December 5, 2013

Corsairs Fend Off Bears, 76-73

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Sophomore Jacek Louisville (Worcester, Mass.) made the front end of a one-and-one with one second remaining in regulation to give the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team a hard-fought 76-73 victory over visiting Bridgewater State University this evening at the Tripp Athletic Center. Bears junior Kyle Gibson (Franklin, Mass.) nearly sent the contest into overtime, but his desperation, game-tying 3-pointer hit the front of the rim and bounced out.

UMass Dartmouth recorded his second-straight win over a Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference opponent to raise its overall record to 4-2, while Bridgewater State slipped to 1-4 on the campaign.

Sophomore Wale Abraham (Lynn, Mass.) produced a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds to pace the Corsairs, while also redirecting three Bears' attempts. Classmate Abi Akanni (Fitchburg, Mass.) led five UMD student-athletes in double figures in scoring with 15 points. Junior Jake Laga (Northampton, Mass.) and Louisville each netted 12 points, while freshman Ryan Walsh (North Dighton, Mass.) scored 11 points.

The Bears closed strong down the stretch with a 13-6 run to trim their deficit to one possession, 68-65, with three minutes, 46 seconds remaining in regulation, capped by a layup from junior Justin Clark (Yarmouth Point, Mass.). Junior Michael Lofton (Mansfield, Mass.) ignited the surge with jumper followed by a pair of free throws, while Gibson recorded five consecutive points.

After both teams exchanged a free throw, Abraham hit a jumper in the paint, but the visitors pulled within two with a junior Ryan Spencer (Franklin, Mass.) 3-pointer. Laga temporarily gave the hosts some breathing room with a pair of makes from the foul line, but junior Barrett Murphy (Marshfield, Mass.) countered with two free throws of his own.

With 14 seconds left on the clock, Walsh calmly stepped up to the charity stripe and knocked down both ends of a one-and-one to regain UMD's four-point lead. Bridgewater State set up the final possession with a jumper by senior Brendan Monteiro (Brockton, Mass.) with two ticks left in regulation.

Murphy led four Bears in double digits in scoring with a game-high 18 points, on 6-for-11 from the field. Monteiro scored 15 points, while Gibson was one rebound shy of a double-double (13-9). Lofton rounded out the BSU contingent in double digits with 10 points.

Bridgewater State shot 53.7 percent (29-for-54) from the field, but only converted on 55 percent (11-for-20) from the foul line. UMass Dartmouth connected on 49.2 percent (29-for-59) from the floor and 66.7 percent (14-for-21) from the stripe.

The Corsairs will return to action at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, when UMass Dartmouth opens its Little East schedule at Plymouth State University.