WALTHAM, Mass. -- Junior Jordan Rezendes (Onset, Mass.) scored 16 of his team-high 20 points, including the game-winning basket with three tenths of a second remaining in regulation, to lift the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to a 78-76 victory over Brandeis University this evening in a NCAA Division III men's basketball non-conference contest at Red Auerbach Arena. Rezendes recorded the Corsairs' final nine points to lead the visitors' to their first victory of the season, while handing the Judges a loss in their season-opener.
Rezendes was 5-for-9, including 2-for-2 from behind the 3-point arc, while connecting on all four attempts from the foul line after the intermission break. He was joined in double figures by senior John Genkos (Worcester, Mass.) and classmate Jake Laga (Northampton, Mass.). Genkos finished the contest 5-for-8 from the field, including 3-for-3 from long range, while Laga poured in 13 points, including two triples. Sophomore Wale Abraham (Lynn, Mass.) and senior Alex Rodrigues (New Bedford, Mass.) each pulled in seven rebounds, while Genkos and Laga each handed out four assists.
UMass Dartmouth shot 49.2 percent (30-for-61) from the field, 55.6 percent (10-for-18) from downtown, and 8-for-9 from the charity stripe. Brandeis held a slight edge on the glass (37-33), while each team committed 13 turnovers.
The game featured 12 ties and 18 lead changes, but sophomore Samuel Dowden (Andover, Mass.) and Rezendes helped decide it down the stretch. The Judges led, 71-70, with 2:59 left on the clock, but Rezendes scored the next four points at the line to put the visitors ahead, 74-71, with 110 seconds left on the scoreboard. Dowden knotted the game at 74 with a 3-pointer from the right elbow at 1:27 on the clock, then scored a cutting lay-up on a feed from rookie Carlin Haymon (Boston, Mass.) with 52 seconds left to put the hosts ahead, 76-74.
After Rezendes scored on a driving lay-up with 38 seconds remaining, Brandeis had a chance to go back ahead. The Judges wound the game and shot clock down before launching a 3-pointer from the corner. Dowden caught the ball and put it back up and in, but the referees conferred and agreed that the shot clock should have expired before Dowden released the ball. They put one second back on the clock, resetting it 8.7 seconds. That was enough time for Rezendes to drive the length of the court and hit the game-winning bucket on a reverse lay-up with the clock reading 0.3 seconds. The following in-bounds play was deflected, ending the contest.
Brandeis owned a 37-31 lead at halftime, thanks to 12 points from Haymon, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. The Judges scored 11 of the first 14 points of the second half, hitting their first five shots to take a 48-34 lead less than three minutes in. Laga hit a 3-pointer to stop the bleeding and kick off a flurry of trifectas that got the visitors back in the game. Still down by eight at the 13:53 mark, the Corsairs hit from downtown on four of their next five possessions, claiming a 57-55 lead when Rezendes hit from deep midway through the period to set up the wild finish.
Brandeis put three players in double figures, led by Dowden, who scored 15 of his game-high 21 in the second half. He hit 9-for-13 from the field, 3-for-4 from downtown and collected five rebounds. Haymon finished with 18 points after his big first half. Sophomore Tim Reale (Mason, Ohio) also reached double digits for the first time in career with 11 points. Graduate student forward Connor Arnold (Andover, Mass.) had a fine all-around game, with team-highs of six rebounds and five assists along with six points.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, when the Corsairs host Salem State University.