Dec. 13, 2011
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team defeated visiting Johnson & Wales, 81-69, in a non-conference game at the Tripp Athletic Center Tuesday evening.
The opening half of play featured back and forth play from both squads with eight lead changes and six tie scores. Tied 7-7 with 14:02 left in the first half, JWU executed a 7-0 run over the next three minutes, featured five points from senior guard Mike Harris (Providence, RI/URI), giving the Wildcats a 14-7 lead. The Corsairs rallied back and pulled even at 16-16, behind four points from freshman forward Eleazar Clayton (Boston, MA/East Boston HS/Monroe CC), with 8:34 to play. No more than six points separated the teams in the final eight minutes. A layup from senior guard Lamonte Thomas (Providence, RI/The Met School) at the 2:39 mark tied the game for the sixth time at 31-31, and the Wildcats closed the half on a 6-0 run, taking a 37-31 lead into halftime.
The Corsair pulled to within one point, 41-40, during the first five minutes of the second half, but JWU went on a 12-2 run in under two minutes, taking a 53-42 lead with 14:01 to play. UMD answered back with a 11-4 run over the next four minutes, fueled by four points from senior center Lance Greene (Dorchester, MA/Charlestown HS/UMass Lowell), making it 57-53 with 10:41 on the clock. With the score 59-57, UMD senior guard Paul Rose (Boston, MA/No. Cambridge Catholic HS/Mass Bay CC) scored five consecutive points on back-to-back possessions to allow UMD to take a 60-59 lead. After a pair of free throws from Thomas gave the lead back to the Wildcats, Greene took control with eight straight points, giving UMD a lead they never relinquished. The Corsairs ended the game on a 13-6 run, powered by four points from both Clayton and freshman center Alex Rodrigues (Fall River, MA/Durfee HS), en route to the 81-69 victory for UMass Dartmouth.
The Corsairs made 32 of 70 shots from the field for 45.7 per cent, while holding JWU to 23 of 59 for 39 per cent.
"We have to do a better job for 40 minutes but you have to give the guys credit, they pulled things together and came from a deficit to get the win," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "I'll tell you, [Lamonte Thomas] is a heck of a player. We were able to take advantage of the match up we had with Lance. I'm pleased at where we are going into the break."
Greene led the way with a double double, scoring a team-high 23 points and grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds, making eight of 15 shots from the field with three blocks. Clayton added 18 points, while Rose and senior guard Alex Klepadlo (Bernardston, MA/Pioneer Valley Regional) chipped in with eight and seven points, respectively. Thomas led the Wildcats with a game-high 31 points, a game-high six assists, and a team-high 10 rebounds, connecting on 13-of-14 free throw attempts. Harris and junior forward David Storti (Exeter, RI/CCRI) each contributed 13 points in the loss.
The Corsairs improved to 7-3 with the victory, while the Wildcats dropped to 2-7 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will break for the holidays and return to action when they visit Northwood January 3rd. Johnson & Wales will host Maine-Fort Kent Saturday.