UMass Dartmouth Fights Off Lancers in Overtime

PAXTON, Mass. – Freshman guard Tucker Bouchard (Kingston, Mass.) netted 10 of his team-high 21 points in overtime to help lift the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team over Worcester State University in a non-conference contest on Tuesday evening at Anna Maria College, 88-77.

UMass Dartmouth (3-2) earned their first victory since defeating Colby College in the championship game of the Hampton Inn Classic tournament back on November 16.  Worcester State (0-5) is still searching for their first win of the campaign.

The Corsairs had five team members reach double figures in points. Bouchard led the scoring attack and also contributed four assists and four rebounds. Jacek Louisville (Worcester, Mass.) had a strong showing off the bench for the visitors. The sophomore poured in a season high 17 points on six of nine shooting from the floor, including five assists, four rebounds and four steals. Sophomore Abi Akanni (Fitchburg, Mass.) generated 16 points while making 50 percent of his attempts (7-14). Co-captain Jake Laga (Northampton, Mass.) went four for six from behind the arc for 15 points and grabbed eight caroms, while freshman guard Ryan Walsh (N. Dighton, Mass.) recorded a dozen points to go along with five boards. Wale Abraham (Lynn, Mass.) dealt with foul trouble all game, but managed to grab a team-high nine rebounds.

Lancer forward Dane Jobst (Athol, Mass.) led all players with 25 points and 13 rebounds in 38 minutes of action. Freshman Noris Cuevas-Nova (Amherst, Mass.) contributed 13 points, reeled in four boards and dispersed four helpers, while junior Brendan Rios (Easthampton, Mass.) dumped in 11 points and snagged four boards.  Off the bench, freshman Jeremy Bacon (Milford, Mass.) contributed 11 points on four of six shooting and grabbed five caroms.

A Louisville layup with 4:04 remaining in the first stanza ignited a 10-2 UMass Dartmouth run, which gave the visitors a 40-33 halftime lead.

In the second half, the Corsairs built up a ten point advantage (50-40) on a Walsh jumper with 15:01 on the clock.

With just under eight minutes remaining the Lancers fought back and tied the game at 58 a piece when Cuevas-Nova converted a free throw following an and-one layup set up by Jobst. The very next play Cuevas-Nova stripped Bouchard and took the ball the other way for two points to give Worcester State their first lead of the second half.

UMass Dartmouth regained the lead (64-63) on two free throws from Bouchard with 3:48 left. Four three throws from Jobst switched the lead back over to the Lancers (67-66) with just a tick under one minute left in the game.

Walsh found Bouchard for a three ball with 36 seconds remaining, but with 14 seconds left Cuevas-Nova converted for two to tie the game.

On their final possession, the Corsairs had three different players heave up potential game clinching attempts, but all failed to go through the net.

In extra time, UMass Dartmouth jumped out to a five point advantage after a three pointer from Laga and a layup from Bouchard. The Corsairs preserved their lead and forced five Lancer turnovers on their way to the road win.

The Corsairs buried 10 three balls (10-22) and turned Worcester State over 28 times in the game, while the Lancers out rebounded their opponent 47 to 42.

UMass Dartmouth returns to play when they host Bridgewater State at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday evening in a non-conference matchup.