BOSTON, Mass.—Behind another total team effort, UMass Boston men's basketball cruised to the Championship Game of the First Annual Paula Titus Memorial Tournament on Friday night at the Clark Athletic Center Gynasium.
UMass Boston 75, Curry College 51
(UMass Boston 2-0)
(Curry College 0-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Beacons jumped out to a 13-2 lead early and used a 17-0 run in the second half to never let the Colonels get into the game.
With the victory, UMass Boston advances to play in Saturday's Championship Game at 3 p.m. The Beacons will play the College of St. Joseph's (Vt.), who defeated Fisher College 82-73 in the second game on Friday night.
Freshman Javaris Hill (Lynn, Mass.) paced the Beacons with 14 points and a team-best six rebounds. Sophomore transfer Kevin Nunez (Dorchester, Mass.) tacked on 11 points and also finished second with five rebounds.
With a big lead from the jump and a 20-point advantage in the final minutes, head coach Jason Harris was able to use 16 of his 18 rostered players.
Curry College junior Kieran Carroll led all players with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Alex Stein added nine points off the bench, as he knocked down 7-of-8 free throws.
The Beacons were all over the Colonels from the jump. Charlie Mitchell (Boston, Mass.) and Malik Lorquet (Sharon, Mass.) knocked down back-to-back shots on the second and third possessions of the game to give UMass Boston a 4-0 lead.
After a Carroll hook shot, Dasan Cinelli (Boston, Mass.) converted a 3-point play and then Charles Mitchell (Boston, Mass.) knocked down a three of his own. UMass Boston tacked on three more points, with Hill knocking down a lay-in a transition to make it 13-2 just 4:50 into the game.
The Beacons offense would slow down from there, but their ability to force turnovers and execute in transition kept the Colonels behind by at least 10.
Out of the half, Curry turned up the intensity and cut the Beacons' 14-point edge to 10 on a Jared Thorpe-Johnson three at 15:49.
After a Beacons' timeout, UMass Boston came roaring back. Hill and Alex Sanchez (Salem, Mass.) hit back-to-back lay-ups to spark the 17-0 run. The Beacons came up empty on their next possession, before scoring on four of their next six-to push the lead to 59-36.
Nunez and Lorquet would add two final layups to give UMass Boston a 63-36 edge with 8:34 left in regulation.
Curry would never get closer than 18 the rest of the way, as both teams emptied their benches over the final minutes.
BY THE NUMBERS
- For the second-straight game, UMass Boston's bench came up huge. The Beacons outscored the Colonels 48-17 off the bench and UMass Boston's bench unit is averaging 49 points per game.
- UMass Boston forced 28 Colonels turnovers in the win and turned them into 20 points off turnovers. The Beacons also held a 16-0 lead in fast-chance points.
- UMass Boston shot 44.6 percent (29-65) from the field, but struggled from behind the arc (6-18) and from the free throw line (11-32).
- Five Beacons made their season debuts in the victory, with four players earning their first collegiate minutes. RJ Young (Boston, Mass.) Zi Liu (Boston, Mass.), Mat Montenario (Lynn, Mass.) and Yancy St. Germain (Cambridge, Mass.) all made their collegiate debuts in the win.
- With the win, UMass Boston improved to 3-0 all-time against the Colonels. The team's prior two meetings came in 1981 and 1984.
UMass Boston will play in the Championship Game of the First Annual Paula Titus Memorial Tournament on Saturday at 3 p.m. The Beacons will be looking to win their own tournament for the first time since the 2012-13 season.