Nov. 17, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team got things going in the second half against visiting Johnson & Wales in their 2009-10 season opener at the Tripp Athletic Center Tuesday evening.
The Corsairs used a 17-5 run at the outset of the second half to take the lead, outscored the Wildcats, 41-10 in the first 12 minutes and 46 seconds after intermission and cruised to a 105-77 victory in their 2009-10 season opener.
Senior guard Jeff Macchi (Franklin, MA/Franklin HS) and junior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) traded layups with JWU's sophomore guard Tavarius Roberson (Orlando, FL/Orlando Jones HS) as the second half began before a jumper by sophomore point guard Paul Rose (Boston, MA/North Cambridge Catholic HS/Massachusetts Bay CC) and a pair of layups by Macchi broke a 51-all tie and gave UMD the lead for good. Junior guard Justin Adams (Providence, RI/Feinstein HS) hit a three-pointer, but a senior forward Matt Walker (Brockton, MA/Brockton HS) hit a layup that ignited a 7-0 run that allowed UMass Dartmouth to take command. A jumper by sophomore guard Alex Klepadlo (Bernardston, MA/Pioneer Valley HS) pushed the lead to 11 points at 70-59, and the Corsairs scored the next 18 points to seize an 88-59 advantage with 7:14 remaining.
Macchi's three-pointer and a pair of layups by sophomore center Lance Greene (Dorchester, MA/Charlestown HS/Western Texas JC) gave UMD an early 22-13 lead, but the Wildcats fought back, using treys by Adams and freshman guard Kelley Davis (Paterson, NJ/Manchester Regional HS) to cut the lead to three. Roberson's layup tied the game at 45-45 with 1:51 left in the first half, and layups by junior guard Lewis Ferreras (Providence, RI/CCRI) and senior center Paul Nicholson (Halifax, NC/Weldon HS) sent JWU into the halftime break with a 49-47 advantage.
"We played poorly in the first half," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "At the same time, they shot extremely well in the first half, and we didn't change things as far as strategy went, but we were able to put on more pressure in the second half. We might have been a little nervous, or it might have been some first game jitters."
JWU made 59.5 per cent of their shots from the field in the first half, but the Corsairs held them to 31.3 per cent in the second half, and Greene came off the bench in his first game at UMD for a double double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
"Even though we were smaller last year, we tried to get the ball inside," said Baptiste. "I don't think we can succeed being a totally perimeter-oriented team. Now, with Lance, we have an inside post presence."
Macchi and Walker each scored 19 points to lead the Corsairs, while Stephens added 16 and Rose had 15. Sophomore guard Lamonte Thomas (Providence, RI/The Met. School) led JWU with 17 points; Davis added 14 and Adams had 11. UMD out rebounded the Wildcats, 42-33, and shot 59.5 per cent from the field in the second half and 57.5 per cent for the game.
Prior to the game, Bob Duarte presented Baptiste and Assistant Coach Len Desautels with plaques honoring their achievements as UMass Dartmouth coaches. Baptiste won the 500th game of his career last spring, and Desautels was honored for having won more than 300 games as an assistant coach.
The Corsairs improved to 1-0 with the victory, while the Wildcats dropped to 0-2 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they host the University of New England in the second game of the Hampton Inn Classic Friday night. Johnson & Wales will travel to the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational Tournament this weekend.