Dec. 4, 2010
PLYMOUTH, NH-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team defeated host Plymouth State, 76-73, in the 2010-11 Little East Conference opener for both schools at Foley Gymnasium Saturday.
Corsair junior guard Colin Burns (Chepachet, RI/Ponaganset HS/CCRI) led the way offensively with a game-high 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Senior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) scored 16 points with five rebounds while junior guard Alex Klepadlo (Bernardston, MA/Pioneer Valley Regional HS) added 11 points and three rebounds. Junior guard Paul Rose (Boston, MA/North Cambridge Catholic HS/Mass Bay CC) dished out a game-high seven assists and seven points. Junior center Justin Pulver (Plymouth, MA/Falmouth HS/Johnson & Wales) came off the bench with a team-high seven rebounds and four points. UMass Dartmouth shot 46% from the floor, with 26% from behind the three-point arc and 47% from the free throw line.
The Panthers managed a balanced offense with four players reaching double digits in points. Senior guard Ian Dempsey and senior forward Tom Dowd each tallied a team-high 16 points. Senior guard Ryan Lambert grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds along with 12 points and six assists while junior guard Brian Chergey netted 13 points in the loss. Plymouth State also shot 46% from the field, 36% from three-point range and 54% from the charity stripe.
Both squads battled back and forth in the opening minutes, resulting in a 7-7 tie with 16:31 to play in the first half. At most four points separated the teams for the first ten minutes of play, but the Panthers never trailed in the first half. A three-pointer by Burns made it 20-20 with 6:05 remaining in the first but 10-4 run by PSU closed the opening half at 30-24 in favor of the Panthers.
UMass Dartmouth began the second half on a 10-3 and a layup by Rose gave the Corsairs their first lead, 34-33, with 17:09 left to play. The teams alternated lead changes over the next eight minutes. With 5:46 to play, Dempsey hit a pair of free throws, making it 61-61. With the score tied again, 69-69, Burns buried a three-pointer and Klepadlo nailed a jumper, putting the Corsairs on top, 74-69, with 1:23 on the clock. A three-pointer by Dempsey put the Panthers with three in the final minute, but tough defense prevented the Panthers from tying late, securing the 76-73 victory.
"Our press was the difference," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "They turned it over and we capitalized on it, and we kept rotating people in and out. It was a good overall effort, a good team effort, and a lot of guys chipped in. It was a good win, and any win on the road in this conference is a good win."
UMass Dartmouth improved to 2-3 and 1-0 in the Little East Conference with the defeat, while Plymouth State dropped to 3-3 and 0-1 in LEC play with the victory. The Corsairs will return to action when they host Worcester State Tuesday evening.
UMASS DARTMOUTH BASKETBALL