MEN'S BASKETBALL COMEBACK FALLS SHORT AGAINST FITCHBURG STATE, 76-72

Nov. 24, 2009

Box Score

BOSTON, MA - Senior guard Colin London (Worcester, MA) (26) and senior center Timothy Graham (Arlington, MA) (24) combined to score 50 points to lead the Fitchburg State College men's basketball team over host University of Massachusetts Boston, 76-72, tonight at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston. The Falcons improve to 1-3 on the season, while the Beacons fall to 1-2.

Junior forward Pat Joseph (Queens, NY) made a lay-up and was fouled on the play to give him a chance to pull UMass Boston even with 4:09 left in the game, but his try caught too much iron. Senior forward Ernst Jean (Malden, MA) came up with the rebound for the Beacons, but his attempts to score also fell short as Fitchburg State came up with the rebound and a fast break that resulted in a layup by London to give the visitors a 66-63 margin with 3:52 showing in the second half. The Falcons later increased their lead to 75-67 with 24 seconds left in the game, but Jean converted a lay-up with 15 seconds left and sophomore point guard Michael Mitchell Jr. (Boston, MA/Wayland HS) stole the inbounds pass, scored on a lay-up and was fouled on the play. He sunk the free throw as well with 12 ticks remaining and UMass Boston facing a 75-72 deficit. Jean came up with a steal, but a three-pointer from the top of the key was off the mark from sophomore guard Gaelen McGrail (Belmont, MA) and the Beacons' comeback was halted.

Fitchburg State took an early 5-2 lead with 16:49 showing in the first half, before UMass Boston put together an 18-6 run, fueled by five points from junior guard Mo Johnson (Portland, OR), to take its largest lead of the night at 20-11 with 10:17 to go in the first stanza. The Beacons maintained a 22-13 advantage with 9:46 to play in the opening period, but the Falcons responded with a 22-10 stretch over the next eight minutes, paced by 13 points from London, to take a 35-32 margin with 1:53 left in the first half. Fitchburg State held onto the lead, heading into the break at 36-34.

Mitchell Jr. converted a lay-up to bring UMass Boston to within 48-43 with 14:22 to play in the second half, but the Falcons increased their advantage to 59-49 with 9:50 remaining on an 11-6 burst. It was their largest lead of the night, before UMass Boston later closed to within one on Joseph's lay-up.

London finished the night shooting 9-15 from the floor and added five rebounds, five steals, four assists and a pair of blocks, while Graham added 12 rebounds for a double-double in addition to three assists, a steal and a blocked shot for Fitchburg State. Freshman guard Blake Sheldon (Westminster, MA) led all playmakers with five assists to go with six points, two steals and a rebound.

Sophomore swingman Kyle King (Springfield, MA) led the Beacons with 17 points on 6-11 from the field to go with five steals, two rebounds and a block, while Jean registered a double-double of 15 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. He also added two steals, a pair of blocks and an assist. Mitchell Jr. was huge in the second half with all 16 of his points coming in the frame, while dishing for four assists, making four steals and pulling down a rebound. Joseph finished with eight points, seven rebounds, three steals, three assists and two blocks in his return from an injury.

UMass Boston will be in action again on Friday, November 27 when it hosts Mount Ida College in the first round of the 25th Annual Harbor Invitational at 7:30 p.m. at the Clark Athletic Center, while the Falcons host Regis College (MA) on Tuesday, December 1 at 7:00 p.m.