NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth took command with a 16-3 run early in the second half Saturday afternoon and went on to an 80-67 victory over visiting Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference men’s basketball contest at the Tripp Athletic Center.
The victory gave the Corsairs their 13th LEC regular season championship under head coach Brian Baptiste, and first since the 2000-01 season. UMD heads into next week’s LEC Tournament as the #1 seed at 23-2 overall and 12-2 in conference play, while PSU, which had its three-game winning streak stopped, will be the #7 seed at 8-17 overall and 4-10 in the Little East.
Top-seeded UMD will host eighth-seeded UMass Boston in Tuesday’s first-round game, while seventh-seeded PSU will travel to second-seeded Rhode Island College (7:00 p.m.)
Senior Dan Holbrook (Lexington, Mass.) led all scorers for UMD with 25 points and 13 rebounds, his 11th double-double of the year. Freshman Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, Mass.) added 18 points and senior Cory Tynes (Springfield, Mass.) contributed 12. Junior point guard Reece Freeman (Cambridge, Mass.) finished with 13 assists, the seventh time this season he has been in double figures in assists.
Senior Chris Wilkinson (Newmarket, N.H.) led PSU with a season-high 20 points, scoring in double figures for the eighth time in his last nine games. He made all seven of his shots from the field, and contributed at the other end of the court with six rebounds and three blocked shots. Junior guard Ben Huntington (Hampstead, N.H.) added 11 points for the Panthers, and sophomore Mike Chergey (Bow, N.H.) chipped in with 10.
The teams traded the lead early, and UMass Dartmouth came from behind to tie the game at 20-20. An 8-0 Corsair run made it 30-22, but PSU answered with eight straight of its own to tie the game at 30-30. The Corsairs scored six of the final seven points of the first half to break a 34-34 tie and take a 40-35 halftime advantage. The decisive second-half burst put UMD up by 18 points, and the Panthers got no closer than 10 points the remainder of the way.
(Courtesy of UMass Dartmouth Sports Information)
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