BOSTON, Mass. -- Freshman Malik Lorquet (Sharon, Mass.) came off the bench to notch a double-double effort of 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead a quartet in double figures, as UMass Boston posted an 87-79 Little East Conference men’s basketball victory over UMass Dartmouth Wednesday evening at the Clark Athletic Center.
The host Beacons (12-11, 7-8 LEC) turned an early four-point lead into a 14-point first half advantage on the strength of 15 points from junior Dasan Cinelli (Boston, Mass.), who connected on all six of his shots including three from behind the arc. UMass Boston blistered the nets at a 64 percent clip (16-25) in the opening 20 minutes of play to take a 40-27 edge at the break, but the visiting Corsairs (17-7, 11-4 LEC) used a 22-10 run in the first 8:56 after intermission to creep back to within one (50-49) on freshman Marcus Azor’s (Brockton, Mass.) lay-in with 11:04 to play in the contest.
Sophomore Charles Mitchell (Boston, Mass.) sparked a 13-2 Beacons run in a two-minute stretch that extended the hosts’ lead back to double digits (63-51) with an even nine minutes remaining, but UMass Dartmouth responded once again by netting 12 of the game’s next 14 points to pull back to within a bucket (65-63) on sophomore Jake Ashworth’s (Fairhaven, Mass.) three-pointer with 7:01 to play. The teams traded baskets until Ashworth’s lay-in with 4:48 remaining pulled the visitors to within one (70-69), but that was as close as the Corsairs would come in the closing minutes, as a decisive 10-2 run over three minutes time expanded UMass Boston’s lead to nine with 58 seconds left. UMass Dartmouth crept back to within five points on two occasions in the final minute, but four free throws by sophomore Michael Boyd (Malden, Mass.) iced the hosts’ triumph.
Cinelli matched Lorquet in the scoring column with 18 points and six rebounds for the Beacons, who received 14 points, six boards and three blocks from freshman Javaris Hill (Lynn, Mass.) along with 11 points from Mitchell. Junior Alex Sanchez (Salem, Mass.) was also in double figures with 10 points, five caroms and three assists for UMass Boston, which shot 53 percent (31-58) from the field overall and held a 46-39 rebounding advantage on the evening.
Senior Atakan Akcam (Ankara, Turkey) notched a double-double effort with a game-high 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in the setback for UMass Dartmouth, which received 16 points, four steals and three assists from Azor. Ashworth added 12 points for the Corsairs, who received 10 points from freshman Sean Leahy (Hanson, Mass.). Senior Arinze Obiora (Hyde Park, Mass.) chipped in with eight points and nine boards for the visitors, who shot 38 percent (30-79) from the field and converted 19 turnovers into 18 points for the contest.
UMass Dartmouth hosts Castleton in its Little East regular season finale on Saturday afternoon at the Tripp Athletic Center that tips off at 3:00 pm, while UMass Boston travels to Providence, R.I. on Saturday afternoon for a Little East matchup with Rhode Island College that also tips off at 3:00 pm.
(Photo Credit: Lyrik Gelmete '21)