Center Tuesday evening.
Senior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) scored a team-high 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting, with three assists and three steals. Junior guard Alex Klepadlo (Bernardston, MA/Pioneer Valley HS) chipped in 13 points while junior guard Paul Rose (Boston, MA/No. Cambridge HS/MA Bay CC) added 11 points and a game-high five steals. The Corsairs shot 44.2% (23-of-52) from the field, including 38.7% (12-of-31) from behind the three-point line and 89.5% (17-of-19) from the free throw line.
Rhode Island College was led by junior center Mike Akinrola (Woonsocket, RI/Woonsocket HS) with a game-high 20 points, shooting 7-of-14, with eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Tahrike Carter (Brooklyn, NY/ Benjamin Banneker HS) registered 11 points, shooting 3-of-3 from three-point range and senior forward Darius Debnam (Dorchester, MA/Minuteman HS) snared a game-high 10 rebounds with three points. The Anchormen shot 50.9% (27-of-53) from the floor, 37.5%(6-of-16) from three-point range, and 73.1% (19-of-26) from the free-throw line.
Both teams battled back-and-forth in the opening nine minutes, which featured 11 lead changes, and with 11:46 left in the first half, Rhode Island College led UMD 17-15. Six consecutive points by sophomore center Steven Roberts (New Haven, CT/Hillhouse HS) gave the Anchormen their largest lead, 27-17, with 7:17 remaining. The Corsairs closed the half on a 15-10 run, making the score 37-32 in favor of Rhode Island College.
UMass Dartmouth carried their momentum into the second half, executing a 13-8 run over six minutes to tie the game at 45-45 with 13:19 on the clock. At most two points separated the teams a majority of the second half, with 12 lead changes occurring in the span of 10 minutes, creating a tie at 67-67 with 2:42 remaining. RIC junior forward Mason Choice (Newport, RI/Rogers HS) made a three-pointer but free throw shooting by Stephens and junior forward Colin Burns (Chepachet,RI/Ponaganset HS/CCRI) tied the game again at 70-70. UMD made five more free throws down the stretch and solid defense by the Corsairs locked up the 75-70 victory.
"This is a good win.," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "We need to play every game as intense and as smart as we played tonight. It doesn't matter who it is we have to come play and pile up some conference wins so we have a chance to host a home game. Guys who hadn't been playing well, played well tonight. We got a lot of contributions from the bench tonight. (Senior forward) Kyle Yeadon (Hanson, MA/Whitman-Hanson HS) played some big minutes and (freshman guard) John Genkos (Worcester, MA/Doherty HS) hit a couple of big threes. We dug in on defense and made the open shots while not forcing too many."
UMass Dartmouth improved to 8-11 and 4-4 in the Little East Conference with the victory, while Rhode Island College dropped to 11-7 and 5-3 in LEC play with the defeat. The Corsairs will return to action when they visit Western Connecticut State in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday. The Anchormen will host UMass Boston Saturday.
UMASS DARTMOUTH BASKETBALL