Jan. 26, 2010
PROVIDENCE, RI-Senior forward Brandon Shelton (Cambridge, MA/Cambridge Rindge & Latin HS/UMass Lowell) connected on a three-pointer from the top of the key with seven seconds remaining to give the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team a come from behind, 91-89 victory over host Rhode Island College in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader at the Murray Center Tuesday evening.
Shelton hit his game-winning shot after Jake Grimes had made two free throws to give RIC an 89-88 lead with 24 seconds remaining. The Corsairs called time out, worked the ball around, and got it to Shelton, whose shot hit nothing but net. The Anchormen turned it over on the ensuing possession, got it back after sophomore guard Paul Rose (Boston, MA/North Cambridge Catholic HS/Mass Bay CC) was fouled and missed a free throw with one second left, and were unable to get off a good shot before time expired.
"We wanted to clear out and get the ball to Brandon Shelton." said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "He was a step outside the three-point line, which is a typical shot for him. They just sagged off him, and they gave him the shot, and they took it."
UMass Dartmouth, which trailed at halftime, 39-32, fought back after trailing, 84-77, with 3:26 remaining. Junior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) was fouled and made a pair of free throws with 2:32 left, then Rose hit a three-pointer after a turnover to make it 84-82 with 2:15 to play. Mason Choice drew a foul, and hit one of two free throws with two minutes left, then Rose hit another trey to tie the game with 1:35 remaining. Tahrike Carter made two free throws to put RIC up, 87-85, with 56 seconds left, but Shelton's three-pointer seven seconds later put UMD ahead by a point and set the stage for the final dramatics.
Stephens led UMass Dartmouth with 21 points, becoming the latest member of the 1000 Point Club at UMD in the process. He now has 1013 points for his career. Shelton added 17 points, Rose added 16 and sophomore center Lance Greene (Dorchester, MA/Charlestown HS/UMass Lowell) contributed 15. Grimes of RIC led all scorers with 24 points, Keith Hamilton had 19, Mason Choice added 13, Nick Manson had 11 and Darius Debnam added 10. Stephens and Greene each had six rebounds for UMD, while Debnam had nine for RIC, which out rebounded the Corsairs, 33-29. RIC made 57.7 per cent of their shots from the field to 45.7 per cent for UMass Dartmouth, but the Anchormen committed 23 turnovers to UMD's 15, and the Corsairs made 58.8 per cent of their shots from the field in the second half, and connected on 16 of 32 shots from beyond the arc to nine of 18 for Rhode Island College.
"It was a great comeback," said Baptiste. "Our team never quit, and even though we were down, we kept on fighting back, a couple of baskets at a time. We hit some big shots late in the game."
The Corsairs improved to 13-5 and 6-2 in the Little East Conference with the victory, moving into a first place tie with Rhode Island College, while the Anchormen dropped to 12-6 and 6-2 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they host Western Connecticut State in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday.