January 23, 2013

MEN’S BASKETBALL EDGED BY UMASS LOWELL, 71-68

Please wait while the video player loads...

Men's Basketball vs. UMass Lowell - 1/23/13


Syracuse, N.Y. – Antonio Bivins and Akeem Williams combined for 42 points to lead UMass Lowell to a 71-68 win over the Le Moyne College men's basketball team on Wednesday night in Northeast-10 Conference action at Ted Grant Court.

Freshman guard Qwadere Lovell (Mount Vernon, N.Y./Mount Vernon) registered a career-high 24 points to lead the Dolphins, while dishing out a career-best six assists and recording three steals. Senior guard Gamal Mohamed (North Plainfield, N.J./Immaculata) recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. Junior forward Brian Zapisek (Manlius, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius) was the third Dolphin in double digits with 13 points, 10 of which came in the second half.

Bivins registered 21 points, five rebounds (four offensive), two blocks and two steals, while Williams scored 21 points, dished out five assists and had two steals. Chad Holley added 16 points, three assists and a pair of steals.

Following a slow start to the game, during which each team only scored six points in the opening 7:47, the River Hawks rattled off an eight straight points in a span of 1:06. Holley started the spurt with a three-pointer, Bivins followed with a pair of free throws and then Greg DeSantis nailed a three-pointer.

Le Moyne (8-8, 5-7 NE-10) responded with a 13-4 run over a stretch of 4:46 to take a 19-18 lead. Sophomore forward Ryan Romich (Groton, Mass./Groton-Dunstable/Vermont Academy) had four points in the span, while Mohamed and freshman forward Connor Mahoney (Hanover, Mass./BC High/Brooks School) added three-pointers.

UMass Lowell (11-5, 7-5 NE-10) countered with five straight points to regain the lead. Holley made a fast-break lay-up off a steal by Williams and then Williams made a fast-break three-pointer off a rebound by Holley.

The teams traded points over the final 3:57 as the River Hawks carried a 35-30 lead into the intermission. Holley scored eight of UMass Lowell's final 12 points of the half, while Lovell netted five of Le Moyne's last 11 points of the stanza.

The River Hawks scored the first four points of the second half to take their largest lead of the game, 39-30. Following a jumper by Bivins that made the score 41-33 with 18:32 remaining, the Dolphins ran off nine straight points to take the lead. Lovell started the run with a three-pointer, Zapisek nailed a three-pointer on Le Moyne's next possession and then Lovell buried another three-pointer for a 42-41 advantage with 16:50 remaining.

The teams then traded baskets over the next four minutes, with the lead changing hands four times. Le Moyne took its final lead of the game with 11:52 left on a four-point play by Zapisek.

UMass Lowell countered with eight straight points in a span of 2:32 to take the lead for good. Bivins evened the score at 49 with a dunk, Holley followed with a free throw, Williams buried a three-pointer off an offensive rebound by Bivins and then Parris Massey capped the run with a dunk.

Following a Williams three-pointer that put the River Hawks up 61-53 with 7:01 left, the Dolphins scored seven of the next eight points to get within two, but could not get any closer. Lovell had a three-pointer and a free throw in the span, while Mahoney made two foul shots and Mohamed made one.

The Dolphins pulled within two points on three occasions in the final 4:28, but UMass Lowell had an answer each time. After Mahoney made the score 68-66 with 2:38 left, the Dolphins had a chance to tie the score or take the lead, but Williams turned a DeSantis steal into a fast-break lay-up to push UMass Lowell's advantage to four. Following five scoreless possession between the two teams, DeSantis converted a free throw with 20 seconds left to make it a five-point game. Lovell made two free throws with 1.5 seconds left, but the Dolphins were unable to steal the ensuing inbounds pass and UMass Lowell ran out the clock.

Le Moyne, which lost at home to the River Hawks for the first time since January 10, 2006 (a 65-50 loss in which first-year UMass Lowell assistant Brandon Arnette scored a game-high 28 points), returns to the hardwood on Saturday at Saint Anselm College at 3:30 p.m.