February 19, 2013

Huskies Shoot Past Men's Basketball in Little East Tournament

GORHAM, Maine – With an impressive 51.6 field goal percentage No. 4 University of Southern Maine (15-11) defeated No. 5 men's basketball by the final of 85-65 Tuesday evening at Hill Gymnasium in the 2013 Little East Conference Tournament quarterfinal game.

The Huskies will now travel to Providence, Rhode Island where they will face the host and top-seeded Anchormen of Rhode Island College on Friday at 8 p.m.  UMass Boston closed out the 2012-13 season with their best overall record (12-13) since the 2005-06 season, when the Beacons claimed their first-ever conference title.

Playing a major part in the Huskies win was their impressive 71.0 field goal percentage in the first half.  Southern Maine was 22-for-31 through the first 20 minutes of play, which gave them a 58-31 lead at halftime.  Not only were the Huskies dangerous inside the arc, but they were even more dangerous from 3-point range as they shot 66.7% (10-for-15). 

However after the break, the Huskies went cold, but the large first half deficit proved to be too much for the Beacons to overcome as they held on to earn the 20 point victory.

The Beacons finished the night shooting 39.7% (29-for-73) from the floor and 31.3% (5-for-16) from 3-point range.  UMB led the second half from the field as they went 15-for-37.

 Junior Rahshjeem Benson (Boston, Mass.) led the Beacons with 18 points (9-for-18) and 11 rebounds (5 off, 6 def) to earn his ninth double-double of the year.  With the 11 boards, Benson set the program record for rebounds in a single-season with 263, breaking the program mark of 254 set by Billy Allen in 2003.  The center also managed two blocks to move into second for blocks in a season with 58. 

Vinny DeLucia (Miami, Fla.) and William Rosary III (Fontana, Calif.) each finished the game with 11 points.  Rosary also pulled down 11 rebounds to finish with his first college double-double, with eight of those boards coming on the offensive glass. 

For the Huskies four of their starting five finished in double-figures with Conor Sullivan leading the night with 23 points, 19 of which came in the first half.  On the night Sullivan was 10-for-16 from the field and 3-for-5 from behind the arc.  He also grabbed 10 rebounds to finish with the Huskies only double-double.  James Odneal dropped in 15 points and finished just one board shy of a double-double of his own.  He also managed two assists, one steal, and one block.  Mike Poulin finished third with 12 points, followed by Sean Bergeron with 10.

Southern Maine also won the battle on the glass as they totaled 44 boards, while the Beacons pulled down 33.

Tuesday's contest marked the final college games in the careers of Mike Mitchell, Jr. (Dorchester, Mass.) and Yusuke Fukata (Osaka, Japan) who will are both set to graduate this summer.