Jan. 29, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's basketball team outscored visiting Salem State, 23-5 in the final four minutes and defeated the Vikings, 95-77, in a non-conference game at the Tripp Athletic Center Thursday evening.
The Corsairs, who came into the game ranked 18th in the d3hoops.com poll, broke a 72-72 tie on a three-pointer by junior forward Matt Walker (Brockton, MA/Brockton HS) with 3:43 remaining. Senior guard Reece Freeman (Cambridge, MA/Cambridge Rindge & Latin HS) added a free throw, and sophomore forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) added a jumper and a pair of free throws for an 80-72 lead. Ricky Ogboin of the Vikings broke the run with a layup, but junior forward Brandon Shelton (Cambridge, MA/Cambridge Rindge & Latin HS/UMass Lowell) drew a foul and hit three free throws and Stephens followed with a layup to make it 87-74 with 1:56 remaining.
UMass Dartmouth jumped out on top early against Salem State, which is among the teams receiving votes in the 3hoops.com poll. The Corsairs got a jumper from Shelton and consecutive three-pointers from junior guard Jeff Macchi (Franklin, MA/Franklin HS), Stephens and Shelton to grab a 16-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game. The Vikings rebounded, and cut their deficit to 42-35 at halftime on a jumper by Nick Linear.
A 20-9 run at the outset of the second half, capped by a three-pointer by Dan Clark, gave Salem State a 55-51 advantage with 12:09 remaining. A pair of treys by junior guard Tyler Turtoro (Shelton, CT/Shelton HS) and Shelton allowed UMD to reclaim the lead at 59-55 with 10:26 to play. Ogboin's free throw gave Salem State the lead for the final time at 65-62, Turtoro's three-pointer tied it, and the teams battled back and forth until Dylan Holmes made a pair of free throws to tie the game at 72-72 with 4:14 remaining.
Shelton led all scorers with 32 points despite being limited to 25 minutes due to foul trouble. Stephens and Turtoro each added 14, Walker had 12, Freeman 11 and Macchi 10. Linear had 21 points and Ogboin and Holmes each scored 20 for Salem State. Freeman had six steals as the Corsairs forced 27 turnovers while committing 13, and Stephens grabbed 10 rebounds as UMD out rebounded Salem State, 35-33.
"Our bread and butter is living off turnovers and getting extra shots at the basket, and if we can keep up the turnover gap, we have a good shot to win," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "Our guys did a great job down the stretch. They didn't panic, they got good looks at the basket, and they hit their shots. It was a quality win against a good non-conference opponent."
The Corsairs improved to 16-2 with the victory, while the Vikings dropped to 15-4 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they visit Southern Maine Saturday. Salem State will host the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts next Tuesday evening.