DARTMOUTH, Mass. (taken from a UMD press release) -- Brandeis rookie Lawrence Sabir (Pawtucket, R.I. / LaSalle Academy) scored 26 points for the second game in a row, but it wasn't enough to hold of host UMass Dartmouth, who erased a 17-point Brandeis lead to win, 76-70, tonight in the Tripp Athletic Center.
Brandeis (1-3) held UMD (3-1) just 3-of-14 shooting as they built a 19-7 lead behind Sabir who netted 12 of his game-high 26 points in the stretch. UMass Dartmouth begun to find its offense in the 10 minutes leading up to halftime as it was narrowly edged 21-20 in the scoring run to trim the lead to just 11 points at 40-27 at the break.
Following the intermission, the Corsairs cut the lead to just three points, scoring the first eight in the half as freshman Jake Ashworth (Fairhaven, Mass.) contributed six of them before Brandeis slowed the action with a timeout. The Corsairs continued to ride the second-half momentum to a 14-4 drive, cutting the gap to 44-41. Both teams jostled for control as the Judges kept the host at bay with an 8-5 run of their own.
With 9:34 left to play, the Corsairs offense got out to a 15-6, six-minute span that propelled them to victory. During the run, sophomores Brandon Williams Jr. (Dorchester, Mass.) and Cody Borges (Dartmouth, Mass.) combined for 10 points to help provide the boost. Brandeis led, 59-58 with 4:00 to go when Sabir hit 1-of-2 from the line. UMD answered with an Ashworth jumper to take the lead for good with 3:49 to go.
With under two minutes to play, Borges added his biggest points of the night, knocking down a triple before hitting a pair from the foul line to give his team a 69-63 advantage. After the teams traded the ball on back-to-back possessions, junior Arinze Obiora (Lagos, Nigeria) scored the final two points on free-throws to close the book on the six-point win.
In addition to Sabir, Brandeis put seniors Nate Meehan (Lowell, Mass./Phillips Andover) and Latye Workman (Brooklyn, N.Y. / Bedford Academy) in double figures with 11 and 10 points each. Workman just missed a double-double with a team-high nine rebounds. He also added four steals. Sabir led the Judges with three assists.
For the hosts, Obiora also finished a rebound shy of a double-double, notching a team-high 22 points on 9-of-15 from the floor to go along with two steals defensively. Senior Joshua Imadiyi (Lynn, Mass.) logged his second double-double of the year, scoring 12 points and pulling down 11 boards. Borges, Ashworth, and Williams Jr. all finished in double-figures for points.
UMass Dartmouth reversed the tides from the field between halves, shooting 57 percent (16-of-28) in the second stanza to better an 11-for-30 (36 percent) first half. Brandeis won the battle of the boards, 38-32, but the Corsairs controlled the paint with 40 points to the Judges' 28. Both teams shot well from the line, as Brandeis knocked down 20-of-23 (87 percent) from the free throw line while the Corsairs were 18-of-21 (85.7 percent).
The Judges return to action this weekend at the Big Four Challenge at Tufts. They will meet defending national champions Babson in the first round at 1 p.m.