Feb. 6, 2010
GORHAM, ME-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's basketball team scored the first 15 points of the game, raced to a 20-point halftime lead and went on to defeat host Southern Maine, 92-75, in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader at the Warren G. Hill Gymnasium Saturday.
The Corsairs had a commanding lead a little more than two minutes into the game. Sophomore center Lance Greene (Dorchester, MA/Charlestown HS/UMass Lowell) hit a pair of free throws, then senior forward Brandon Shelton (Cambridge, MA/Cambridge Rindge & Latin HS/UMass Lowell) hit a jumper. Junior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) then took matters into his own hands, connecting on a lay-up and a trio of three-pointers to make it 15-0 with 17:58 left in the first half.
The Huskies rallied, cutting the lead to six points at 27-21 with 12:09 remaining on Luke Pollock's lay-up. A lay-up by Otis Smith brought USM to within nine points at 45-36 with 3:53 remaining, but the Corsairs scored the final 11 points of the half, getting a pair on two free throws by Stephens and nine more on three jump shots and a three-pointer at the buzzer from sophomore guard Paul Rose (Boston, MA/North Cambridge Catholic HS/Massachusetts Bay CC) to make it 56-36 at the halftime break.
Southern Maine never got closer than 13 points in the second half, and UMD built a 26-point advantage, 92-66, on a jumper by Stephens with 2:10 remaining before the Huskies closed the gap before the final buzzer.
"It was a good win," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "Our press really bothered them, especially at the start of the game. We jumped out ahead of them and just kept the lead. We were making our threes, we got the ball inside and we scored, we had a lot of opportunities on the offensive end, and our defense stopped them enough times to allow us to take advantage of the situation. Brandon Stephens, Paul and Lance all had big games for us."
Stephens made 11 of 20 shots from the field, including five of eight from three-point range, and tied his career high with 32 points. Rose made 10 of 16 shots from the field and added 23 points, while Greene was six of nine from the field and contributed 19. Pollock led Southern Maine with 16 points, John Sewall and Mike Poulin each had 12, and Smith added 11. Greene had 11 rebounds for UMD, and Smith grabbed 12 for the Huskies, as the Corsairs out rebounded USM, 40-36. UMass Dartmouth used 14 steals to force 20 turnovers, while committing only seven.
The Corsairs improved to 15-6 and 7-3 in the Little East Conference with the victory, while the Huskies dropped to 2-19 and 0-10 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they host UMass Boston in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader Tuesday evening.