Jan. 2, 2011
BOSTON, MA - Senior forward Pat Joseph (Queens, NY) scored 21 points and hauled in five rebounds to help the University of Massachusetts Boston men's basketball team defeat Colby College, 69-65, in the opening round of the 2011 ECAC Holiday Festival tournament this afternoon at the Kissimmee Civic Center in Kissimmee, FL. With the decision, the Beacons improve their record to 6-4 while the Mules fall to 5-6.
A free throw by junior point guard Michael Mitchell Jr. (Boston, MA) with 9:14 to play in the first half gave UMass Boston its largest lead of the game at 21-12 before the Mules fought their way back into the contest. The visitors used a 16-7 run to close out the half, fueled by eight points from junior forward Kyle Donovan (Portland, ME) and six points from senior forward Mike Russell (Wellesley, MA) to even the score at 28-28 heading into the halftime intermission.
Both squads battled for control of the game early on in the second frame, with eight lead changes over the first six minutes of action. With 14:25 to play in the stanza senior guard Christian Van Loenen (Falmouth, ME) netted a pair of free throws to give Colby a 43-41 advantage before UMass Boston would rattle off a 7-0 run to take a 48-43 lead with 11:20 to play. The Mules would fight back, tying the game again at 61-61 on a layup by junior guard Ben Foreman (Los Angeles, CA) with 2:59 remaining. The Beacons would connect on back-to-back layups by sophomore guard Jason White (Roxbury, MA) and Mitchell Jr. to go back up by four points at 65-61 with 2:11 left in the second half, but again Colby refused to quit, rattling off a 4-0 spurt capped by a layup by freshman guard Uzoma Orchingwa (West Hartford, CT) to tie the score at 65-65 with 1:12 left in regulation. With 33 seconds to play, White pulled UMass Boston ahead for good with a layup to give the home squad a 67-65 advantage. Mitchell Jr. tacked on two free throws with 10 seconds remaining to make it a two-possession game and seal the win for the Beacons.
Mitchell Jr. finished the game with 15 points to go along with five assists, five rebounds and four steals with White was also in double-figures for the Beacons, netting 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field.
For Colby, Russell recorded a double-double with game-highs in both points (24) and rebounds (12). Donovan ended the afternoon with 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the floor to go along with five assists.
The Beacons are back in action Tuesday, January 4 when they face off against Baldwin-Wallace at 12:00 p.m. in another ECAC Holiday Festival match up while the Mules travel to Bangor, ME on Thursday, January 6 to face Husson College for a 7:00 p.m. contest.