BOSTON, Mass. – With a dominating defensive performance men's basketball secured it's spot in tomorrow's championship game of the 28th Annual Harbor Invitational as the Beacons limited the University of New England to just 18.9% shooting from the field to earn a one-sided 72-30 win Friday evening in the brand new Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.
The 42-point margin marked the largest win since the Beacons 97-51 dismantling of Emerson College on December 4, 1996. All-time Friday's win is the eighth largest margin of victory for head coach Charlie Titus and his Beacons. It also stands as the fewest points allowed by UMB since their January 16, 1999 win over Rhode Island College (72-39).
Friday's win improved the Beacons to 2-2 on the year, while the University of New England fell to 0-4 overall.
Senior guard Mike Mitchell, Jr. (Dorchester, Mass.) was the driving force behind the Beacons one-sided victory as he lead all scorers with 14 points. Big-man Brian Clarke (Miramar, Fla.) dropped in 12 points and grabbed five rebounds to lead UMB's front-court. Off the bench Jahleel Moise (Brockton, Mass.) wasted little time making an impact as the freshman led the bench with 10 points.
On the glass junior Rahshjeem Benson (Boston, Mass.) was dominant yet again totaling nine boards, while also posting one of UMB's four blocks. Kadeem Coulter (Boston, Mass.) led the Beacons defensive effort with a pair of blocks and also managed six boards in 14 minutes of action.
As a squad UMB held the Nor'Easters to 14 points in the first half and 16 in the second. From three-point range, UNE shot 13.6%, making just three of their 22 attempts from behind the arc. UMB also held a +20 advantage on the glass as they finished with 49 rebounds in the contest, 38 of which came on the defensive side of the court. The Beacons also forced 24 turnovers and came-up with 16 steals.
For New England Charles Fenner III led his team with 10 points and had four rebounds.
The Beacons looking to bounce back from a pair of overtime losses and playing in their first home game in their brand new gym wasted little time taking over Friday's match-up. Never once did UMB trail on the scoreboard and held at-most 25 point lead in the first half. Sophomore forward Cody Edmond (White Castle, La.) helped the Beacons to their huge first half lead on three separate occasions.
After the break the onslaught continued as UMB did not miss a beat. Basket after basket, the Beacons continued to stretch their lead. UMB's biggest lead of the contest, 31 points, came on a Mitchell 3-pointer at the 12:53 mark. From distance, Mitchell finished with four of the Beacons eight 3-pointers.
Following the Mitchell three the Beacons turned to their bench to help keep the momentum going. Every player that entered the game continued to pressure New England and took advantage of every one of their possessions.
In total the Beacons bench combined for 31 points, while the Nor'Easters bench accounted for just two points all night.
Men's Basketball will face Trinity College (Conn.) tomorrow at 3 p.m. in the championship game of the 28th Annual Harbor Invitational.