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2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Malik Lorquet makes history as men’s basketball snaps losing streak

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Men’s Basketball latest home game at the Clark Athletic Center from Wednesday February 8, 2023. Photo by Olivia Reid (She/Her) / Photography Editor. 

UMass Boston was on a brutal three-game losing streak, falling to Eastern Connecticut State, Western Connecticut State and UMass Dartmouth (1). A spark was desperately needed to ignite the fire that the Beacons once possessed earlier in the season, and their games against the Plymouth State Panthers and Castleton Spartans provided exactly that.
The game against the Panthers had a very close first half. After a few lead changes, the Beacons exploded on a 10–0 run after Malik Lorquet unleashed a powerful dunk over the head of the 6-foot-9 Panther freshman, Avery Hazelton (2). The Beacons went into halftime up three points, with the score at 32–29 (3).
What was once a close game ended up turning into a one-sided showing when the second half came around. It started with an 8–0 Beacon run that put them up by double digits. The lead would grow as large as 21 points before the game finally came to a close, and the Beacons secured an 82–66 victory over the Panthers (2).
The Beacons had a stellar shooting night, as they shot 40 percent from three-point land and 45 percent overall. Emanuel Zayas knocked down three of his five shots from beyond the arc, and Connor Walden hit two of his own (3).
Xavier McKinney returned to the Beacons lineup after missing the last four outings, and he made sure to make his presence known (2). The freshman guard put up 13 points on 50 percent shooting off the bench. He got to the foul line on eight different occasions, scoring seven of his points there (3).
However, this game will be remembered for a particular reason. Star forward Malik Lorquet had a historic night, putting up 28 points and 18 rebounds on 50 percent shooting (3). This monstrous stat line was enough for Lorquet to become the all-time leading rebounder in UMass Boston history, surpassing Terry Kennedy’s 32-year-old record (4).
Lorquet, who has been averaging 19.1 points and 12.7 rebounds on the season, has been a force to be reckoned with (5). The UMass Boston standout was awarded LEC Player of the Week for his performance and is only a few points shy from adding to his historic season, hoping to join the UMass Boston 1,000-point club at some point in the 2023 campaign (4).
Following their game against the Panthers, the Beacons matched up against the Spartans. The Beacons started the game with a 9–0 run and had as large of a lead as 15 in the first half. However, the Spartans exploded on a 15–3 run to end the half, cutting the Beacon lead to only two (6).
When the second half rolled around, the Spartans actually grabbed the lead themselves. It was back and forth from there, as the teams continuously traded baskets. Eventually, the Beacons regained the lead with a Bobby Joy three-pointer, but the Spartans answered with a layup to go up by one with 30 seconds left (6).
When it looked like a lost, who else but Malik Lorquet was there to save the day. Lorquet scored on a putback layup to give the Beacons the lead back and followed it up by swatting away the Spartans’ game-winning attempt. The Beacons avoided giving the Spartans their first LEC win on the season, hanging on to a 59–58 victory (6).
Bobby Joy was the driving force behind this win, as he scored 12 points on 44 percent shooting, making four three-pointers (7). Malik Lorquet had a quieter night scoring wise, as he ended up below his scoring average with 12 points. However, in the paint, he was as dominant as ever with 15 rebounds and five blocks (7).
After entering a slump, it seems like the Beacons may have got their swagger back. If there’s anything to gather from their recent set of games, it’s that Malik Lorquet is to be feared among the Little East Conference. With the season coming to a close and the LEC tournament right around the corner, this is the perfect time for the Beacons to get hot.

Sources:

1.     https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/mens-basketball/schedule
2.     https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/4/lorquet-sets-rebounding-record-big-game-leads-mens-basketball-to-lec-win-over-plymouth-state.aspx
3.     https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/mens-basketball/stats/2022-23/plymouth-state-university/boxscore/5098
4.     https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/6/mens-basketball-lorquet-garners-little-east-player-of-the-week-honors.aspx
5.     https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/mens-basketball/roster/malik-lorquet/3703
6.     https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/8/comeback-down-final-stretch-leads-mens-basketball-to-victory.aspx
7.     https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/mens-basketball/stats/2022-23/castleton-university/boxscore/5099

About the Contributor
Liam Crampton, Sports Writer