Bouchard Lifts Men's Basketball Over Huskies

GORHAM, Maine – Freshman guard Tucker Bouchard (Kingston, Mass.) poured in a game-high 19 points, including a career-high five 3-pointers, to lead the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team to 73-57 victory over the University of Southern Maine this afternoon in a Little East Conference contest at Hill Gymnasium.

The Corsairs (8-4) captured their second straight conference win to raise their record to 2-1, while the Huskies (5-8) fell to 1-2 inside the conference circuit.

Bouchard connected on 5-for-9 from behind the 3-point arc to pace three UMass Dartmouth players in double figures. Sophomore Abi Akanni (Fitchburg, Mass.) netted 14 points, while classmate Wale Abraham (Lynn, Mass.) dominated the paint with 10 points, nine rebounds, and six blocks. Freshman Ryan Walsh (North Dighton, Mass.) handed out a team-best five assists.

Senior Conor Sullivan (Scarborough, Maine) made eight field goals to lead Southern Maine with 18 points.  Classmate James Odneal (Pontiac, Mich.) converted on 7-for-8 from the field to produce 14 points, while senior Tyler Penney (Barnstead, N.H.) rounded out the Huskies' contingent in double digits with 10 points.  Sophomore Cole Libby (Buxton, Maine) turned in a well-rounded performance with nine rebounds and seven assists.  

Both teams exchanged baskets over the opening two minutes, 32 seconds of regulation before the Corsairs began to find their offensive rhythm.  Akanni sandwiched a pair of jumpers between a Bouchard triple, while Abraham capped the 12-0 run with a layup to give the visitors a 17-5 advantage.  The host countered with a 10-0 surge of their own to trim their deficit to one possession (17-15).  Sophomore Jacek Louisville (Worcester, Mass.) scored five unanswered points to keep the Huskies at an arm's length.  UMass Dartmouth gradually reestablished a 10-point lead, but Southern Maine registered nine of the final 12 points to cut the Corsairs advantage to 35-29 at the intermission.

UMass Dartmouth converted its first two attempts of the frame to build an 11-point lead, but the Huskies raced back with 10 consecutive points.  Penney fueled the surge from the charity stripe with four points, while Odneal capped the run with a layup.  Unfazed by the charging pack, the Corsairs answered with 10 of the next 11 points regain control of the contest.  UMD continued to hold a firm grip on the game, maintaining a double-digit lead over the final seven minutes of regulation.

UMass Dartmouth shot 38.6 percent (27-for-70) from the field, while holding Southern Maine to 37.9 percent (22-for-58).  The Corsairs also won the rebounding battle (47-39).       

UMass Dartmouth will return to Little East Conference action at 7:3o p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 14, when the Corsairs host Eastern Connecticut State University (9-4, 3-0 LEC).