By: Cullen McIntyre, Sports Editor
Men’s Basketball sealed a late victory in the closing moments of the game against the University of Massachusetts Boston Beacons. Senior leadership & organizational studies major Jaire Roberts nailed two free throws with a second remaining to put the Huskies ahead 80-78 in their eighth victory of the season.
Southern Maine hosted “Town of Gorham Night” at Costello Sports Complex, where 3rd and 4th grade student of the Gorham Rec teams got to play on the court before the game.
The game began with a 24-second moment of silence in honor of the passing of basketball legend Kobe Bryant who passed away in a tragic helicopter crash along with his daughter and seven other passengers.
UMass Boston jumped ahead early, finding their way to the free throw line often and shooting 51 percent in the first half. The Huskies passing was offense had a slow start, with the Beacons maintaining a double-digit lead for most of the half, finishing the half with a 48-35 lead.
The Beacons came out of the half just as they ended it, scoring consecutive buckets to extend the lead to 17. But the Huskies continued to battle, as a 12-2 run made it a single possession game at 58-55.
Southern Maine’s offense continued to stay alive, going back and forth with the Beacons throughout the rest of the quarter. In the final minutes of the game, the Huskies traded scores, with the Huskies grabbing a four point lead with 31 seconds on the clock but UMass Boston tied it up with four consecutive free throws.
The leading scorer Roberts was given the ball in the last possession of the game, driving to the rim and getting fouled on the way with .03 seconds remaining. The senior guard drilled both free throws, giving the Huskies the two point lead and the win.
Roberts finished the game with a double-double, earning 21 points and 19 rebounds. He also lead the team in assists with six. The Huskies outscored UMass Boston 45-30 in the second half, as the comeback improved their Little Eastern Conference record to 3-8 and split the season series with the Beacons 1-1.
Southern Maine out-rebounded UMass Boston 47-33, and lead in second chance points 23-12.
Though they were outshot 45 percent to 41 percent, but prevailed in outscored their opponents when it mattered. Along with Roberts, senior exercise science major Darek Haney and senior business management major Keenan Hendricks both had 12 points for the Huskies.
The Huskies head to Rhode Island College Wednesday, February 5 for a Little Eastern Conference matchup tipping off at 7:30 pm.