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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Beacon’s Open Season Dramatically

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Sergio Florence drives to the hoop for a nice lay-in

The Beacon Men’s basketball team opened their home schedule last Thursday against Eastern Nazarene. The Beacons are looking to get off to a quick start this year after a disappointing campaign last season. Eastern Nazarene on the other hand, was looking to bounce back from a season opening loss. Attendance looked to be consistent with last year’s low numbers, despite the Beacons claiming vast improvement since last year.

 

Eeastern Nazarene head coach Jim Aller said pre game, “UMass Boston is very good this year and we’ll have to do an awful lot early just to hang around”.

 

It seems other ECAC schools have gotten the Beacons’ message that they will not be an easy win like last year. The beacons are approaching the 2010-11 campaign with the clear goal of winning the conference, and Eastern Nazarene has taken notice.

 

The game started out quickly for the Beacons, with Issac Jenkins making a quick three and Pat Joseph pulling down a rebound on the other side. Eastern Nazarene countered with a tough two pointer to make it a one-point game early. Jonathan Atwater made a beautiful assist to make it 4-3 Eastern Nazarene and some sloppy offensive play from the Beacons got them off to an early 9-5 deficit. 6-7′ forward Chima Ezeigbo, who scored 12 in Eastern Nazarene’s opener, scored a quick 6 points in the first 4 minutes and the Lions led 12-7 at that point. Ezeigbo added to his good start with a thunderous block on a Sergio Florence attempt. The Beacons rallied back from their slow start to take a 16-14 lead going into timeout at the 12:58 mark of the first half. Freshman Mark Reddick showed a flash of brilliance early on when he made a fine play to score of a nice pass to make it 18-14.

 

Mo Johnson made a long 3 with 5:30 to go in the half to make it 27-26 ENC in a game that has featured many lead changes, and UMB followed with a quick steal and a basket to take a lead at 28-27.  A trend of poor ball handling began emerging for Eastern Nazarene, who had multiple traveling calls in the half. Freshman Dontreal Thomas got the crowd into it with a stuff, which was matched, by one of equal might from Ezeigbo on the opposite end. The Beacons took a 33-31 lead into halftime.

 

In the fourth minute of the second half, the Beacons began with dominating play. The Beacons led 41-35 coming off a majestic move to the basket by Pat Joseph, and a follow up on the next play by Joseph pushed the point total up to 43-35 for the Beacons. The Beacons had pushed their lead to 49-42 by the 10-minute mark in the second half. Two quick scores pushed the lead to 53-42. With 8 minutes to go the Beacons were cruising with a 55-46 lead over Eastern Nazarene. The Beacons quickly began exhibiting great perimeter play as they sped towards a season opening win, and with 5 minutes to go, the Beacons led by 11. Eastern Nazarene made it interesting at the 1:50 mark with a three-point play to bring the Beacon’s lead to 65-62. Jason White saved the day for the Beacons with a clutch basket with 40 seconds remaining to give the Beacons a 5-point lead. This was coupled with 2 clutch foul shots from Michael Mitchell Jr. The Beacons carried a 69-64 lead into the final 20 seconds. A late three from Eastern Nazarene made the score 69-67 with 6 seconds remaining going into a Beacons timeout. A late steal and two shots from Eastern Nazarene made for a fantastic finish, but both shots missed and the Beacons escaped with a victory, and are now 1-0 on the season with the same record in the conference.

 

There was, however, room for improvement for the Beacons. Coach Titus said after the game ” We’ve got be better, we played well in spurts in the second half, but guys are trying to do to much. It may be because it’s the first game, but I’m very glad we won”.