Jan. 17, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's basketball team outscored visiting Plymouth State, 30-14 in the first 10 minutes of the second half, opened up a 32 point lead and went on to defeat the Panthers, 94-61, in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader at the Tripp Athletic Center Saturday. The win was the ninth in a row for the Corsairs.
The Corsairs, who got a pair of jumpers from junior forward Brandon Shelton (Cambridge, MA/Cambridge Rindge & Latin HS/UMass Lowell) at the end of the first half to take a 40-28 lead, got things started with a three-pointer from sophomore forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) and a layup by senior guard Reece Freeman (Cambridge, MA/Cambridge Rindge & Latin HS) right after intermission. Junior guard Jeff Macchi (Franklin, MA/Franklin HS) made three free throws and Shelton hit a jumper to give UMD a 20-point lead, 50-30, with 16:53 remaining. Shelton's jump shot made it 74-42 with 9:16 to play, and reserves from both teams saw the bulk of the playing time in the final 10 minutes.
Plymouth State got off to a good start, scoring the first six points of the game and taking an early 9-2 lead. The Corsairs called time out, and then went on a 19-7 run that gave them the lead for good.
"We made a few early mistakes in the beginning, but then we got things settled down, and we responded," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "Our play on the defensive end is what enabled us to get good shots and get easy shots. We shot the ball well both from the field and from the three-point line. We wanted to put on full court pressure and cause them to turn the ball over. We got some steals, forced some turnovers, and made them make mistakes that we were able to capitalize on."
Shelton led all scorers with 21 points, while Stephens added 20. Macchi contributed 15, junior guard Tyler Turtoro (Shelton, CT/Shelton HS) added 14, and junior forward Matt Walker (Brockton, MA/Brockton HS) had 10. Jason O'Keefe led PSU with 11 points.
Shelton grabbed eight rebounds as UMass Dartmouth out rebounded Plymouth State, 38-33. Freeman had nine assists and six steals as the Corsairs forced 26 turnovers while committing 15 and shot 49.2 per cent from the field and 50 per cent from three-point range to the Panthers' 43.6 per cent and 23.5 per cent, respectively.
The Corsairs improved to 13-1 and 5-0 in the Little East Conference with the victory, while the Panthers dropped to 6-9 and 3-2 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they host Rhode Island College in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader Tuesday evening. PSU will host Keene State Tuesday.