\NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Leading by one, 77-76 with 1:48 remaining, Arinze Obiora canned his third three of the game, and the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs were able to get enough points on the board from the free throw line in the final minute of action to defeat the University of Southern Maine Huskies 82-79 in a Little East Conference men's basketball game Wednesday night at the Tripp Athletic Center.
The win is the fourth in a row for the Corsairs who are now 4-2 overall and 1-0 in the Little East. Southern Maine drops its third straight to stand at 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the LEC.
Obiora led his team with 28 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field as one of three Corsairs in doube digits. Obiora added eight rebounds, two assists and three steals. Atakan Akcam had 16 points, including a crucial pair of free throws in the closing minutes, while Sean Leahy tossed in 11 points on a perfect 4-for-4 effort from the field.
Junior Jayvon Pitts-Young (Portland, Maine) led all scorers with a USM career-high 36 points on 13-of-18 shooting from the field, adding four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Pitts-Young's 36 points is tied for 11th in Husky single-game history with teammate Christian McCue (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy). McCue scored 36 points twice during the 2017-2018 season, most recently against Keene State (January 27). McCue added 18 points, hitting five three-pointers in the game, while senior Sean Jany (Westbrook, Maine) had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Down by seven, 71-64, with 6:10 to play in regulation, Pitts-Young and McCue helped spur a Southern Maine rally to pull USM even with the Corsairs over the next two minutes of action. The Corsiars went up 71-64 after a pair of free throws from Akcam, before a three from McCue and a layup from Pitts-Young make it a quick five point swing. After a pair of missed possessions on both sides of the ball, Pitts-Young sank his only three of the game for a 71-71 score with 4:10 to go.
UMD responded with a 4-0 run, including three from Jake Ashworth for a 75-71 lead with 2:56 to play, before Pitts-Young sandwiched a layup and a three-pointer around a Akcam layup to again put his team within a point of the Corsairs with 1:48 to go. With the Huskies pushing for the lead, Obiora's three with 1:25 on the clock and Akcam's two free throws with 1:07 left gave the Corsairs enough of a cushion for the win.
Southern Maine remains on the road for its next contest and will take on Castleton University in a Little East Conference game on Saturday (1:00 p.m.).