Men's Basketball Opens LEC Playoffs at Keene State

Men's Basketball Opens LEC Playoffs at Keene State

Feb. 20, 2012

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-For the second year in a row, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's basketball team will head north for their Little East Conference playoff opener.

The Corsairs, who lost a first round game in overtime last year at Keene State, will once again visit the Owls in their playoff opener. Game time is 7:30 Tuesday evening at Spaulding Gymnasium, following the women's playoff game between the Owls and Eastern Connecticut State.

UMass Dartmouth is the fifth seeded team and comes into the game with a 13-12 record and was 7-7 in the LEC, while Keene State, the fourth seed, was 18-7 and 10-4 in the Little East.

The Owls swept the season's series from UMD, winning 93-55 at KSC in December and 70-66 at the Tripp Athletic Center during the heaviest snowstorm of the season January 21st. The Corsairs have played better lately, and Head Coach Brian Baptiste is optimistic.

"I'm excited about it, I think it's a very winnable game," said Baptiste. "We've progressed as the year has gone on, and I like our chances."

The teams will hold no secrets from each other. "We know them well, and they know us well, and both teams know what to expect," said Baptiste. "We'll be prepared for the game, and we'll see what happens."

UMass Dartmouth could have an advantage inside. "They'll try to use all their fouls on (senior center) Lance (Greene, Dorchester, MA/Charlestown HS/UMass Lowell) and frustrate him, and when they tried it against him when they came here, it didn't work," said Baptiste. "We have to do a good job with our inside players against their screens, and defend (KSC point guard Ryan) Martin coming off the screens. If we can do a good job defensively, I like our chances. We have five seniors, and I expect them to play with a lot of emotion and energy, and I'm looking for a good ballgame."

The winner of Tuesday's game advances to the Final Four, where they will play the top-seeded and host team, Eastern Connecticut State, on Friday evening.