Jan. 31, 2009
WILLIMANTIC, CT -- Senior point guard A.J. Titus (Roxbury, MA) scored 17 of his career-high 21 points in the second half and sophomore forward Pat Joseph (Queens, NY) posted his sixth double-double of the year with 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead the University of Massachusetts Boston men's basketball team over host Eastern Connecticut State University, 75-69, today in a Little East Conference game at Geissler Gymnasium. The Beacons improve to 3-16 and 1-8, while the Warriors fall to 8-11 and 3-6.
UMass Boston shot 60% (15-25) in the second half, while holding Eastern Connecticut State to just 34.6% (9-26) and outscored the Warriors by 17 points to come back for the victory. The Beacons owned a 25-9 rebounding advantage in the second half and outscored Eastern Connecticut, 14-0 on second chance points.
The Warriors owned a 46-35 lead with 15:17 on the second half clock, before UMass Boston went on a 7-1 clip to cut the deficit to 47-42 with 12:43 to go in the game. Eastern Connecticut State later increased their lead to 58-50 with 8:24 remaining in the contest, but the Beacons put together a blistering 19-2 run over the next seven minutes, fueled by 12 points from Titus, to give UMass Boston a 69-60 advantage with 1:20 left in the game. The Warriors trailed 72-63 with 50 seconds to go and scored six straight points to pull to within 72-69 with 25 ticks left on the clock, but that would be as close as it would get as the Beacons held on for the win.
Eastern Connecticut State took the sixth lead change of the first half when senior guard Kris Johnson (Sturbridge, MA) drilled a three-pointer to give the hosts a 22-20 lead with 6:06 to play in the opening stanza to begin an 18-6 stretch, paced by three trifectas from Johnson, to close out the half for a 37-26 advantage at the intermission.
Titus was 5-8 from the floor and 10-15 from the line and added four rebounds, four assists, a steal and a career-best two blocked shots for UMass Boston. Joseph also registered a career-high in points on 9-14 from the floor to go with two steals and an assist, while junior forward Ernst Jean (Malden, MA) netted 15 points in addition to five rebounds, a steal and an assist.
Johnson finished with 18 points on six treys in 23 minutes off the bench for the Warriors and added a rebound and an assist, while junior guard Edwin Ortiz (Hartford, CT) dropped in 18 points on 8-16 from the field to go with three rebounds, four steals and an assist.
The Beacons will be in action again on Monday, February 2 when they travel to nearby Cambridge, MA to take on MIT at 7:00 p.m., while Eastern Connecticut State hosts Wesleyan University on Wednesday, February 4 at 7:00 p.m.