BOSTON, Mass. – A turnover plagued contest would ultimately be the undoing of the men's basketball team, as the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth handed the Beacons a 67-58 Little East Conference loss Tuesday evening in the Clark Athletic Center.
In total there were 57 turnovers between the two squads, but it was the late TO's by the Beacons that allowed the Corsairs to earn their first conference victory of the 2012-13 season. The inability to possess the ball limited any chance of the Beacons offense finding a consistent flow, as they shot a season-low 28.6% on the night. Normally red-hot in the second half, the Beacons went cold in Tuesday's loss as they shot just 25.0% as a team.
The Corsairs (3-13, 1-7 Little East) managed to overcome their 32 turnovers and shot 46.2% on the night and were solid in the second half shooting 54.2% (13-for-24). From the field UMD finished 24-for-52, while the Beacons (9-8, 3-5 Little East) were 20-for-70.
Mike Rotando and Jake Laga each finished with a game-high 15 points to help fuel UMD's victory. Vinny DeLucia (Miami, Fla.) was the lone Beacon to finish in double-figures as he matched the game high with his 5-of-15 shooting from the floor, which included one 3-pointer. At the line the sophomore was a perfect 4-for-4.
On the glass Rahshjeem Benson (Boston, Mass.) led the night with 11 boards, and also dropped in eight points. The 6'9" center also managed three steals and two assists. DeLucia led the defensive effort with his career-high eight steals in a team-leading 37 minutes of playing time.
After a very tight first half, which ended with the Beacons leading by two (28-26), the second half got off to a slow start for both squads. UMass would maintain their lead through the first 10 minutes of play. Unfortunately at the midway point of the second half, the Corsairs would hit their stride and completely shift the game in their favor. A 13-4 run in favor of UMD proved to be the turning point of Tuesday's contest, which at the time gave the Corsairs a five-point edge over UMB (53-48).
Despite the deficit, UMB did manage to keep the Corsairs close with clutch shooting from DeLucia and Quadry Allen (White Castle, La.). Sophomore Carl Joseph (Brockton, Mass.) also tried to help the Beacons battle back with his solid shooting at the charity strip (6-for-8) and strong play in the paint. However, every time the Beacons would make a push, UMass Dartmouth had an answer, especially at the free throw line. They would end-up outscoring UMB 41-30 over the final 20 minutes of play. On the glass the two teams were deadlocked at 39 boards' a-piece.
Men's Basketball returns to action on Thursday when they travel to Tufts University for a 7 p.m. non-conference game.