BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- Senior Arinze Obiora (Hyde Park, Mass.) and sophomore Jake Ashworth (Fairhaven, Mass.) each scored 17 points as UMass Dartmouth overcame a 14-point first half deficit to post a 77-64 non-league college men’s basketball victory over Bridgewater State Thursday evening at the Tinsley Center.
The visiting Corsairs (5-4) trailed 34-20 with 7:27 remaining in the first half after the host Bears (1-7) connected on eight of their first 11 attempts from the floor, but that would prove to be Bridgewater State’s point total at the break after UMass Dartmouth finished the half on a 15-0 run capped by sophomore Harry Alexander’s (Washington, D.C.) go-ahead free throw in the closing seconds that gave the visitors a 35-34 edge.
A pair of free throws by junior Rayshon Ward (Fayetteville, N.C.) on the opening possession after intermission provided the hosts with their final lead of the night, as 11 combined points from Obiora and Ashworth ignited a 20-9 Corsair run that staked UMass Dartmouth to a 55-45 cushion with 10:53 remaining. The visitors maintained a double-digit advantage for the remainder of the contest, as free throws by senior Atakan Akcam (Ankara, Turkey) gave the Corsairs their largest lead (71-55) with 4:20 to play in the game.
Obiora added seven rebounds and shot 7-of-12 from the floor on the night for UMass Dartmouth, while Ashworth connected for a trio of three-pointers and dished out three assists. Alexander scored 12 points and grabbed six boards off the bench for the Corsairs, who received 11 points and nine caroms from Akcam. Freshmen Adam Seablom (Lakeville, Mass.) and Cameron Andrews (Stoughton, Mass.) combined for 12 points for the visitors, who received four points and six steals from freshman Marcus Azor (Brockton, Mass.) along with four points, four rebounds and four assists from freshman Sean Leahy (Hanson, Mass.). UMass Dartmouth shot 53 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes of play as part of a 44 percent performance (30-69) overall, as the Corsairs held a 41-30 edge on the glass and a 13-6 scoring advantage en route to their fourth straight win in the series between the two squads.
Ward scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the setback for Bridgewater State, which received 15 points, seven boards and five assists from junior Ryan Carney (Easton, Mass.). Junior Brian Grant (Hyde Park, Mass.) chipped in with nine points for the Bears, who received a combined 14 points from junior Dimitri St. Louis (Brockton, Mass.) and freshman Jose Monteiro Jr. (Brockton, Mass.). The hosts ended the night shooting 53 percent (28-53) from the floor but hurt themselves with 29 turnovers for the contest.
UMass Dartmouth travels to Keene, N.H. on Saturday afternoon to take on Keene State in a Little East Conference clash that tips-off at 3:00 pm, while Bridgewater State heads to Beverly, Mass. on Saturday afternoon for a non-league outing against Endicott that tips-off at 1:00 pm.
(Photo Credit: Rainier Almonte '19)