Feb. 21, 2011
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team will try to continue their post-season success when they begin play in the Little East Conference playoffs at Keene State Tuesday evening.
The Corsairs, who are playing on the road in the first round for the first time in five years, are the fifth seed. They finished the regular season 11-14 overall and 7-7 in LEC play. KSC, the fourth seed, finished 16-9 and 8-6 and will host the game at 7:00 p.m. at Spaulding Gym.
UMass Dartmouth has not lost a first round game in the LEC playoffs in 12 years, last falling in a first round contest when they lost at Western Connecticut State, 56-49, in the first round following the 1998-99 season. The Corsairs also defeated the Owls twice during the regular season, winning at Keene, 106-100, January 15th, and again at home, 87-74, in the final game of the regular season this past Saturday.
The Corsairs averaged 96.5 points per game in their two games against KSC, making 47.9 per cent of their shots from the field and 42.2 per cent from three-point range, outrebounding the Owls by 5.5 rebounds per game, and forcing 18 turnovers per game while committing 16. Junior forward Colin Burns (Chepachet, RI/Ponaganset HS/CCRI) led UMD in scoring in the two games, averaging 23 points per game, while senior forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) averaged 16.5. Stephens, who scored 18 points Saturday, now ranks 10th on the all-time scoring list at UMD with 1621 points.
Despite the success enjoyed by UMass Dartmouth against Keene State, Corsair Head Coach Brian Baptiste said that his team will have to step up their performance to be successful Tuesday evening.
"I thought our team played well offensively on Saturday, and came up with some key stops to win the game," said Baptiste. "We will need to play well again on offense, and play better on the defensive end and make more stops. Keene State will most likely play better at home than they did here Saturday."
The winner of Tuesday's first round game will advance to a semi-final game against host and top seed Rhode Island College Friday evening at the Murray Center in Providence, RI.
UMASS DARTMOUTH BASKETBALL