Feb. 26, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-With their first round playoff game behind them, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's basketball team is set for the Little East Conference Final Four at Rhode Island College this weekend. The Corsairs will take a 23-3 record and the second seed into Friday night's semi-final game against the sixth-seeded team, Western Connecticut State. The Colonials are 14-11 and advanced after winning Tuesday night at third-seeded Plymouth State. UMass Dartmouth and WCSU are scheduled to tip off at 8:00 p.m. following the other semi-final between top-seeded RIC and fourth-seeded Keene State, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday's championship game is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.
The Corsairs swept Western Connecticut during the regular season, winning at home, 87-76 December 6th, and at WCSU, 84-78 on January 24th. "Western Connecticut is a very good basketball team," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "We've played pretty well both times we've played them this year. We have to come out and play with intensity, and we have to shoot the ball well."
In the LEC Final Four, UMass Dartmouth will play games on consecutive days, something they've done just once this season-in the season-opening Hampton Inn Classic. "We've got to make sure that were rested and ready to go," said Baptiste. "We may have to change up our substitution roles in the first game. When you're playing two games, you have to work it so you have several people who can contribute. Hopefully, the people coming off the bench can play well, and give our starters some breathing room."
A victory in Friday night's game would allow the Corsairs to play Saturday for the chance to earn their second berth in the NCAA Championships in as many years.