Dec. 6, 2011
WORCESTER, MA-Sophomore forward Eleazar Clayton (Boston, MA/East Boston HS/Monroe CC) made two free throws with one-tenth of a second remaining as the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team completed their comeback to defeat host Worcester State, 69-67, in a non-conference game at the Lancer Gymnasium Tuesday evening.
The Corsairs trailed, 67-64, after guard Frank Stephenson hit one of two free throws with 5.6 seconds remaining. The Corsairs inbounded the ball, called time out, then senior forward Colin Burns (Chepachet, RI/Ponaganset HS/CCRI) took an in-bounds pass from sophomore guard Jeff Tagger (Brockton, MA/Catholic Memorial HS/Taft HS/Clark) and hit a three-pointer from the sideline to tie the game with 1.1 seconds remaining.
"The first option on the play was (senior guard) Alex (Klepadlo, Bernardston, MA/Pioneer Valley Regional HS, but he wasn't open," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "Jeff waited for Colin to pop out, and he made a tough shot."
The Lancers turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, and Clayton took the in-bounds pass for UMass Dartmouth, was fouled, and made both free throws to give the Corsairs the lead.
Klepadlo had given UMD a 64-63 lead with a three-pointer with 1:52 remaining. But Monte Goodwin made a layup to put WSU ahead, 65-64, with 1:28 to play, Charles Gunter of the Lancers was fouled with 45 seconds left and made one of two free throws to make it 66-64. After a turnover, Stephenson was fouled by Tagger and made his free throws with 5.6 left.
Burns led UMass Dartmouth with 13 points while Clayton added 10. Stephenson had 18 points for the Lancers; Mike Gittens added 17 and Robert Hunter contributed 14. Hunter had 12 rebounds for WSU, while senior center Lance Greene (Dorchester, MA/Charlestown HS/UMass Lowell) had 10 for the Corsairs.
"It was nice to win a game like that," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "I'm hoping the guys trust one another and believe in one another, and it could be a real springboard for us to go in a positive direction. We hung in there, and did a good job with our intensity, forcing them to turn the ball over and get the ball back. On the offensive end, we were able to execute some tough plays and win the game. Winning a game like that has got to help us."
The Corsairs improved to 4-3 with the victory, while the Lancers dropped to 2-5 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they visit Curry Thursday evening.