Men's Basketball Drops Thriller To Worcester State, 68-67

Men's Basketball Drops Thriller To Worcester State, 68-67

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Junior forward Jeremy Ross (Holden, MA/Wachusett HS) hit a driving layup with six seconds remaining and visiting Worcester State held off the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's basketball team, 68-67, in a non-conference game at the Tripp Athletic Center Tuesday evening.

Ross took a pass from junior forward Dane Jobst (Athol, MA/Mahar HS) and laid the ball in after the Lancers were awarded possession on the alternate possession rule when the ball was tied up with 16 seconds to play.

Following Ross' basket, junior forward Mike Rotando (Point Pleasant Beach, NJ/{Point Pleasant Beach HS/Bloomfield) brought the ball up court, but his pass to junior guard John Genkos (Worcester, MA/Doherty HS) failed to connect with one second remaining. The Lancers got the ball, and ran out the clock.

"We wanted Mike to come in and take it hard to the basket and possibly draw a foul, or drop it off to (sophomore center Alex) Rodrigues (Fall River, MA/Durfee HS), or get it to John Genkos for an open shot," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. "Unfortunately, we turned the ball over and didn't get a shot off."

The Corsairs took a 29-22 halftime lead and led for most of the second half, before junior forward Robert Hunter (St. Louis, MO/Normandy HS) hit a layup to put WSU up, 59-57 with 5:21 left. They held the advantage until Rotando hit a three-pointer to point UMD up, 65-64 with 1:34 remaining. Then Hunter and Rodrigues traded baskets until Ross connected for the decisive score.

Genkos led UMD with 12 points, and Rodrigues added 11. Hunter led all scorers with 22 points, while Jobst had 11 points and 14 rebounds. Rodrigues had eight rebounds as WSU out rebounded UMD, 41-39.

"It was disappointing," said Baptiste. "Our inexperience hurts us in situations like this, and we need to work hard in practice every day and get better so we can learn to handle situations like this. We turned the ball over too many times when all we had to do was maintain possession of the ball."

UMass Dartmouth dropped to 0-6 with the defeat, while Worcester State improved to 4-1 with the victory. The Corsairs will return to action when they host Curry Thursday evening. The Lancers will host Western Connecticut State Thursday.