BOSTON, Mass. – After pulling out a 61-57 win in Tuesday's quarterfinal round of the 2017 Little East Conference tournament, men's basketball will look to pull-off the upset of the year as they take on the top-seeded Warriors of Eastern Connecticut State University on Friday at 5 p.m. in Willimantic, CT in the semi-final round of the tournament.
What – 2017 Little East Conference Tournament Semi-Final Round
Who - #1 Eastern Connecticut State University
Where – Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium, Willimantic, Conn.
When – 5:00 PM
Live Stats & Video – http://www.littleeast.tv
HOW THEY GOT HERE
In the only upset of the quarterfinal round, UMass Boston edged the Panthers for their first tournament win since the 2007 season. The Beacons rode freshman Alex Sanchez (Salem, Mass.), who had 14 points in the victory to the five-point victory. Senior Dan Powers (Westwood, Mass.) grabbed nine boards in his first postseason win in a Beacons uniform. The Beacons bench, led the way as they dropped 32 of the team's 61 points on Tuesday.
January 14 – Eastern Connecticut State 79, UMass Boston 58
February 18 – Eastern Connecticut State 85, UMass Boston 66
First Meeting – January 14, 1984
Total Games Played – 72
UMass Boston Wins – 20
Eastern Connecticut Wins – 52
Postseason Meetings – 6 (UMB 2, ECSU 4)
2/21/89 – Eastern Connecticut 74, UMass Boston 67 (Quarterfinal)
2/20/90 – Eastern Connecticut 60, UMass Boston 46 (Quarterfinal)
2/28/97 – UMass Boston 76, Eastern Connecticut 69 (Semi-Final)
2/21/06 – UMass Boston 60, Eastern Connecticut 56 (Quarterfinal)
2/25/14 – Eastern Connecticut 61, UMass Boston 55 (Quarterfinal)
2/23/16 – Eastern Connecticut 93, UMass Boston 65 (Quarterfinal)
UMass Boston – 1 (2006)
Eastern Connecticut State University – 3 (1992, 2000, 2012)
ABOUT THE BEACONS
The Beacons have been led by the senior trio of Sam Freeman (Boston, Mass.), Dan Powers (Westwood, Mass.), and Iser Barnes (Boston, Mass.). Freeman enters the conference semi-final averaging 12.5 points per game, while Powers is currently carrying a double-double of 11.8 points and 11.0 rebounds per game. Going into Friday's meeting, Barnes sits third on the team with 11.3 points per game, but is also one of the team's top defensive players with his 42 steals. The Beacons have been the most consistent team from the free throw line as they are shooting 71.1% (399-561). From the field, the Beacons are shooting 43.5%, while on the glass they are averaging 40.5 rebounds per game, which is three more boards than their opponents.
In their first two-meetings with the Warriors, the Beacons saw Freeman go-off for 21 points and 10 rebounds in Willimantic to close out the regular season. In Boston, it was Powers who finished with a double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds, with six of those boards coming on the offensive glass.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS
For the top-seeded Warriors, they go into Friday's semi-final having won 18 straight over the Beacons. Eastern Connecticut has been led by two of the most dominant players in recent memory in Hugh Lindo and Tarchee Brown. Brown leads the Little East with 19.0 points per game, while Lindo is currently averaging a conference best 12.4 rebounds per game. Kendall Marquez has also proven to be a dangerous weapon for the Warriors, as he leads the Little East with a 42.3 3-point field goal percentage.
In the regular season finale between UMB and ECSU, Brown went-off for a season-high 33 points, while in the first meeting between the two squads Lindo finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds.
The winner of Friday's contest will advance to the championship game of the Little East Conference Tournament. The title game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at Eastern Connecticut State University. The winner of this year's tournament will earn the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.