Sullivan Leads Huskies Past UMass Boston 77-72

Sophomore Conor Sullivan was 8-for-12 from the field for 18 points and eight rebounds - both career high totals.
Sophomore Conor Sullivan was 8-for-12 from the field for 18 points and eight rebounds - both career high totals.
GORHAM, Maine – Sophomore guard Conor Sullivan (Scarborough, Maine) scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds – both career-high totals – to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 77-72 win over the UMass Boston Beacons in a Little East Conference men's basketball game Tuesday night at Hill Gymnasium in Gorham, Maine. 

         With the win, Southern Maine earns the season sweep over UMass Boston and improves to 10-11 overall and 3-8 in the Little East.  The Huskies have won three of their last four games.  The loss is the ninth straight for UMass Boston as its record falls to 5-17 overall and 1-10 in the conference.

         Sullivan led four Huskies in double-figures and was an outstanding 8-for-12 from the field.  Junior guard Alex Kee (Bath, Maine/Morse) added a career-best 17 points and matched Sullivan on the boards with eight.  Kee also had six assists and four steals.  Sophomore guard Brandon Tomah (Princeton, Maine/Calais) added 17 points, five assists and three steals, while senior forward Jeremy Jackson (Laplace, La./Independence) tossed in 13 points and had three blocked shots.

         Freshman guard Vinny DeLucia (Miami, Fla./Sagemont Upper) led all scorers with 29 points, including a 6-for-9 mark from three-point range.  DeLucia added four assists and a pair of steals.  Freshman guard Mark Caceres (Opa-Locka, Fla./Cypress Bay) was the only other Beacon in double-figures with 10 points. 

         The Huskies grabbed a 37-29 lead at the half scoring six unanswered points in the final 1:16 of the half.  In a closely contested opening stanza, Southern Maine led the Beacons 31-29 with 2:16 to play, before Tomah and Sullivan each canned three-pointers for the eight point halftime margin.

         In the second half, both teams traded baskets back and forth trading with the Huskies maintain a three-possession advantage over the Beacons and leading by as many as 14 points, 61-47, with 9:55 to play.  The Huskies led by nine, 67-58 with 6:01 on the clock, after an athletic tip-in from Sullivan, before the Beacons stormed to within one point of the Huskies on nine straight points from DeLucia.  DeLucia scored three of his six three-pointers during a two minutes stretch as UMB trailed the Huskies 67-66 with 3:51 to play.

         Kee ended the scoring drought for USM with a back-door layup off of an assist from Tomah and then came up with a steal and a coast-to-coast basket for a quick 4-0 run and a 71-66 lead with 3:08 remaining. 

         The game went scoreless over the next minute as both teams misfired on ensuing possessions before DeLucia canned a long jumper and freshman forward Brian Clarke (Miramar, Fla./Everglades) brought the Beacons to within a basket, 71-69, with 1:14 to play.  However, the Huskies were able to close out the victory from the free throw line sinking 6-of-6 down the stretch as USM outscored UMB 6-3 in the final moments of the game.

         Southern Maine shot an outstanding 57.4 percent (31-for-54) from the field and was 61.5 percent (16-for-26) from the floor in the second half.   UMass Boston shot 42.4 percent (28-for-66) from the field. 

         Southern Maine hosts Rhode Island College on Saturday (3:00 p.m.).  UMass Boston travels to Plymouth State University on Saturday (3:00 p.m.).