BOSTON, Mass. – Behind a 47.1% shooting performance in the second half, men's basketball overcame a tough first half to outscore Framingham State University 43-19 to earn a hard fought come-from-behind 71-55 win Thursday evening in the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.
With the Thursday's win the Beacons close out 2012 with a 6-4 record and remain undefeated at home with a perfect 4-0 record. For the Rams they fell to 6-4 following Thursday's loss with only one more contest on the 2012 schedule.
Through the first five minutes of the second half, Framingham State managed to hold the Beacons back, maintaining their six-point lead which they closed out the first half with. However that early momentum came to a crashing halt when freshman Jahleel Moise (Brockton, Mass.) threw-down a viscous dunk to make it a five-point affair.
Moments later, Brian Clarke (Miramar, Fla.) completed an and-1 to make it just a two point ball game. The Rams did get the lead back to four, but with a free throw from Rahshjeem Benson (Boston, Mass.) and a lay-up from Mike Mitchell, Jr. (Dorchester, Mass.) the Beacons cut the Rams lead to one.
Proving to be the turning point of the contest, would be another hard dunk by Moise, which by that time completely took the Rams out of the contest. Framingham State tried to make another push, but it was not enough as the Beacons just dominated on both sides of the court. A slew of players contributed to the Beacons explosive second half, while their defensive effort was highlighted by a combined five blocks, seven steals, and 11 Framingham State turnovers.
Benson, who was quiet in the first half proved to be the driving force in the second half for UMB as he put-up 13 of his 17 points, while also pulling down six of his seven boards. Four of the five Beacons blocked shots in the second half belonged to the junior. Along with his three rejections in the first half, Benson tied the single-game program record of seven, becoming the fifth player in program history to hit that mark. The last player to do so was Ernst Jean against Suffolk University on December 3, 2009.
Off the bench sophomore Cody Edmond (Plaquemine, La.) also helped the Beacons offense push by the Rams as he dropped in seven points. Moise recorded all of his points (8) in the second half and also managed eight boards and one steal.
For the Rams, their 19 point second half marked the fewest points scored this season following the halftime break. In the final 20 minutes Framingham shot just 25% from the field and 45.5% from the line. They were 0-for-7 from behind the arc.
Andre Santana was the lone Ram to finish in double-figures as he recorded 10 points off the bench. Tyrone Figueroa finished nine points and team best six boards to make Santana on the glass. Framingham struggled to possess the ball in both halves of Thursday's contest, turning it over a combined 21 times, while UMass charged with just 14 turnovers, a season low for the Beacons.
Men's Basketball will now take a much needed break and will not return to competition until January 5 when they travel to Rhode Island College for a 3 p.m. Little East Conference game.