Dec. 5, 2009

Box Score

BOSTON, MA - Three different players posted double-doubles and scored 20 or more points as the University of Massachusetts Boston men's basketball team defeated visiting Keene State College, 85-78, this afternoon in the Little East Conference season opener at the Clark Athletic Center on the campus of UMass Boston. The Beacons win their second straight game for the first time since the 2006-07 season to improve to 3-4 overall and 1-0 in LEC play, while the Owls' five-game win streak over UMass Boston comes to an end as they fall to 3-5 and 0-1.

The Beacons dominated the boards with a 56-36 advantage, including 29 on the offensive glass to hold a 24-13 advantage in second chance points.

Sophomore forward Derek D'Amours (Agawam, MA) converted a lay-up to complete an 8-2 run to begin the second half and pull Keene State even at 44-44 with 18:09 showing in the period. It would be as close as the Owls would get as they never led for the entire contest. UMass Boston scored the next six points to take a 50-44 lead with 15:43 to go in the game and later increased its lead to 57-48 following a lay-up from junior forward Pat Joseph (Queens, NY) at the 13:11 mark of the second stanza. The Beacons maintained a 59-50 lead with 12:05 left in the contest, but Keene State went on an 11-3 burst, paced by five points from D'Amours to cut the deficit to 62-61 with 8:35 remaining in the game. The Owls stayed within a point for the next six minutes and trailed 73-72 with 2:28 showing in the second, but just couldn't take the lead. UMass Boston closed out the game with a 12-6 stretch to secure the win.

The Beacons held an early 4-3 edge with 17:09 to play in the first half, before putting together a 20-7 stretch, fueled by a pair of three-pointers from junior guard Mo Johnson (Portland, OR), to give the home team its largest lead at 24-10 with 9:59 left in the first stanza. Keene State responded with a 16-5 run, led by six points each from freshman forward Eric Fazio (Hopewell Junction, NY) and sophomore forward Cody Snow (Leyden, MA), to close to within 29-26 with 5:48 showing in the first half. The margin remained at three points with a 34-31 score at the three-minute mark, but UMass Boston scored eight of the next 10 points, capped by a Johnson trifecta, to give the Beacons a 42-33 lead with 12 seconds left in the half. UMass Boston looked as if it would go into the break with a nine-point lead, but Owls' sophomore forward Steve Boudreau (North Andover, MA) took a half court heave at the buzzer and was fouled on the play. He sunk three free throws with no time remaining and the margin was 42-36 at the intermission.

Senior forward Ernst Jean (Malden, MA) finished just three rebounds short of the school record with 22 to go with 10 points, two blocks and an assist for his second straight double-double for the Beacons, while sophomore point guard Michael Mitchell Jr. (Boston, MA/Wayland HS) recorded his first career double-double with 20 points and 11 assists in addition to three boards. Joseph finished the afternoon with 22 points on 11-15 from the floor to go with 11 rebounds and a steal, while Johnson ended with 20 points, including 6-7 from three-point range and added a rebound and an assist.

D'Amours led all scorers with 26 points on 11-19 from the floor for Keene State and added four rebounds, a pair of steals, an assist and a block. Snow finished with 15 points on 6-11 from the field to go with seven rebounds, three blocks and two assists, while Fazio chipped in with 12 points, six rebounds and a steal in 22 minutes. Mariano contributed with 11 points, four boards, two steals and an assist.

UMass Boston will be in action again on Tuesday, December 8 when it hosts MIT at the Clark Athletic Center at 7:30 p.m., while the Owls travel to North Adams, MA to take on Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on December 8 at 7:00 p.m.