BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – With a combined 64.3% shooting from the field and 75.0% shooting from the line in the second half, the host Bears of Bridgewater State University (6-6) were able to defeat men's basketball (5-9) by the final score of 71-53 Thursday evening at Adrian Tinsley Center.
Leading by nine at the half, Bridgewater was 18-for-28 in the final 20 minutes of play to seal the win. From 3-point range they were 2-for-3, while at the line they went 3-for-4. Off the bench Michael Lofton fueled the second half offensive surge for the Bears as he scored 10 points in just 12 minutes of work. Lofton was 5-for-6 from the field, and also grabbed four rebounds.
On the night, Corey Ryser led the Bears with a game-high 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting, which included two 3-pointers. Fourteen of those 18 points came in the first half, while Anthony Fortes also added 10 points of his own.
For UMass Boston, it was senior Isaac Jenkins (Pordenone, Italy) that led the Beacons with 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field and 6-of-8 shooting at the line. Jenkins also pulled down seven rebounds to match the team-best along with Brian Clarke (Miramar, Fla.) and Cody Edmond (Plaquemine, La.).
Freshman Carl Joseph (Brockton, Mass.) continued his strong play as he dropped in 12 points. In his second straight start, Joseph was 6-for-15, and led the Beacons defense with the team's only two blocks.
A majority of the first half was a close affair, as UMass and Bridgewater State exchanged control of the lead. It was not until the final six minutes that the Bears were able to jump out to their largest lead at the time, as they went on an 8-0 run to close out the opening frame (30-21).
After the break, Bridgewater maintained their nine point lead for the first three minutes of play. The Beacons would then cut their lead down to two on a quick 7-0 run of their own. Unfortunately, Bridgewater would bounce right back to take a commanding lead over the final 10 minutes to pull out the non-conference victory.
UMass Boston ended the contest shooting 39.3% (22-for-56), while Bridgewater State shot 54.5% (30-for-55). The Beacons held +7 advantage (35-28) on the glass, and forced a combined 18 turnovers.
Men's basketball returns to action on Saturday when they travel to Eastern Connecticut State University for a 3 p.m. Little East Conference game.