Feb 27, 2018
DARTMOUTH, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Dartmouth senior Josh Imadiyi (Lynn, Mass.) and junior Arinze Obiora (Lagos, Nigeria) headlined a trio of postseason honors for the Corsair men's basketball team, both landing on the All-Little East Conference Men's Basketball, second-team as announced by the league offices on Tuesday.
Additionally, Obiora landed on the All-Defensive Team, while freshman Jake Ashworth (Fairhaven, Mass.) garnered All-Rookie Team honors following a noteworthy first season with the Corsairs.
During his final season with the Blue & Gold, Imadiyi put forth a career-year, falling just shy of a double-double with his season averages of 15.5 points and 8.3 rebounds. Those numbers ranked him seventh and second in the conference respectively, with Obiora leading the conference in boards per contest. After only starting in one game last season, the Lynn-native was inserted into the starting lineup 24 times this past season, seeing an average of 28 minutes per game. As a response to the uptick in playing time, the senior produced 10-plus point scoring games 18 times, including 10 in a row to start off the year, while producing nine double-doubles. On Jan. 27, he set a new single game career-high when Imadiyi poured in 27 points, including 5-of-11 from three-point range.
Over three seasons and 52 games with the Corsairs, Imadiyi has scored 560 points with a career shooting percentage of 39.7%, hitting 46 three-pointers all in his final season. He dished out 55 assists, pulled in 322 rebounds, forced 38 steals, and blocked 44 shots for the Blue & Gold.
The Corsairs second member of the front-court garnered second-team prestige as Obiora erupted from opening day until the final game in a breakout junior season. In 25 starts, he was able to raise his point average from 6.1 points per in 2016-17 all the way to 17.5 in his most recent campaign, pulling down 10.0 rebounds per contest to average a double-double for the season. The Lagos-native reached 10-plus points in every game but one and touched the 20-point plateau in 11 games. In the third game of the year against Castleton on Nov. 18, he recorded a new single game career-high when he scored 30 points on 12-of-18 from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. He also logged his first of 15 double-doubles of the season, corralling 13 rebounds in the 103-95 win over the Spartans. Obiora ranked sixth in the conference for total points scored (456) and first in boards (260) with nearly a 40-rebound gap separating him and the next closest on the list. The 6-5 forward also landed on the All-Defensive Team with his dynamic efforts, ranking third in the conference for blocks with 28 and 11th for steals with 33, placing him second and first on his team.
Obiora is 309 points away from the 1,000-point career milestone after scoring the bulk of his 691 total points in this season. In three seasons, he has grabbed 431 rebounds, blocked 59 shots, and swiped a total of 55 steals for the Corsairs.
Ashworth became the fourth Corsair in five years to etch himself a spot on the LEC All-Rookie Team, posting stellar numbers in 26 games played. The 6-1 guard burst onto the scene by averaging 15 points per contest, ranking him second amongst freshman and 10th overall in the conference. Ashworth proved his sharpshooting ability from the start of the year until its conclusion, knocking down 72-of-172 from beyond the arc (41.9%) to slot him second in the LEC in the category. Aside from his shooting strengths, the Fairhaven-resident dished just under three assists per game at 2.9 and accumulated an average of four rebounds per contest. In terms of weekly awards, Ashworth earned Rookie of the Week honors three times with the most recent coming on Feb. 12 following his career-game of 31 points during the upset of Eastern Connecticut.
The Corsairs wrapped up the 17-18 regular-season one game under .500 with its 12-13 record, posting a 5-8 mark against LEC foes. The team was something to be feared at the Tripp as it posted a 9-3 mark which was contrasted by a 2-10 record when away from it. UMass Dartmouth picked up its highlight victory of the season on Feb. 10 when it took down the then #10 ranked Eastern Connecticut Warriors in an 101-99 overtime showdown, giving the opponent their first conference loss of the year. The Corsairs nearly duplicated the result a week later against Keene State, falling by a two-point margin against the second-ranked team in the LEC. For their regular-season effort, the team made it to postseason for the 12th consecutive season, earning the #5 seed before being upended by Western Connecticut in an 83-75 loss on Feb. 20.