DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Eastern Connecticut State University utilized a 19-4 run at the beginning of the second half to post a 74-65 Little East Conference men's basketball victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth this afternoon inside the Tripp Athletic Center.
The Warriors (19-4, 11-1) clinched the top-seed in the upcoming conference tournament for the second straight season. The Corsairs (12-11, 8-4) suffered their second-straight setback to slip into a second-place tie with Rhode Island College (16-7, 8-4).
Eastern Connecticut shot 52.8 percent (19-for-36) from the field in the second half, including four of its five three-pointers, to score 49 points and erase a three-point halftime deficit. Freshman Tarchee Brown (Rockville, Conn.) led the visitors with 29 points, on 10-for-18 from and 4-for-7 from downtown. Sophomore Hugh Lindo (Enfield, Conn.) posted a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. The Warriors dominated the paint, outscoring the hosts 48-31.
Junior Jordan Rezendes (Onset, Mass.) poured in 24 points, on 7-for-14 shooting, to lead three players in double figures in scoring. Senior John Genkos (Worcester, Mass.) poured in 11 points, while junior Wale Abraham (Lynn, Mass.) registered a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
UMass Dartmouth used a 7-2 run over the final two minutes of the first half to take a 28-25 lead into the intermission. Abraham ignited the surge with a put-back, while Rezendes capped the run by draining a three and adding a lay-up.
Rezendes converted a conventional three-point play to give the Corsairs their largest advantage of the afternoon, 31-25. However, the Warriors answered with their decisive run to seize control of the contest. Brown was the catalyst during the surge with 13 points, including three makes from behind the three-point arc, to extend the visitors' advantage to 45-35 with 13:51 remaining in regulation.
Eastern Connecticut extended its advantage to a game-high 14 points (70-56) with 94 seconds left on the scorebook. UMass Dartmouth scored seven straight points to whittle its deficit to 70-63 with 25 ticks left on the clock, but Brown closed out the contest by making his final four attempts fromt the charity stripe.
The Corsairs shot 36.2 percent (21-for-58) from the floor, 37.5 percent (6-for-16) from downtown, and 73.9 percent (17-for-23) from the foul line. The Warriors forced their hosts into 18 turnovers, while committing just eight of their own.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 17, when the Corsairs travel to Little East Conference rival Rhode Island College.