Jan. 25, 2011
BOSTON, MA - Junior guard Isaac Jenkins (Pordenone, Italy) drilled a deep 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds remaining in the game to help the University of Massachusetts Boston men's basketball team overcome a 13 point deficit in the second half on the way to a 76-75 victory over the University of Southern Maine this evening at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston. Jenkins' 26 points in the contest led all scorers and is a new career high. With the decision, the Beacons improve to 8-9 overall and 2-6 in the Little East Conference, while the Huskies drop to 9-9 and 1-7 in the LEC.
The Huskies stormed out of the gates in the second half with an 8-0 run in the first 1:30 to open up a 13-point lead. Junior forward Sean Bergeron (Kennebunk, ME) tallied all eight points during the stretch to open up a 48-35 advantage. The Beacons refused to go quietly once again and bounced back to pull within six, 50-44, on a jumper by sophomore guard Michael Mitchell Jr. (Boston, MA) with 4:29 off the clock. A layup by Jenkins at 10:10 closed the gap to 52-51. UMass Boston completed its comeback, 60-59, with 7:15 left as senior forward Pat Joseph (Queens, NY) converted an old fashioned three-point play. The see-saw battle continued, however, with Southern Maine regaining the lead, 65-60, with a 6-0 run on a layup by Chambers. While Bergeron was huge for the Huskies in the first part of the second half, Chambers was even bigger down the stretch as he tallied 12 consecutive points in a three minute span. Sticking to the script, the Beacons cut the lead to one, 74-73, on a 3-pointer by junior guard Geoff Ebbs (Hingham, MA) with 32 seconds left. After a foul to stop the clock, Southern Maine was only able to convert 1-of-2 free throws which opened the door for Jenkins' heroics. Following a timeout by each team with 2.3 seconds remaining, Ebbs inbounded the ball from within the Beacons own half court line to Jenkins who was to allude the Huskies defense with the help of a screen by sophomore guard Yusuke Fukata (Osaka, Japan). Jenkins calmly knocked down the trey from well beyond the arc to give the home squad the 76-75 margin with less than a second remaining. Following another USM timeout, the Huskies were unable to get a shot off as freshman center Mbara Cisse (Miami, FL) was able to seal the win with a steal as time expired.
In the first half, Southern Maine jumped out to a 9-3 lead on a pair of free throws by senior guard Devin Chambers (Memphis, TN). UMass Boston fought back and tied the game at 11-11 after Jenkins was fouled behind the arc and proceeded to hit his three attempts from the line. The Huskies crept back out to a 21-16 advantage at 10:44 on a jumper by senior forward Otis Smith (Altamonte Springs, FL), who finished the half with a team-high 12 points. Again, however, the Beacons inched back to even the game 23-23 with 7:34 to go on a 3-pointer from the corner by Jenkins. A jumper by Jenkins 50 seconds later gave UMass Boston its second lead of the game as he went on to lead all scorers with 18. Southern Maine recaptured the lead and extended it to five on a pair of free throws by junior forward Jeremy Jackson (Laplace, LA) before taking a 40-35 advantage to the locker room at halftime.
For UMass Boston, Mitchell Jr. posted 18 points with seven assists, while Joseph tallied another double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. The visitors got a double-double from Bergeron who went off for 19 points and 11 boards. Chambers led the team with 20 points and Smith was also in double figures with 13 points.
Both teams return to action on Saturday, January 29 at 3:00 p.m. as the Beacons travel to Providence, RI to face Rhode Island College and the Huskies host Keene State College.