BOSTON, Mass.—Behind a red-hot shooting display from distance, UMass Boston men's basketball earned a 78-72 win over Eastern Nazarene College in their final game of first semester.
UMass Boston 78, Eastern Nazarene College 72
(UMass Boston 6-5)
(Eastern Nazarene 3-6)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Facing off against one of the top 3-point shooting teams in the country, UMass Boston tied their season-high with 12 made 3-pointers on 20 total attempts (60 percent).
Freshman Michael Boyd (Malden, Mass.) led the Beacons with a team-high 19 points on 6-9 shooting and 5-7 shooting from distance. Fellow freshman Charles Mitchell (Boston, Mass.) knocked down 4-8 three-pointers and ended the night with 17 points and a game-high five steals.
Off the bench, freshman Jake Smith (Norwell, Mass.) led the Beacons with eight rebounds and added seven points, three assists and two steals.
Eastern Nazarene freshman David Lopez kept his team in the game all night, by going off for a career-high 22 points and 11 rebounds in 23 minutes of action.
Josh Rice chipped in with 15 points, while point guard Jacob Waldroop filled up the statsheet for the Lions with 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Neither side could wrestle control of Thursday's contest, until UMass Boston went on a 7-0 run five minutes into the second half. With a seven-point lead (54-47) and 14 minutes left, UMass Boston turned their defensive pressure up and drained several big shots to answer any Lions buckets.
Up until that run from the Beacons, the night had been characterized by a series of runs back-and-forth with neither team in control for long.
UMass Boston had the first of the big runs, as they went on a 12-2 run midway through the first half to take a 28-20 lead with 7:44 left.
The Lions immediately answered back with an 11-0 flurry, before the Beacons used a 9-0 spurt to take a 37-31 lead with 3:05 to play.
Eastern Nazarene immediately tied the game and the two teams went into the break knotted up at 39.
It was more of the same in the second half, as the two teams were tied at 47 apiece with 15:34 left.
That's when the Beacons finally went on a run and never gave the lead back. Mitchell knocked down a 3-pointer to start the run and then Boyd and Lee added lay-ins to make it 54-47 with 14 minutes to play.
Luke Dagley tried to respond for the Lions, but his 3-pointer was immediately countered by a Boyd three from NBA range.
Dagley would hit another three minutes later, but Mitchell was able to knock one down to make it 60-53 with 10:43 left.
The Beacons extended their lead out to 11 with 3:32 left, and were able to hold off a late run, to go into the break with a win.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston shot a season-high 50 percent (27-54) from the field, to go along with their 60 percent mark (12-20) from distance.
- Freshman Dennis Haughton (Gardner, Mass.) made his first collegiate start in the win.
- UMass Boston improved to 12-5 all-time against the Lions with the win and earned their first win at home against ENC since 2005.
- With the win, UMass Boston improved to 6-5 on the year. The Beacons have been .500 or better at the end of first semester in each of head coach Jason Harris' three seasons.
UMass Boston will be off until January 2, when the Beacons host Regis College at 7 p.m.