QUINCY, Mass.—UMass Boston men's basketball improved to 4-0 for the first time in five seasons on Tuesday night, by defeating host Eastern Nazarene College 85-81 at the Lahue Physical Education Center.
UMass Boston 85, Eastern Nazarene College 81
(UMass Boston 4-0)
(Eastern Nazarene 0-4)
HOW IT HAPPENED
UMass Boston shot a season-high 50.8 percent (33-65) from the field and sophomore Michael Boyd (Malden, Mass.) poured in a season-high 21 points in the win.
The reigning Little East Conference Rookie of the Year recorded 16 of his points in the final 20:01 of action. After hitting a buzzer-beating three to end the first half, he went 5-9 from the field for 13 points in the second half. Boyd also added five rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Charles Mitchell (Boston, Mss.) tacked on 14 points on 4-10 shooting from distance. The sophomore guard also recorded five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Freshman Malik Lorquet (Sharon, Mass.) added eight points, 12 rebounds and two blocks in the Beacons' first road game of the season.
Eastern Nazarene's Garrett Crandell finished with a team-best 21 points, to go along with five assists and five rebounds in the loss.
Josh Rice (19 points) and Jacob Waldroop (17 points) joined Crandell in double-figures.
Eastern Nazarene led for the majority of the opening half, but were never able to pull away from the Beacons.
After trailing by one or two possessions for the opening 14 minutes, UMass Boston opened up a 30-25 lead at 5:15. The Beacons used an 8-0 run to earn the advantage, with Charlie Mitchell (Boston, Mass.), Javaris Hill (Lynn, Mass.), Alex Sanchez (Salem, Mass.) and Mark Munroe (Quincy, Mass.) all contributing layups.
The teams would trade leads for the rest of the half. Crandell gave the Lions a 41-40 advantage with seven seconds left in the half, only to see Boyd pull up for a deep three at the buzzer, to give the Beacons a 43-41 edge.
Second-half play would be more of the same, with Eastern Nazarene holding a slight edge through the opening 10 minutes.
UMass Boston took the lead for good with a 6-0 Boyd run. The sophomore knocked down a layup, hit two free throws to give the Beacons the lead and then drained a jumper to make it 67-64 UMass Boston with 8:39 left.
The Beacons added a 7-0 run minutes later to open up an eight-point lead. Cinelli started the run with a 3-point play and Cs. Mitchell finished it with a 3-pointer from the corner to give UMass Boston a 76-68 edge with 5:12 left.
Eastern Nazarene managed to cut the deficit to 84-81 with 50 seconds left, but Rice missed a game-tying three-pointer and Boyd knocked down 1-of-2 free throws to put the game out of reach.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston is 4-0 for the just the fifth-time in program history. The Beacons started the year 5-0 in the 1983-84, 97-98 and 2014-15 seasons. The 1984-85 team holds the record for best start to the year at 8-0.
- Boyd is the first Beacon to record 20 or more points this season. He also recorded the second-highest total, when he posted 19 points in the team's opener against Bridewater State University.
- With the win, UMass Boston improves to 13-5 all-time against Eastern Nazarene College. The Beacons have won three-straight games against their local rivals.
- Charlie Mitchell finished with eight points on 4-4 shooting in the win.
- The Beacons earned a 42-27 advantage in rebounding and a 19-8 lead in offensive rebounds.
- UMass Boston outscored the hosts 38-28 in the paint and 16-10 in second-chance points.
- Tuesday's game featured 17 lead changes and eight ties.
UMass Boston will travel to Division I UMass Lowell on Friday at 2 p.m. for an exhibition contest. The River Hawks and Beacons played last season, with UMass Lowell pulling away for a 102-63 win, after the game was tied at halftime (42-42).