Feb. 16, 2010
BOSTON, MA - Freshman guard Jason White (Roxbury, MA/Charlestown HS) gave the University of Massachusetts Boston men's basketball team the lead for good with a layup with nine seconds left as two of his team-high 16 points in a 72-69 victory over visiting University of Southern Maine in a Little East Conference contest this evening at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston. The Beacons improve to 5-19 overall and 3-10 in LEC play, while the Huskies fall to 2-22 and 0-13.
UMass Boston owned a 51-45 lead with 11:22 showing in the second half and later maintained a 60-56 margin with 4:55 to go, before Southern Maine ripped off seven unanswered points, all coming from junior guard Luke Pollock (Eliot, ME), to give the visitors a 63-60 lead with 3:04 remaining in the game. The Huskies held onto their three-point margin at 67-64 with 1:35 left to play, before White scored on consecutive drives to give the Beacons a 68-67 edge with 46 seconds to go. Junior guard John Sewall (Bath, ME) reclaimed the lead for Southern Maine with a pair of free throws, but White countered with another driving layup for UMass Boston with nine seconds left. The Huskies turned the ball over on their next possession and sophomore point guard Michael Mitchell Jr. (Boston, MA/Wayland HS) made good on a pair of free throws to give the Beacons a three-point cushion with 2.1 seconds remaining in the game. Pollock heaved a half court shot to send the contest into overtime for Southern Maine, but the ball hit the front rim, came down on the rim again and took one final bounce off the rim to secure the victory for the home team.
Senior forward Will Clemmer (Windham, ME) made a lay-up with 6:21 showing on the first half clock to give the Huskies a 23-16 lead. UMass Boston scored the next five points to pull to within 23-21 with 5:13 to play in the opening half and stayed within 27-25 with 2:52 to go. Southern Maine reeled off eight straight points, capped by a three-point play from Sewall, to take its largest lead of the contest at 35-25 with 57 seconds remaining. The Beacons ended the half with momentum, though, getting back-to-back three-pointers from sophomore swingman Kyle King (Springfield, MA) and junior guard Mo Johnson (Portland, OR) to pull to within 35-31 going into the intermission.
UMass Boston scored the first six points of the second half and took its first lead since the opening field goal of the first half when freshman forward Kristi Gjikondi (Fier, Albania) converted a lay-up for a 37-35 margin with 18:06 showing in the second half. The Beacons later took their largest lead of the contest when senior forward Ernst Jean (Malden, MA) sank a pair of free throws at 11:22 to make it 51-45. UMass Boston would not trail until Pollock canned a three-pointer to give the Huskies a 61-60 edge with 3:42 left in the game.
White was one of five players to net double figures for the Beacons and added seven rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals to his night, while junior forward Pat Joseph (Queens, NY) dropped in 13 points on 5-9 from the floor and grabbed six rebounds. Mitchell Jr. contributed with 13 points on 5-10 from the field, handed out four assists, pulled down four rebounds and came up with two steals. Jean ended the night with 11 points, six boards, an assist and two blocks and Johnson dropped in 11 points in addition to a rebound, an assist and a steal in 23 minutes of action. Sewall led Southern Maine with 18 points on 5-9 shooting to go with three rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Pollock finished with 15 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists. Clemmer chipped in with nine points, six rebounds and a game-high four blocks.
UMass Boston will be in action again on Saturday, February 20 in its season finale in a conference match-up in Danbury, CT vs. Western Connecticut State University at 3:00 p.m., while the Huskies host Eastern Connecticut State University on February 20 at 3:00 p.m.