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The Mass Media

Men’s Basketball struggles summed up with seven-game losing streak

Men%E2%80%99s+basketball+player+attempts+to+block+a+shot+against+the+opposing+team.+Photos+by+Dong+Woo+Im+%2F+Mass+Media+Staff.
Dong Woo Im
Men’s basketball player attempts to block a shot against the opposing team. Photos by Dong Woo Im / Mass Media Staff.

It hasn’t been an ideal season for the Beacons thus far, and their struggles have continued into the new year. According to Beacons Athletics, UMass Boston started off 2024 losing their first three games to the University of Southern Maine, Keene State and UMass Dartmouth, which caused their losing streak to extend to seven [1]. They’ve been looking to turn things around, but 2024 is off to a rough start.

Against the Huskies, things looked promising at first. According to Beacons Athletics, the first half saw the two squads trade impressive runs; first the Beacons, then the Huskies. By the time the half ended, it was all tied up at 29. Connor Walden, in particular, was proving to be a problem for the Huskies, as he had the hot hand for the majority of the game [2].

The second half started with more of the same high-speed offense the first half had. Emanuel Zayas’s four-point play gave the Beacons a late lead, but the teams eventually found themselves tied at 45. It was then that the Huskies went on a run, leaving the Beacons in the dust. A 68–60 Beacon loss was the result, as a career game from Walden was not enough to put the Beacons over the top [2].

To say their next game was a challenge would be a vast understatement, as the Beacons made their way to Keene, N.H. to face off against the 11–2 Owls [1]. Coming off a tough loss, the Beacons were looking to ride that momentum into Keene and possibly give this Owls team, who is second in the Little East Conference according to Littleeast.com, a run for their money [3].

However, Beacons Athletics’ report showed that this would end up not being the case at all. The Owls absolutely dominated the Beacons from the opening tip all the way until the final buzzer. The Beacons shot 35.6 percent from the field, 58.8 percent from the stripe and were outrebounded 40 to 26. Meanwhile, the Owls shot an absurd 63.6 percent from three and 66.7 percent overall, alongside making all but one of their free throws [4].

The Beacons lost this game by 48, with the final score being 117–69. This was by far the most points the Beacons gave up all year, with the title previously being held by Rivier University, who scored 90 in a 12-point victory over the Beacons in November [1]. Demoralizing would be the only way to describe this loss, crushing the little momentum gained from the previous game.

Then, the Beacons had to travel to Dartmouth, Mass., where they faced the Corsairs, the team right behind the Owls in the LEC standings [3]. A bounce-back game is what the Beacons needed, but the Corsairs had no plans of letting that happen. Beacons Athletics noted that the first half saw the Beacons in a 37-point hole, with the score being 59–22 [5]. 

The Beacons made a solid effort in the second half, but it was far too late for them, with the final score being 90–54. The Corsairs had scored more points in the first half than the Beacons did all game. The shooting numbers were very similar to their previous game against the Owls, shooting 35.4 percent from the field and a rough 37.5 percent from the free throw line [5]. 

The Corsairs’ win put the Beacons at 2–13 on the season, a record they were not hoping to see this far along in the year. The Beacons do have a chance to end their slump, as they will face off against Vermont State University Castleton and Eastern Connecticut State on Wednesday, Jan. 17 and Saturday, Jan. 20, respectively [1]. 

These last two games before the new semester are perfectly timed to light a fire in the Beacons’ belly. They currently sit third from the bottom in the LEC standings right now, and these next two schools on the schedule are the only ones below them. If there is any time to get things going, it will be during these matchups [1]. Hopefully, the Beacons can find their spark and get a midseason turnaround going soon.

Sources – 

  1. https://beaconsathletics.com/sports/mens-basketball/schedule
  2. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2024/1/3/mens-basketball-new-year-new-beacons-walden-shines-in-return.aspx
  3. https://littleeast.com/standings.aspx?path=mbball
  4. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2024/1/6/mens-basketball-drops-lec-game-in-keene.aspx
  5. https://beaconsathletics.com/news/2024/1/9/mens-basketball-downed-by-tough-umass-dartmouth-squad.aspx

 

About the Contributors
Liam Crampton, Sports Writer
Dong Woo Im, Photographer