Jan. 7, 2010

Box Score

BOSTON, MA - The Tufts University men's basketball team shot 91.7% (11-12) from three-point range and edged host University of Massachusetts Boston, 77-76, this evening at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston. The Jumbos improve to 3-7 on the season, while the Beacons fall to 3-9.

Despite Tufts shooting a white-hot 66.7% (26-39) from the floor, UMass Boston forced 27 turnovers and owned a 29-12 points off turnovers advantage to stay in the contest.

Freshman guard Jason White (Roxbury, MA) drained a three-pointer to give the Beacons a 68-67 lead, despite the Jumbos shooting 71% (24-34) from the field at the time with 4:58 left to play in the game. UMass Boston later extended its lead to 72-68 on a White lay-up with 2:58 remaining in the contest and maintained the lead over the next two minutes as White converted again with 50 seconds to go for a 76-74 margin, but senior forward Dave Beyel (Ocean City, NJ) canned a trifecta for the last made basket of the night to give Tufts a 77-76 edge with 34 ticks showing on the clock. The Beacons controlled the final possession, but were unable to get a shot off and turned the ball over as time expired.

UMass Boston netted the first five points of the game through the first two-plus minutes after the opening tip, before the Jumbos went on a 9-2 run to take a 9-7 lead with 15:24 left in the first half. The Beacons responded with a 9-4 stretch to reclaim the lead at 16-13 with 12:13 showing on the first half clock, but went cold as Tufts ripped off nine straight points to take a 22-16 advantage with 9:41 to play in the first stanza. The Jumbos led for the rest of the half and increased their margin by as many as nine with a 40-31 bulge with 1:23 to go, before UMass Boston scored the final four points of the half to make it a 40-35 deficit at the intermission.

Tufts scored 11 of the first 15 points of the second half to take a 51-39 lead with 15:08 remaining in the period. The Beacons rallied with a 13-3 burst, fueled by six points from junior forward Pat Joseph (Queens, NY), to pull the them to within 54-52 with 10:41 left in the half. Beyel later converted a pair of free throws to increase the visitor's advantage to 59-52 with 8:42 showing in the second session, but UMass Boston made another run, scoring 10 of the next 12 points for a 62-61 edge and its first lead since midway through the first half. The teams traded the lead four times before White's lay-up at 4:58.

Beyel finished the night with 25 points on 7-11 from the floor, including 4-5 from three-point range and added three steals, two assists and a rebound in 25 minutes for the Jumbos. Senior guard Dan Cook (Dover, MA) was even more efficient from downtown, hitting all five of his three-point tries as part of a 16-point effort to go with a steal and a rebound. Senior forward Jon Pierce (Belmont, MA) chipped in with 11 points on 5-7 from the field in addition to four rebounds and two assists, while junior guard Matt Galvin (Floral Park, NY) led all playmakers with eight assists and added six points, three rebounds, a steal and a blocked shot.

Joseph led the Beacons with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds to go with four steals and an assist, while White ended the evening with 16 points, five steals, two rebounds and two steals. Sophomore guard Justin Favors (Mableton, GA) contributed with 11 points on 5-8 shooting and two rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench, while sophomore point guard Michael Mitchell Jr. (Boston, MA/Wayland HS) directed the offense with seven assists in addition to six points, five steals and a rebound.

UMass Boston will be in action again on Saturday, January 9 when it travels to Willimantic, CT to take on Little East Conference foe Eastern Connecticut State University at 3:00 p.m., while Tufts hosts Clark University on January 12 at 7:00 p.m.