January 17, 2012

Southern Maine's Buzzer Beater Stuns Men's Basketball

BOSTON, Mass. – Tied 69-69 with seven seconds left on the clock, freshman guard Vinny DeLucia (Miami, Fla.) gave the Beacons a two-point lead on his final jumper of the night.  Now with only five seconds remaining Southern Maine would bring the ball up the court and set-up right outside the arc.  With time quickly winding down senior John Sewall would throw up a last second shot which unfortunately for UMass Boston would hit nothing but net to give the visiting Huskies a 72-21 buzzer beater victory Tuesday evening in the Clark Athletic Center.

Setting-up what would be the deciding play of the Little East Conference match-up was a back and forth second half that could have gone to either team.  Down by three at the break, the Beacons (5-11, 1-5 Little East) came out firing in the second half and quickly jumped out to a 10 point lead eight minutes in. 

However the Huskies (7-8, 1-5 Little East) would not go quietly and retook control of the scoreboard with less than three minutes to play in regulation.  They would make it a five point game after Chris Pagentine converted his and-1 (67-62).

Helping to put a stop to the Huskies late run was big-man Kadeem Coulter (Boston, Mass.) who scored back-to-back baskets for the Beacons to make it just a one point game.  DeLucia would then hit a three to give UMass a two point lead with 1:47 left on the clock.

Southern Maine then tied the game at 69-69 on a lay-up from Jeremy Jackson.  Jackson could have given the Huskies a one point lead as he was fouled on the then game-tying shot.  The senior would miss the go-ahead opportunity, with the ball landing in the hands of Mike Caceres (Opa-Locka, Fla.).

Caceres would fly up the court and would hand the ball off to Isaac Jenkins (Pordenone, Italy), who led the game in scoring with 22 points.  Unable to get the open shot, Jenkins passed the ball to DeLucia, who nailed a perfect jumper to make it 71-69.  Despite the late rally, the 3-pointer from Sewall would steal the victory right out of the hands of the Beacons.

Jenkins game-high 22 points was the result of 9-of-14 shooting from the field, which included four 3-pointers.  DeLucia totaled 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting from floor and 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range.  Both Jenkins and DeLucia handed out six assists each. Coulter had his strongest game of the season in the paint as totaled a team-best five blocks, while also dropping in seven points of his own.

On the night the Beacons combined for 10 blocks respectively, with three stops going to Carl Joseph (Brockton, Mass.) and two going to Brian Clarke (Miramar, Fla.). 

Pagentine ended the game as the Huskies leading scorer with 19 points (7-of-14 from the field).  Connor Sullivan finished with 16 points, followed by Alex Kee with 11.  Jackson was the game's leading rebounder as he pulled down 15 boards.  He also had nine points and four blocks in 39 minutes of playing time.

As a team, UMass Boston shot 43.8% (28-for-64) from the floor and 50.0% (11-for-22) from 3-point range.  Southern Maine shot 40.3% (29-for-72) from the floor as a team, and 55.6% (10-for-18) from behind the arc.  The Huskies also held a 51-34 advantage in rebounds. 

Men's basketball returns to action on Saturday when they travel to Western Connecticut State University for a 3 p.m. Little East Conference game.