Jan. 30, 2010
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Visiting Western Connecticut State outscored the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's basketball team, 13-2 during a span of 3:28 late in the second half and held on for an 80-77 victory over the Corsairs in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader at the Tripp Athletic Center Saturday.
Sophomore guard DaQuan Brooks (Bristol, CT/Bristol Central HS) drilled a three-pointer to put the Colonials on top, 68-66, with 4:06 remaining. Sophomore forward Gary Robinson (Torrington, CT/Hotchkiss School) followed with a three-point play to make it 71-66 with 3:24 remaining. Senior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) hit a pair of free throws, but a Brooks trey, two free throws by sophomore center Leroy Mayers (Bronx, NY/Cardinal Hayes HS) and two more by Brooks made it 78-68, WCSU with 38 seconds remaining.
Senior forward Brandon Shelton (Cambridge, MA/Cambridge Rindge & Latin HS/UMass Lowell), who hit the game-winning shot against Rhode Island College Tuesday night, nearly brought the Corsairs all the way back again. Shelton connected on three three-pointers in a span of 30 seconds to cut the Colonials' advantage to 79-77 with two seconds left. Brooks was fouled immediately, and made one of two free throws, but UMD could not get off a good shot before time expired.
The Corsairs, who built an early 11-point lead at 22-11, led form the first 15 minutes before WCSU rallied. Junior center John Phillips (Hartford, CT/Northwest Catholic HS) hit a lay-up to put the Colonials ahead, 28-27, with 5:36 to play. Western Connecticut built a nine-point advantage with 2:24 remaining, but Shelton hit two free throws and a jump shot to allow the Corsairs to cut the lead to 42-37 at halftime.
The Colonials used an 8-2 run at the start of the second half to take a 50-39 lead, but UMass Dartmouth fought back, getting consecutive jumpers from Shelton to cut the lead to 54-52 with 11:57 left, then taking the lead for the first time in the second half, 62-60, on a pair of free throws by sophomore center Lance Greene (Dorchester, MA/Charlestown HS/UMass Lowell) with 6:50 remaining. Another Greene jumper with 4:27 to play gave UMD their last lead at 66-65 before Western began their decisive run.
"We played in lapses, and the little things made a difference, like unforced turnovers," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "In the end, we just had too much of a deficit to make up. With the shooters that we have, we can catch up, there just wasn't enough time. They did a better job on the glass than we did today. We did a decent job, but not enough to overcome the deficit."
Shelton led all scorers with 26 points, Greene added 21, junior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) contributed 12, and sophomore guard Paul Rose (Boston, MA/North Cambridge Catholic HS/Mass Bay CC) had 10. Phillips led WCSU with 18, Brooks added 16, junior forward Will Jarrett (Hartford, CT/Hartford Public HS) had 12, Robinson added 11 and freshman forward Cody Bayne (Bristol, CT/Bristol Eastern HS) had 10. Greene had eight rebounds for UMD, while Jarrett had seven for the Colonials, who out rebounded the Corsairs, 40-29. UMass Dartmouth forced 24 turnovers while committing 14, but WCSU made 53.7 per cent of their shots from the field to 43.3 per cent for the Corsairs.
The Corsairs dropped to 13-6 and 6-3 in the Little East Conference with the defeat, while the Colonials improved to 13-4 and 6-3 with the victory. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they visit Tufts Tuesday evening. WCSU will host Mitchell Tuesday.