December 6, 2007

No. 3 men's hoops winning streak comes to a halt with OT loss at UMass-Dartmouth, 71-64

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA - (taken from a UMass Dartmouth release) -- The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s men’s basketball team scored 13 points in the extra period and defeated third-ranked Brandeis, 71-64 in overtime in a non-conference game at the Tripp Athletic Center Thursday evening.

The Corsairs (6-0), who failed to score on their final possession of regulation time with the score tied, scored six consecutive points after falling behind early and never trailed again.

After two free throws by Terrell Hollins (Springfield, Mass.) put Brandeis (7-1) ahead, UMD freshman forward Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, Mas..) tied the game with a layup. Junior guard Reece Freeman (Cambridge, Mass.) then hit a driving layup, and followed with two free throws to give UMass-Dartmouth the lead for good. Judge junior guard Kevin Olson (Rockport, Mass.) hit a pair of free throws for the Judges, but senior guard A.J. Tavares (New Bedford, Mass.) answered with a three-pointer, the Corsairs’ 11th of the game - compared to just one for Brandeis - and only one in the extra period. Tavares hit a pair of free throws in the final minute, and Stephens broke away for a layup shortly before the final horn sounded.

Brandeis used a 10-4 run at the end of the first half to erase a 26-20 Corsair advantage and send the teams to the halftime break tied at 30-30. Stephens and Tavares hit three-pointers that ignited a 14-2 run early in the second half and put UMass Dartmouth ahead, 44-34, with 14:24 remaining. A 13-4 run by the Judges, fueled by a pair of layups by senior forward Stephen Hill (Brighton, Mass.), sliced UMass Dartmouth’s lead to 48-47 with 8:24 remaining, and the game remained close the rest of the way.

Three Freeman free throws allowed the Corsairs to take a 56-53 advantage with 2:15 to play, but Kevin Olson responded with Brandeis’ only trifecta of the game to tie the score. Freeman and Brandeis senior Kwame Graves-Fulgham (Amherst, Mass.) exchanged layups before Freeman and sophomore forward Matt Walker (Brockton, Mass.) were unable to convert at the end of regulation time.

Tavares led all scorers with 22 points, Freeman added 14, and Stephens contributed 11. Hollins led the Judges with 16 points, and Graves-Fulgham added 14. Hollins had 11 rebounds for Brandeis, and senior center Dan Holbrook (Lexington, Mass.) grabbed 10 for UMass Dartmouth, which was out rebounded by Brandeis, 41-36, but forced 24 turnovers while committing 15.