February 7, 2012

Southern Maine Slips by Men's Basketball, 77-72

GORHAM, Me. – With four of their starting five recording 10 or more points the Huskies of Southern Maine (10-11, 3-8 Little East) were able to hold off men's basketball (5-17, 1-10 Little East) and pullout a 77-72 conference win Tuesday evening at Hill Gymnasium.

Conor Sullivan led the Huskies with a team-best 18 points and eight rebounds.  Behind him were Brandon Tomah and Alex Kee who each had 17 points.  Kee also finished with a game-high eight boards as well.  Closing out the top-4 scorers for Southern Maine was Jeremy Jackson who had 12 points on the night.

Earning a game and career-high 29 points for the Beacons was freshman Vinny DeLucia (Miami, Fla.).  The Miami native was 10-for-16 from the floor (6-for-9 from 3-point range) and 3-for-4 at the line.  He also handed out four assists and managed to pick-up a pair of steals.  Mike Caceres (Opa-Locka, Fla.) was the only other Beacon to finish in double-figures as he dropped in 10 points on the night.  Caceres along with Kadeem Coulter (Boston, Mass.) each managed a team-high four rebounds.

As a squad the Beacons were solid from the floor all night as they closed out the game shooting 42.4% (28-for-66).  The Huskies were just as hot as they shot 57.4% (31-for-54).  From distance UMass Boston was 8-for-18, while Southern Maine was 6-for-12.  At the line the Beacons went 8-for-12 while the Huskies finished 9-for-14.

Southern Maine managed just two more rebounds than UMass Boston (34-32), but it was the Beacons that forced a combined 20 Southern Maine turnovers. 

From the opening jump Tuesday's contest was a back-and-forth affair with both team's postseason dreams riding on the outcome.  The two teams exchanged control of the lead a total of six times through the first 20 minutes of play.  However a late run by the Huskies would give them their largest lead of the game (37-29) as they went into their locker room.

For most of the second half, Southern Maine was able to hold-back the Beacons from making any major run that would see them lose control of the lead.  Even with what looked like a comfortable 14-point lead, was quickly cut down to five on clutch shooting by the Beacons.  Helping to fuel that run midway through the half was freshmen Cody Edmond (Plaquemine, La.), Quadry Allen (White Castle, La.) and Brian Clark (Miramar, Fla.). 

DeLucia would then make it just a three-point game with less than five minutes to play following a huge 3-pointer, his last of the night.  Moments later he cut that lead down to one on a lay-up.  Kee would push the Huskies lead back to five after scoring back-to-back lay-ups of his own. 

A DeLucia lay-up and Clark free throw made it just a one possession game with 1:56 left on the clock.  Unfortunately, the Huskies would ride their solid free throw shooting to earn the win as they scored their final six points at the charity stripe.

Men's Basketball will travel to Plymouth State University on Saturday for a 3 p.m. Little East Conference game.