BOSTON, Mass. – Led by a game-high 24 points from Iser Barnes (Boston, Mass.), men's basketball was able to earn a hard fought 74-60 non-conference win over crosstown rival Suffolk University Tuesday evening in the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.
UMass Boston 74, Suffolk University 60
UMass Boston (7-3)
Suffolk University (2-8)
HOW IT HAPPENED
After heading into the halftime break leading 32-31, the Beacons offense managed to get over an early cold spell and erupted for 42 points, while limiting the Rams to just 29 over the final 17 minutes.
Of Barnes 26 points, 13 came in the second half, with Careem Kirksey (Dorchester, Mass.) dropping in 10 to help carry the Beacons to their best overall record going into the midseason break since the 2014-15 season.
On the night, Barnes was 9-for-17 with one 3-pointer, and strong 5-for-7 showing at the charity stripe. Dan Powers (Westwood, Mass.) also emerged as one of the Beacons go-to offensive threats as he finished with 14 points. The Westwood native also finished with a team-high nine boards along with Kirksey. From the floor Powers was 5-for-12 with a pair of 3-pointers and two made free throws. He also carried Beacons defensive with three of the team's nine steals.
UMass Boston struggled early on to build any momentum, and spent a majority of the first half playing catch-up as the Rams looked to establish an early presence. It was not until the 7:17 mark when Powers kick started a late run that resulted in the Beacons taking a 25-19 lead with just over five to play. Suffolk would cut the deficit to three on an and-1 by George Grillakis.
A 3-pointer from Neil Cesar (Randolph, Mass.) and a lay-up by Ty Lee (Boston, Mass.) would put UMass up by eight with 3:44 to go before the break. Unfortunately UMB would manage just one more field over the final three minutes, while Suffolk erupted for nine points to cut the deficit to one.
After an early run by the Rams, UMass Boston finally woke-up with about 12 minutes to play and erased the then six point deficit to reclaim control of the scoreboard. Suffolk would try to hang on to their slimming lead, but with huge plays by Barnes and Alex Sanchez (Salem, Mass.) all they could do is watch as the Beacons grinded out the victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
- All-time UMass Boston leads the series 20-8 and have won 10 of their last 11 meetings
- ON the night UMass Boston shot 43.8% from the floor, while Suffolk finished shooting 42.1%
- Suffolk finished 6-for-24 from behind the arc, while UMass Boston finished 4-for-11
- Both teams were solid at the free throw line, with UMass shooting 77.8%, while Suffolk finished shooting 85.7%
- The Beacons won the battle on the glass as they outrebounded Suffolk 38-32
- UMass forced 19 turnovers and had nine steals
The Beacons will travel to Regis College on January 3 for a 5 p.m. non-conference game.