Feb. 10, 2009
BOSTON, MA - Sophomore forward Pat Joseph (Queens, NY) recorded his seventh double-double of the year with a career-high 24 points to go with 10 rebounds to lead the University of Massachusetts Boston men's basketball team over visiting University of Southern Maine, 77-70, this evening in a Little East Conference game at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston. The Beacons improve to 4-18 overall and 2-9 in LEC play, while the Huskies fall to 4-18 and 1-10.
Southern Maine owned a 41-36 lead with 17:55 to go in the second half, before UMass Boston went on a blistering 20-4 run, fueled by 10 points from Joseph, to take its largest lead of the game at 56-45 with 10:59 to play in the contest. The Huskies responded with a 16-8 stretch, led by eight points from junior guard Andy Tracy (Ellsworth, ME), to pull to within 63-61 with 5:03 showing in the second half. The Beacons later maintained a 68-63 margin with 2:47 remaining in the contest, but sophomore guard Luke Pollock (Eliot, ME) drained a three-pointer and sophomore forward Otis Smith (Altamonte Springs, FL) made the first of two free throws to pull Southern Maine to within 68-67 with 1:46 showing in the second half. Freshman guard Chris Milton (Milton, MA) canned a trifecta to give UMass Boston a 71-67 lead 18 seconds later, but the Huskies clawed back to within a point at 71-70 when Pollock completed a three-point play with a lay-up and a free throw with 27 ticks to go in the game. That would be as close as they would come as the Beacons closed out the game with the final six points, including the last four free throws from senior point guard A.J. Titus (Roxbury, MA).
The teams played within three points of each other for the entire first half, including seven ties and five lead changes, including the final lead change of the stanza when Tracy hurled a last-second shot that went the entire length of the court and rattled in for a three-pointer with no time left on the clock to give Southern Maine a 36-34 halftime lead.
Both teams shot extremely well for the night with the Huskies enjoying a 54.9% (28-51) mark from the field and UMass Boston shooting 50% (28-56) from the floor, including 56.5% (13-23) in the second half.
Joseph had it going all night, making nine of 11 field goal attempts and all six free throw tries, while adding three steals and an assist. Junior forward Ernst Jean (Malden, MA) was 8-14 from the floor for 18 points in addition to five rebounds, a steal and a block, while Titus finished with 17 points, including 9-10 from the line to pace the Beacons, who shot 85.7% (18-21) from the charity stripe for the game. Titus also dished out eight assists and made a steal, while Milton contributed with 14 points on 5-10 from the field to go with a steal and an assist off the bench.
Freshman forward Sean Bergeron (Kennebunk, ME) led Southern Maine with 17 points on 6-10 from the floor to go with six rebounds, an assist and a pair of blocks, while Tracy ended the evening with 16 points on 7-13 from the floor and grabbed six rebounds, handed out an assist and made a steal. Smith chipped in with 11 points on 4-7 from the floor, pulled down a pair of rebounds and dished for an assist in 19 minutes off the bench.
UMass Boston will be in action again on Saturday, February 14 when it hosts Little East Conference rival Plymouth State University at 3:00 p.m. in its final home game of the season, while the Huskies host Rhode Island College on February 14 at 3:00 p.m.