Men's Basketball Drops Season-Opener 94-74 To Nichols

AMHERST, Mass.—Despite three players finishing in double-digit scoring, UMass Boston Men's Basketball (0-1) couldn't keep up with Nichols College (2-1) high-powered offense, as the Beacons fell 94-74 in the First Round of the Amherst College Tournament.  

With the loss, UMass Boston will take on Newbury College in the Consolation Game Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at LeFrak Gymnasium, while Nichols will take on #1 Amherst College.

Carl Joseph (Brockton, Mass.) led UMass Boston in their season-opener with his first career double-double, pulling down a career-high 11 rebounds to go along with his team-high 19 points. The junior captain knocked down 7-of-15 shots from the field in addition to hitting 5-of-7 of his free throw attempts.

Junior transfer Gregory Young (Boston, Mass.) added 16 points, five rebounds and four steals in his UMB debut, while Selim Omerovic (Saugus, Mass.) excelled off the bench with a career-high 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting from behind the arc.

Senior captain Ryan Sheehan led Nichols over the 90-point mark for the second time this season with 31 points on 11-of-22 shooting. Four other Bison joined Sheehan in double-figures, as the Bison knocked down 47 percent of their shots on the night and 13 three-pointers.

The new-look Beacons finished 25-of-66 (37.9 percent) from the field, while knocking down 8-of-22 (36.4) percent of their three-point attempts and 16-of-22 (72.7 percent) of their free throws. 

Despite their small size, UMass Boston earned a 46-40 advantage on the boards and forced 18 Nichols turnovers.

UMass Boston would only hold the lead twice in the game, with both advantages coming on the back of Young three-pointers. The junior swingman knocked down a three on the first possession of the season for UMass Boston to put the Beacons ahead 3-0 and answered a Sheehan three with another triple, to give UMB their last lead of the game at 6-3.

From there, Nichols went on a 14-2 run to grab the lead for good and never looked back. Omerovic knocked down three three-pointers in a row to cut the deficit to 32-26 late in the half, but the Bison would close the stanza on a 12-7 run to take a 44-33 lead into the break.

The second half would be more of the same, as Nichols stretched their lead to as many as 23 and never let UMB cut the deficit fewer than 12. One of the biggest bright spots for the Beacons in the second half was freshman Ryan LaPaglia (Marshfield, Mass.) who scored the first eight point of his career.