For Immediate Release
Contact Dave Geringer, Sports Information Director, (508) 990-9651
Tuesday, February 14, 2006                                                       




NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA– Junior guard Devon Maiorano (Rehoboth, MA/Dighton-Rehoboth HS) hit a three-pointer with four minutes left to give the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s men’s basketball team the lead for good, and the Corsairs held on to defeat Rhode Island College, 71-67, in the second game of a Little East Conference game at the Tripp Athletic Center Tuesday evening.


The Corsairs trailed, 65-61 after RIC’s John Weir hit a jump shot with 6:56 remaining. But back-to-back baskets by junior forwards Stephane Abelard (Brockton, MA/Brockton HS/Massasoit CC) and Paul Pawlowski (Taunton, MA/Taunton HS) tied the score with 5:51 as UMD scored 10 of the game’s final 12 points.


Free throws by junior center Dan Holbrook (Lexington, MA/Lexington HS/Westfield State) and freshman guard Reece Freeman (Cambridge, MA/Rindge & Latin) allowed the Corsairs to push their lead to 70-65 with 1:55 left. Kevin Payette’s jumper made it 70-67, but Maiorano hit a free throw with two-tenths of a second remaining to account for the final score.


“I was proud of our team, we’ve lost so many close games, and we finally won one,” said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Brian Baptiste. “We started off well, but Paul got into foul trouble, and they came back on us. We usually do well when we hit our perimeter shots, and Devin and Paul hit some outside shots that helped us. Reece made a couple of big defensive plays down the stretch. he had a big steal, then he came back and took a charge on the next possession.”


Pawlowski led UMass Dartmouth with 21 points, Maiorano and Holbrook added 17 points each, and Abelard added 11. Payette led all scorers with 23 points, Kamari Williams of the Anchormen added 14, and Kaseem Johnson had 12. Holbrook had 11 rebounds for a double double, but RIC out rebounded the Corsairs, 41-38. .


UMass Dartmouth fell to 13-11 and 6-7 in the Little East Conference with the victory, staying in the running to host a first round LEC playoff game next Tuesday evening. RIC fell to while Eastern Connecticut State improved to 15-7 and 8-4 with the victory. The Corsairs will return to action when they host Western Connecticut State in the second game of a Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon.