Men’s basketball heats up a cold January

By Sports Editor Dylan Botehlo.

After a lackluster 2017-2018 season where the Men’s Basketball team netted 12 wins but 14 losses, the team seems reinvigorated in the 2018-2019 season after a string of impressive wins.

After losing the first two games of the season in November, the team has secured win after win, resulting in a current 13-6 record. Their fiery comeback has especially been felt this month, where they so far have a record of 6-2.

The Corsairs kicked off this month with a home game against Becker College. With their home court advantage, the Men’s Basketball team delivered a resounding beat down to Becker College. The final score was a whopping 88-46, a strong win for UMass Dartmouth.

The next three games after that were much more competitive. A home game against UMass Boston found the Corsairs prevailing by only four points, 70-66. After that, the Corsairs continued their winning streak against Rhode Island College’s Anchormen.

This time however, the game really went down to the wire. With 5.4 seconds left on the clock, senior forward Arinza Obiora clocked in two free throws to secure UMass Dartmouth’s win. Sophomore guard Jake Ashworth also reached a season-high of 22 points, with 13 points arriving in the second half of the game.

Following that game was a third close contest, this time in a home game against Western Connecticut.
The Corsairs won 80-75 thanks in part to another impressive game by Jake Ashworth, who scored 19 points.
UMass Dartmouth finally got themselves another comfortable win in their next game against Castleton University up in Vermont.
Despite Castleton Junior Casey Belade scoring 28 points, the Vermont team was no match for a coalition of UMass Dartmouth players that each reached double digit scores, including Senior Atakan Akcam, freshman Marcus Azor, Obiora, and Ashworth.

The Corsairs roundly defeated the Vermont team and ended the game 75-63 in their favor.

After an eight-game win streak, the team’s longest in nine years, The Corsairs finally suffered stiff competition in their home game with Eastern Connecticut State University’s Warriors.

Akcam garnered a double-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists, but Eastern Connecticut’s Warriors remained triumphant. The game ended 74-68, ending the Corsairs winning streak.

The Corsairs took that loss to the chin though, and last week bounced back in an away game against Southern Maine University’s Huskies.

Arinze Obiora lead the team with 18 points and broke a personal milestone too, scoring the 1,000th point of his career. Obiora reached that milestone only just four minutes into the game, nailing a three-pointer that made him one of only 48 players from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to reach 1,000 points in their career.

Elsewhere, other players were playing great too. Junior Marquis Jones scored six points and received a game-high 10 rebounds, and sophomore Harry Alexander chipped in as well with eight points and eight rebounds.

Overall, the Corsairs easily defeated Southern Maine’s Huskies with a score of 78-63.

As good as their last few games have been, the Corsairs were delivered a whopping defeat in a home game against Keene State this past Saturday.

Keene State Senior Ty Nichols dished out 23 points and six assists while Marcus Azor led the Corsairs with 13 points. Harry Alexander had eight points and ten rebounds, but the team only shot 29% from the field.

While they put up a fight throughout, there were eight lead changes in the first 17 minutes, the Corsairs eventually fell off and suffered an 82-57 defeat.

The Corsairs are traveling to Danbury, Conn. To face off against Western Connecticut again, this time in a Little East Conference game and on the road on Wednesday, at 7:30 pm.
Hopefully, the results will go as well as their last game against Western Connecticut.

Photo Courtesy: Corsair Athletics

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