BOSTON, Mass. – A good 3-pointer from Charles Mitchell (Boston, Mass.) with just under eight minutes to play in the second half proved to be the deciding basket, as men's basketball outscored the Anchormen of Rhode Island College 18-9 over that final stretch to earn a 80-74 Little East Conference win Saturday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.
UMass Boston 80, Rhode Island College 74
UMass Boston (8-7, 3-4 Little East Conference)
Rhode Island College (9-7, 2-5 Little East Conference)
HOW IT HAPPENED
In a game that featured a total of 40 fouls and 47 free throw attempts, the Beacons managed to persevere in the final minutes of the second half to cap-off a 2-0 week. With the win UMB has leaped into sixth place in the standings, with the Little East Conference Tournament less than a month away. This year's tournament will feature only the top-6 teams in the conference, as compared to taking every team.
Mitchell's game-clincher capped-off a 17 point performance for the sophomore guard. On the day, Mitchell was 6-for-13 from the field and 4-for-7 from distance. At the line he was nearly perfect finishing 5-for-7.
Michael Boyd (Malden, Mass.) led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-18 shooting. Charlie Mitchell (Boston, Mass.) dropped in 19 points to help lead the Beacons offensive trio. He also matched the game-high in assists with three and five rebounds to close out another strong performance. Javaris Hill (Lynn, Mass.) grabbed a team-best nine boards and had seven points in the crucial conference win.
All five of the Anchormen's starting line-up finished in double-figures. Benajmin Vezele led RIC with the game's only double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds. The big-man also had four blocked shots in 40 minutes of playing time.
The opening minutes of Saturday's contest proved to be the largest lead for either team. RIC came out firing scoring the game's first nine points. After a Beacons timeout, UMB quickly cut into the deficit and took their first lead of the contest six minutes later on a made jumper by Boyd.
From there the two teams would exchange control of the scoreboard with neither team holding a solid lead over the other. RIC would win the first half with a slim one-point advantage (42-41) setting up a wild second half between the rivals.
RIC held onto their slim lead through the first four minutes of the final half. A Boyd 3-pointer gave UMB a two-point lead (47-45), but was quickly countered by a Vezele lay-up. Dasan Cinelli (Boston, Mass.) gave the Beacons their second lead of the stanza on a free throw with just over 15:30 to play.
Rhode Island would regain the lead and would continue to keep the Beacons at bay for most of the contest. It was not until a quick 5-0 run with just under to play that the momentum began to shift in favor of the home team. RIC would tie the game one more time on a pair of made free throws by Adham Floyd. However a Charles Mitchell free throw followed by his fourth 3-pointer gave the Beacons all the breathing room they would need.
BY THE NUMBERS
- With the win the Beacons have now won a program record seven straight over the Anchormen
- UMB shot 42.2% from the field (17-38) and 50% (9-18) from distance
- At the line UMB finished 17-for-26, while the Anchormen went 16-for-21
- RIC held a 38-36 advantage on the glass and led the contest in blocked shots, 4-3
- The Beacons forced a total of 23 RIC turnovers and came-up with seven steals
- Saturday's contest marked the first-ever meeting between UMB head coach Jason Harris and RIC's first year head coach Tom Glynn
The Beacons will host the University of Southern Maine on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.