BOSTON, Mass.—UMass Boston men's basketball erupted for 55 points in the second half Saturday, to easily capture the First Annual Paula Titus Memorial Tournament Championship Title on Saturday afternoon.
UMass Boston 99, College of Saint Joseph's (Vt.) 72
(UMass Boston 3-0)
(College of Saint Joseph's 5-4)
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a sluggish first-half that saw the Beacons up just five points at the break, UMass Boston shot 59.5 percent in the second half to easily dispatch the Fighting Saints.
With the victory, the Beacons captured the first-ever title in the Paula Titus Memorial Tournament. Sophomore guard Kevin Nunez (Dorchester, Mass.) was named the Tournament MVP after averaging 9.5 points, eight rebounds and two steals in the tournament.
The Paula Titus Memorial Tournament was named after Paula Titus, the wife of longtime UMass Boston men's basketball coach and current Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation, Special Projects and Programs Charlie Titus. Paula Titus served as a mother figure to the hundreds of men's basketball players who stepped on the floor for the Beacons during the 40+ seasons her husband was the UMass Boston head coach.
Charles Mitchell (Boston, Mass.) led the Beacons second-half surge. The sophomore recorded 15 of his team-high 17 points in the second half, and added two assists and two steals in 11 minutes of action.
Junior transfer Mark Munroe (Quincy, Mass.) tacked on 14 points on 7-8 shooting, to go along with four offensive rebounds in 10 minutes of action.
Nunez put together his third-straight solid outing, as he recorded eight points, a game-high 11 rebounds and two steals in 17 minutes.
Saint Joseph's senior Charles Isaac Jr. kept his team in the game for the first 20 minutes. He recorded 19 of his game 23 points in the opening half. Isaac Jr. was the lone Fighting Saint to finish in double-figures, with sophomore Joseph Ruby finishing second with nine points.
The Fighting Saints took advantage of the Beacons sloppiness and defensive miscues to stay in the game over the first 20 minutes. UMass Boston ran out to a 14-point lead late in the half, but the visitors closed the half on a 17-8 run to trail 44-39 after 20 minutes.
Saint Joseph's kept the momentum going into the second half and scored seven of the first nine points to tie the game at 46 with 18:48 left.
Cs. Mitchell immediately responded with a 3-pointer and freshman Javaris Hill (Lynn, Mass.) added a layup to push the lead to five. After a Fighting Saints basket cut the lead to 51-48, UMass Boston went a on 19-1 run to put the game away for good.
Six different Beacons scored during the 5:26 span, with the Beacons also recording steals on four-consecutive possessions at one point.
The Beacons would run away with the game from there, as they stretched their lead out to as many as 34 late in the second half.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston had not won their own tournament since the 2012-13 season, when the Beacons defeated Trinity College (Conn.) 76-60 in the 28thAnnual Harbor Invitational Championship Game. The Beacons had lost in the Championship Game of the Harbor Invite the past five seasons.
- UMass Boston's bench accounted for 53 points in the win. They outscored the Fighting Saints bench 53-29 and the Beacons have now scored 152 bench points in three games.
- UMass Boston earned a 58-31 edge in rebounds and 27-12 lead in offensive boards. UMass Boston turned their 27 offensive rebounds into 32 second-chance points.
- The Beacons shot a season-high 73.7 percent (14-19) from the free throw line.
- Fifteen Beacons saw time in the contest. Senior Robert Nascimento (Boston, Mass.) made his season debut in the win.
UMass Boston will head on the road for the first time this season on Tuesday night, when they travel to Eastern Nazarene College at 7 p.m.