DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- Tournament Most Valuable Player Marcus Azor’s (Brockton, Mass.) conventional three-point play with four seconds remaining capped an eight-point comeback in the final 2:59 of action, as UMass Dartmouth posted a 69-67 victory over Trinity in the championship game of the 22nd Annual Lafrance Hospitality Tournament Saturday afternoon at the Tripp Athletic Center.
The host Corsairs, who are off to their best start in 11 years at 4-0, had the final run in a game filled with scoring outbursts, as the visiting Bantams (1-1) jumped out to an early 9-2 edge before UMass Dartmouth responded with a 22-5 run en route to a 34-27 advantage at the break. Trinity answered with a 18-9 opening second half spurt to take a 45-43 cushion on sophomore Tyler Mola’s (Leominster, Mass.), but the hosts forged a 55-55 tie with 6:23 to play on a pair of Azor free throws.
The Bantams then scored the game’s next eight point to take their largest advantage (63-55) on junior Donald Jorden’s (Tampa, Fla.) lay-in, but a three-point play by Azor and a free throw from senior Harry Alexander (Washington, D.C.) sliced the Corsairs’ deficit to one (63-62) with 1:51 remaining. After trading buckets in the final minute, junior Jake Ashworth’s (Fairhaven, Mass.) lay-in with 11 seconds to play cut Trinity’s lead to one, and the Bantams had a chance to increase that margin but a missed a pair of free throws to set up the heroics from Azor, who drove down the left side for the go-ahead lay-up and foul. The visitors had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but a last second three-pointer sailed to the left of the basket.
Azor finished with 20 points, five steals and four assists for UMass Dartmouth, which received 16 points from Ashworth along with 15 points (including a trio of three-pointers) from sophomore Dhalyn Sanders-Dyer (Worcester, Mass.). Alexander grabbed 12 rebounds for the Corsairs, who shot 40 percent from the field on the day.
Junior Colin Donovan (Westboro, Mass.) scored 14 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out five assists in the setback for Trinity, which received 11 points from senior Christian Porydzy (South Glastonbury, Conn.) along with a double-double effort of 10 points and a game-high 17 rebounds from Jorden. The Bantams held a 54-38 edge on the glass but hurt themselves with 21 turnovers.
Sophomore Brett Cunningham (Harrah, Okla.) scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead four players in double figures in Husson’s (2-1) third place game triumph, as the Eagles opened up a 38-32 halftime edge and took control of the contest with 12 unanswered points after intermission. Sophomore Justice Kendall (Baltimore, Md.) added 12 points for Husson, which received 10 points each and a combined nine rebounds from sophomore J Thomas (Chicago, Ill.) and freshman Derek Collin (Bar Harbor, Maine).
Freshman Elliot Harris (Cambridge, Mass.) netted a game-high 24 points, including six three-pointers, in the third place setback for Bard (0-3), which received 16 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks from sophomore Stamatis Koulouris (Athens, Greece). Freshman Stefanos Psarras (Athens, Greece) added 14 points and seven caroms for the Raptors, who collected a game-high 13 boards from sophomore Avgoustinos Sofroniou (Limassol, Cyprus).
Azor was joined on the all-tournament team by Ashworth, Porydzy, Cunningham and Harris.
UMass Dartmouth heads to Medford, Mass. on Tuesday evening to take on Tufts in a non-league outing that tips-off at 7:00 pm.