Jan. 8, 2011
BOSTON, MA - Junior guard Nick Nedwick (Irvington, NY) netted 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting to lead the Eastern Connecticut State University men's basketball team past the University of Massachusetts Boston, 59-56, this afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston. With the win, the Warriors improve to 9-3 on the year and 2-1 in Little East Conference play while the loss drops the Beacons to 6-6 overall and 0-3 in the LEC.
Nedwick's three-point field goal with 12:46 remaining the first half snapped a 10-10 tie to put the Warriors on top, 13-10, a lead which the visitors would not relinquish for the remainder of the contest. A layup by senior center Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk, CT) with 5:20 to play in the half gave Eastern its largest lead of the frame at 29-23 before the Beacons would close out the half on a 6-4 spurt, capped by a jumper by freshman forward Dontreal Thomas (White Castle, LA), to give Eastern Connecticut the 33-29 halftime lead.
The Warriors would take their largest lead of the afternoon on a Nedwick layup that gave the visitors a 50-38 cushion with 9:47 remaining in the second half before the Beacons answered to get back into the contest. Junior guard Isaac Jenkins (Pordenone, Italy) connected on a reverse layup with 8:49 to play to jumpstart a 10-1 UMass Boston run, capped by a layup by junior point guard Michael Mitchell Jr. (Boston, MA) at the 3:51 mark to cut the Warrior lead to 51-48, and force the visitors to take a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, UMass Boston played 33 seconds of intense defense that left the Warriors with a desperation inbound play underneath their own basket. Sawyer was able to get off a jumper that found the iron, allowing junior forward Hamilton Levy (Woodbury, CT) to track down the offensive rebound and reset the shot clock for the visitors. Eastern would capitalize on the new possession and go on a 5-0 run to take a comfortable 56-48 lead with 53 seconds remaining but the Beacons continued to battle to make it a one possession game. Mitchell Jr. converted an old fashion three-point play to make it 56-51, ECSU, with 46 ticks left and then on the next Warrior possession, Mitchell Jr. came away with a steal and fast break layup to pull the Beacons to within three points at 56-53 with 30 seconds left on the clock. Following a UMass Boston foul, sophomore guard Joe Ives (Avon, CT) converted a pair of free throws to bump the Eastern lead back up to five at 58-53. UMass Boston could not convert on the offensive end and was forced to foul Ives, who connected on one of two attempts from the charity stripe to give the Warriors a comfortable 59-53 lead with eight second to play. Mitchell Jr. made it a three point contest, connecting on a shot from way behind the arc with 0.7 seconds to play but it was too little too late for UMass Boston as Eastern Connecticut, following a UMB timeout, was able to inbound the ball untouched and hold on for the 59-56 road win.
Mitchell Jr. finished the game with 18 points, tying Nedwick for the game-high, to go along with a game-high six steals. Jenkins ended the contest with 16 points while Thomas chipped in with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
For Eastern, Sawyer played well down low, scoring 14 points to go along with six rebounds while Ives finished the contested in double-figures with 10 points. Junior guard Jamie Kohn also played well for the visitors, netting nine points while grabbing a game-high seven rebounds.
The Beacons are back in action Tuesday, January 11 when they travel to Plymouth, NH for another LEC contest against Plymouth State while the Warriors host UMass Dartmouth the same night. Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tips.