BOSTON, Mass. – Led by Brian Clarke's (Miramar, Fl.) double-double of 13 points and 17 rebounds, and senior Isaac Jenkins' (Pordenone, Italy) game-high 25 points, men's basketball (3-5) recorded a 78-57 non-conference win over Lesley University (3-5) Thursday evening in the Clark Athletic Center.
Clarke's double-double marked the first of his young college career as the 6'7" center was 6-of-11 from the field and 1-for-5 at the line. His 17 boards also marked a career first for the Florida native. Jenkins, who was held to just six points on Tuesday, bounced back in a big way as he went 9-for-13 on the night, which included two 3-pointers. At the line the senior was 5-for-8 and also added nine boards, two assists, and three steals in his team-best 33 minutes of playing time. Off the bench freshman guard Mike Caceres (Opa-Locka, Fl.) was dangerous from deep finishing with four 3-pointers on 5-of-8 shooting. He also managed a pair of free throws to close out the night with 16 points.
For the Lynx, John Sanchez proved to be the team's most consistent shooter especially at the free throw line. On the night Sanchez was 4-for-5 from the floor and 1-for-2 from 3-point range. At the line was nearly perfect finishing 12-for-13. The guard also handed out five assists and picked-up five steals in a game-high 37 minutes of action.
Thursday's contest marked the best overall shooting performance to-date for UMass Boston as they shot 50% from the field (29-for-58). From behind the arc they were 8-of-19 (42.1%), while at the line they finished 12-for-27. They Beacons also dominated the glass with a season-high +22 (50-28).
Defensively, the Beacons held the Lynx to just 26.1% shooting from the floor and 24.0% shooting from behind the arc. Both teams were even in turnovers with 13 each, but it was Lesley who led the night in total steals with 10, while UMass Boston managed six.
The first five minutes of Thursday's non-conference match-up were extremely close with the two team exchanging control of the scoreboard. It was not until the Beacons got a pair of baskets from Clarke, and a lay-up from Carl Joseph (Brockton, Mass.) that they were able to gain some breathing room. Even then, the Lynx were right on their heels, and would eventually tie the game at 23-23 with less than three minutes to play in the opening half.
UMass Boston would regain a slim two point lead after Jenkins went 2-for-2 at the line. Dontreal Thomas (New Orleans, La.) made it a three point game after nailing one of his two free-throws. Andre Newman brought the game back to two with less than 1:30 to play, but with a huge three from Jenkins right before the half, the Beacons extended their lead back to five (29-24).
After the break, it was all UMass Boston. With an early run, the Beacons made it a 14 point game in the first three minutes of the second half. By the midway point of the half, the Beacons extended their lead to as much as 18 points.
However, just like the first half Lesley would not let UMass Boston get away that easily as they came clawing back again. With solid shooting at the line and a couple of 3-pointers, the Lynx were right back in the contest. They would cut the Beacons lead down to 10 with just under seven minutes to play in the contest.
With their lead quickly slipping away, the Beacons turned to Jenkins and Caceres to reignite their offensive fire, which they did immediately. The two would combine for 15 of the Beacons final 23 points respectively to lead UMass Boston to the victory.
The Beacons return to action on Saturday when they host Keene State College at 3 p.m. in a Little East Conference game.