DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Junior Jake Ashworth (Fairhaven, Mass.) scored 30 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead a quartet in double figures, as UMass Dartmouth posted an 89-72 Little East Conference men’s basketball victory over Western Connecticut Saturday afternoon at the Tripp Athletic Center.
Both teams blistered the nets in the opening 20 minutes of action in combining to shoot 55 percent (36-65) from the floor, as the host Corsairs (9-6, 4-2 LEC) used a 13-3 run midway through the first half to build a 35-25 lead only to see the visiting Colonials (10-5, 4-2 LEC) respond with a 9-3 run of their own to cut that margin back to four. Sophomore Marcus Azor (Brockton, Mass.) scored six points to fuel a 12-5 flourish at the end of the half to extend UMass Dartmouth’s edge to nine (53-42) at the break, and the hosts expanded that margin to as much as 19 points after intermission, as Western Connecticut got no closer than nine points in the final eight minutes of action.
Ashworth, whose point total was one shy of his career-high, was 10-of-15 from the field and connected for six three-pointers on the afternoon to set the pace for the Corsairs. Azor added a double-double effort of 14 points and 10 assists for the winners, who received 14 points and nine rebounds from senior Harry Alexander (Washington, D.C.) along with 11 points, six boards and three assists from sophomore Adam Seablom (Lakeville, Mass.). Sophomore Sean Leahy (Hanson, Mass.) added nine points, eight caroms and four assists for UMass Dartmouth, which shot 50 percent (34-68) from the field and outscored the visitors by a 27-6 margin from the three-point stripe. The hosts held a 48-30 rebounding edge and recorded 20 assists on 34 field goals for the afternoon.
Freshman Jaheim Young (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds in the setback for the Colonials, who received 10 points from junior Shea Tracy (New Britain, Conn.) along eight points each from senior Fenton Bradley Jr. (Mansfield, Conn.) and freshman Ryan Alkins (St. Albans, N.Y.). Freshman Jo’el Cooper (Mount Vernon, N.Y.) chipped in with seven points for Western Connecticut, which shot 42 percent (27-65) from the floor and converted 15 turnovers into 14 points.
UMass Dartmouth heads to Keene, N.H. on Wednesday evening to take on Keene State in a Little East Conference outing that tips-off at 6:00 pm, while Western Connecticut will be idle until next Saturday, January 18th when the Colonials travel to Castleton, Vt. for a Little East clash with Castleton that tips-off at 4:00 pm.