GORHAM, Maine – With a combined 65% shooting from the field and from 3-point range in the second half the Huskies of the University of Southern Maine held on to defeat men's basketball by the final of 75-68 in a Little East Conference contest Tuesday evening at Hill Gymnasium.
Tuesday's defeat drops the Beacons record to 5-13 overall, 0-8 in the Little East. For the Huskies they improved to 6-12, 2-6 in the conference.
After going into the halftime break trailing by five the Beacons cut the Huskies lead to two as they started the final 20 minutes of play with a lay-up from Selim Omerovic (Saugus, Mass.) and a free throw from Luc Ulysse (Brooklyn, N.Y.).
The early push by UMass Boston was quickly countered by the Huskies as they responded with a three-point play of their own as Conor Sullivan completed an and-1 to push the Huskies lead back to five. UMass would once again cut the Huskies lead to two following a 3-pointer from Omar Benabicha (Saugus, Mass.). They would then tie the game at 38-38 on a lay-up from big-man Kadeem Coulter (Boston, Mass.).
Unfortunately a 9-4 run gave the Huskies some breathing room. UMass would continue push to retake the lead, but they were never able to regain control of the early momentum, as the Huskies lead never fell to less than three points.
Four of Southern Maine's starting five played a major part in Tuesday's decision, with Cole Libby leading the way with his game-high 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Conor Sullivan finished second on the team with 15 points followed by Tyler Penney who dropped in 14 points, while also collecting nine rebounds.
UMass was led by junior Carl Joseph (Brockton, Mass.) who came off the bench to finish with 21 points on 7-of-17 shooting from the field, which included a pair of 3-pointers, and a 5-of-5 showing at the line. Ulysse posted a game-high nine boards and handed out an impressive 11 assists. Sam Freeman finished second on the team with 12 points, while Benabicha was the lone starter for UMass to record double-figures with 10 points.
Men's Basketball returns to action on Saturday when they host Rhode Island College at 3 p.m. in a Little East Conference game.