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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Photo by Tony Naro
Photo by Tony Naro

The odds looked stacked against the UMass Boston men’s basketball team as they ran drills before their game on Thursday night. With only eight players, the Beacons suited up looked a bit incomplete when paired against Worcester Polytech’s 15 players, who had two different drills running before the game. But those odds were washed away three minutes into the game as the Beacons began to light up the scoreboard and take the lead for the entire game.

Worcester Polytech’s record coming into the game was 16-3, only losing one game of their last 12. Of the three games lost, only one team now has a losing record according to d3hoops.com. UMass, which has had a rough season thus far and has lost its last four games, came in as the underdogs. Yet despite the statistical record, the shortage of players, and the lack of any players over 6’5″ compared to the five on WPI, UMass took control of the game immediately and set the pace.

Head Coach Charlie Titus was asked before the game what players to look for and he said, “All of them!” He could not have been more right. The team played like a well-oiled machine, averaging 48.9 percent FG and 50 percent at three-point range with 17 steals and 17 assists.

However, the work of Roger Perry (#15) and Eric Summerville (#3) cannot be discounted. They took the lead in scoring for UMB with a combined 41 points. Perry went two for two in three-point range and seven for eight at the free throw line. Summerville made sure that WPI remembered his number by hitting three from three-point territory. Eddie Ramos (#20) also put up eight points with four assists and two steals.

Coach Titus attributed the win to the team being able to “execute its offense and communicate well on defense.” He continued, “Worcester can shoot and we contained that well.” Contained it the Beacon defense did, keeping WPI’s total FG percentage at 37.5 percent and 26.9 percent from three-point territory. The 11 steals by UMB and three blocks from Perkins Pierribia (#42) prevented WPI from using its height advantage against UMB and stifled what seemed to be WPI’s strategy of getting the ball to the big guys.

Opening with a three pointer, WPI was able to cut the Beacon lead to five halfway into the second half but Perry took care of that with a three point shot, a couple free throws, and a FG that brought the Beacons back to a 12-point lead literally minutes later.

This win is also a testament to what Perry calls the team’s “mental toughness,” playing with only eight players against a team with a bench full of subs. In the midst of a losing streak, this is a big win for the Beacons and may be just what the doctor ordered for the rest of the men’s season. The Beacons did lose to Rhode Island College on Friday by a score of 71-56 but great things can be expected in this week’s games, one at the University of Southern Maine and another against Plymouth State College here at home.