Men’s Basketball Earns Crucial Conference Win over Southern Maine

Men’s Basketball Earns Crucial Conference Win over Southern Maine

BOSTON, Mass. – A total team effort carried men's basketball to their second straight Little East Conference victory as the Beacons defeated the University of Southern Maine by the final of 60-57 Wednesday evening at the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.

THE BASICS

UMass Boston 60, University of Southern Maine 57

UMass Boston (12-10, 5-6 Little East Conference)
Southern Maine (8-14, 3-8 Little East Conference)

HOW IT HAPPENED

After going into the halftime break with a slim two point lead, the Beacons got an early basket from Sam Freeman (Boston, Mass.) and never as they never trailed over the final 20 minutes.  The Huskies would come to within two with 1:22 left thanks to a pair of free throws by Zach Leal.  However a free throw by Careem Kirksey and a strong defensive showing by UMass Boston would prevent any solid chances by the USM throughout the closing seconds.

Dan Powers (Westwood, Mass.) produced the Beacons' only double-double with his 10 points and 13 rebounds.  Freeman led the team with 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while Iser Barnes (Boston, Mass.) dropped in 12. 

For the Huskies, James Starks III had a double-double of 12 rebounds and 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field and a 4-of-6 showing at the line. 

Early in the first half the two teams exchanged control of the scoreboard with Southern Maine holding a tight five point lead with just over five minutes to play.  The Beacons would take a two point lead with less than three to play thanks to a 7-0 run, which was capped off by a Dasan Cinelli (Boston, Mass.) jumper. 

Starks would even the score at 25-25 with 1:56 to play, and Leal would make it a two-point lead after going 2-for-2 at the charity stripe.

Careem Kirksey (Dorchester, Mass.) gave the Beacons a one-point lead second later after an impressive 3-for-3 showing at the line, after being fouled from deep behind the arc.  Starks would score the final basket for the Huskies with 25 seconds left on the clock.

Looking as if though UMass would head into the break trailing the Beacons were able to inbound the ball on their final possession and just as the buzzer sounded freshman Alex Sanchez (Salem, Mass.) drained the go-ahead 3-pointer. 

The momentum from that shot would carry over into the second half as the Beacons continue to climb back into the top-4 in the conference standings with only three games left in the regular season.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • UMass Boston has now won two of the last five meetings with the Huskies
  • The win on their floor was the first since the 2013 season, when they defeated USM 69-55
  • Southern Maine held a 40-29 advantage on the glass
  • The Beacons combined for a season-low 11 turnovers, which was the same amount of TO's in the previous contest against the Huskies

WHO'S NEXT

The Beacons will host Plymouth State University on Saturday at 3 p.m. on senior day.