WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – A 50 point second half was all the top-seeded Warriors of Eastern Connecticut State University needed to advance to the championship game of the Little East Conference Tournament as they defeated fifth-seeded men's basketball by the final of 86-58 Friday evening at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
#5 UMass Boston 58, #1 Eastern Connecticut State University 86
UMass Boston (14-13)
Eastern Connecticut State (19-8)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Trailing by only six going into the halftime break, UMass Boston had the opportunity to really take down the top-seeded Warriors. However, the Beacons offense went ice cold in the final half of regulation, as they shot just 20% from the field, while the Warriors continued their pace from the first half.
Eastern Connecticut shot 63.6% from the field, 55.6% from behind the arc, and 75.0% at the charity stripe in the huge second half. The Warriors also dominated defensively with their six blocked shots and three steals.
Senior Sam Freeman (Boston, Mass.) led UMB in the second half with just seven points, while for the Warriors Tarchee Brown combined for 11 points to lead ECSU.
On the night, Freeman closed out an All-Conference type season with a team-high 16 points. Off the bench Alex Sanchez (Salem, Mass.) finished with 14 points in his first collegiate conference semi-final game. Dan Powers (Westwood, Mass.) recorded another double-double as he dropped in 11 points, to go along with 12 rebounds.
Brown led Friday's semi-final with 19 points. Hugh Lindo played one of his most well-rounded tournament games in his standout career. The senior had 11 points, 20 rebounds, seven of which came on the offensive glass, four blocked shots, and seven assists.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Friday's contest marked the Beacons first semi-final tournament appearance since the 2007 season
- The Beacons 14 wins marks the most since the 2005-06 season, and was the first winning record for second year head coach Jason Harris
- Friday's contest marked the final in the careers of Freeman, Powers, Careem Kirksey (Dorchester, Mass.), Iser Barnes (Boston, Mass.), Neil Cesar (Randolph, Mass.), and William Butts (Stoneham, Mass.)
- Friday's contest was the seventh post season meeting between UMB and ECSU; ECSU leads the series 5-2 overall
- UMass Boston has faced the Warriors in three of the last four postseason tournaments