Four Men's Basketball Players Earn Little East Conference Honors

March 3, 2009

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Four members of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's men's basketball team have been honored by the Little East Conference.

Senior guard Reece Freeman (Cambridge, MA/Rindge & Latin HS) and junior forward Brandon Shelton (Cambridge, MA/Rindge & Latin HS/UMass Lowell) earned first team All-Little East Conference honors, while sophomore forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA/Newton North HS) earned second team honors. Freeman and junior guard Jeff Macchi (Franklin, MA/Franklin HS) were named to the LEC All-Defensive Team.

Freeman led the LEC in assists and is 22nd nationally at 6.0 per game, and was second in steals (25th in the nation, 2.6 per game). He was also first in assist to turnover ratio (3.8), a statistic in which he leads the nation. Shelton finished second in the conference in scoring (17.9 points per game) and was fifth in rebounding (6.5 per game). He ranked fourth in free throw percentage (79.4 per cent) and ranked 15th in field goal percentage at 45.5 per cent. Stephens tied for sixth in scoring at 13.7 points per game, and was fifth in three-point field goal percentage (36.9 per cent). Macchi led the conference and is 17th nationally in steals (2.8 per game), was 11th in assists (2.4 per game), and was 13th in free throw percentage (70.9 per cent).

"A lot of guys on our team had very good years, and they are all well-deserving of their accolades," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "I thought Brandon could have been a candidate for Player of the Year, and I thought Jeff and (junior forward) Matt Walker (Brockton, MA/Brockton HS) deserved to be second team All-Conference. It's really about what we do as a group, not about what we do individually."

UMass Dartmouth will take a 25-3 overall record into their NCAA Division III Tournament opener Friday night when they meet Baruch at WPI at 8:00 p.m.

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Freeman led the LEC in assists and is 22nd nationally at 6.0 per game, and was second in steals (25th in the nation, 2.6 per game). He was also first in assist to turnover ratio (3.8), a statistic in which he leads the nation. Shelton finished second in the conference in scoring (17.9 points per game) and was fifth in rebounding (6.5 per game). He ranked fourth in free throw percentage (79.4 per cent) and ranked 15th in field goal percentage at 45.5 per cent. Stephens tied for sixth in scoring at 13.7 points per game, and was fifth in three-point field goal percentage (36.9 per cent). Macchi led the conference and is 17th nationally in steals (2.8 per game), was 11th in assists (2.4 per game), and was 13th in free throw percentage (70.9 per cent).

"A lot of guys on our team had very good years, and they are all well-deserving of their accolades," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "I thought Brandon could have been a candidate for Player of the Year, and I thought Jeff and (junior forward) Matt Walker (Brockton, MA/Brockton HS) deserved to be second team All-Conference. It's really about what we do as a group, not about what we do individually."

UMass Dartmouth will take a 25-3 overall record into their NCAA Division III Tournament opener Friday night when they meet Baruch at WPI at 8:00 p.m.

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