BOSTON, Mass. - Despite another valiant effort by the Beacons (6-18, 0-13 Little East) their second half comeback would fall just short as the University of Southern Maine's James Odneal scored the game-winning lay-up with 2.1 seconds left to push the Huskies (7-17, 3-10 Little East) past men's basketball by final of 65-63 Tuesday evening at the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium in a Little East Conference contest.
On the final play of the game UMass Boston's Tyquan Ekejiuba (Randolph, Mass.) inbounded the ball the length of the court where he found junior forward Carl Joseph (Brockton, Mass.). Joseph, who finished with a game-high 21 points and 13 rebounds quickly turned and just as the horn sounded threw-up what would have been the game-winning 3-pointer. Unfortunately the ball did not hit its mark giving the Huskies the narrow victory.
The Beacons second half comeback got started at the 16:30 mark with a lay-up from Joseph which would spark a 25-10 run. The Beacons would come within three following a Nick Guerriero (Naples, Fla.) 3-pointer, his third straight, to make it 58-55 in favor the Huskies. Guerriero finished the night with a career-best nine points, having scored just eight points through his first 15 games.
Joseph then made it a one-point game twice first hitting a pair of free throws before knocking down a jumper with 3:51 to play. Gregory Young (Boston, Mass.) would build off the Joseph jumper to give the Beacons their first lead of the half as he drained a lay-up to make it 61-60.
Tyler Penney tied the game at 61-61 after he went 1-for-2 at the charity strip. Penney would comeback moments later to extend Southern Maine's lead to two after he put in a jump shot with 1:36 left in the contest.
Selim Omerovic (Saugus, Mass.) then tied the game for the third time with a pair of made free throws to make it 63-63 with 1:07 on the clock. The Huskies would turn the ball over on their next possession, but the Beacons were unable to capitalize setting up the game-winner from Odneal.
Joseph's game-high performance was fueled by a 9-for-23 showing from the floor while eight of his 13 boards came on the defensive glass. Luc Ulysse (Brooklyn, N.Y.) was the only other Beacon to finish in double figures as he added 10 points, while also collecting three assists. Ekejiuba tallied a career-best nine assists, seven of which were handed out in the second half.
The Huskies were led by Penney who posted a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Conor Sullivan came within one field goal of becoming the newest member of the Southern Maine 1,000 point club as the senior forward dropped in 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, 5-of-6 at the line.
As a team the Huskies held a 40-30 advantage on the glass and shot 43.9% from the floor (25-for-57). The Beacons forced 18 Southern Maine turnovers which they converted into a combined 19 points.
In the first half, Southern Maine dominated the action as they shot 48.3%, while the Beacons struggled to build any momentum shooting just 33.3%. Despite the rough start, the score remained close throughout the first 10 minutes of play. It was not until the Huskies went on a 12-0 run to make 24-12 with 7:38 left until the halftime break. They would maintain their double-figure lead throughout the closing minutes and went into the locker room with a 37-22 lead.
Men's Basketball closes out the regular season this Saturday when they travel to Western Connecticut State University for a 3 p.m. conference game.