Burt scores 18 in Panther setback
BOSTON, Mass. – A Brian Clarke (Miramar, Fla.) basket with 6.6 seconds left on the clock and one final stop by the defense Monday evening earned University of Massachusetts Boston a 65-64 Little East Conference men's basketball win over Plymouth State University on Senior Night in the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.
Clarke's game-winning lay-in would cap off a wild final minute of play, which saw the Beacons score seven points, with five of those coming from sophomore guard Vinny DeLucia (Miami, Fla.). DeLucia sparked the Beacons rally after Plymouth State jumped out to a four-point lead following a deep 3-pointer from Kevin Eisenberg (Moultonborough, N.H.), which made it 62-58 with 1:13 left on the clock.
DeLucia pushed up the court and was fouled as he laid the ball in for a huge two. The reigning conference Rookie of the Year completed the three-point play to make it just a one-point contest. DeLucia hit another basket and the Beacons found themselves leading by one (63-62) with 40 seconds left.
The Panthers playmaker Petey Skevas (Wethersfield, Conn.) responded right back with a huge play of his own to push his team out in front one last time. Skevas went on to finish the day with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting and also handed out a game-high nine assists.
Down by one yet again, the Beacons immediately went to DeLucia. With two players in his face and time running out on the shot clock, DeLucia threw up a shot that fell just short grazing the front of the rim. Luckily the ball landed directly in the hands of Clarke, and the sophomore big-man laid in the game-winning field goal with less than seven seconds on the clock.
After one final timeout, the Panthers quickly got the ball in play, but was met by a wall of Beacons who prevented them from getting off any type of clean shot as the time was about to expire.
Clarke's second half heroics capped off a team-best 16 points as he went 8-for-11 from the field. He also grabbed seven boards to help the cause. DeLucia dropped in nine points and junior Rahshjeem Benson (Boston, Mass.) finished with 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Seniors Mike Mitchell, Jr. (Dorchester, Mass.) and Yusuke Fukata (Osaka, Japan) combined for 10 points in the final regular season home game of their college careers.
Sophomore Alex Burt (Dover, N.H.) was the big scorer on the night as he finished with a game-high 18 points for PSU. After Skevas' 16, freshman Uche Nwokeji (Lynn, Mass.) and Eisenberg each recorded 10 points. Nwokeji and junior Mark MacGregor (Rochester, N.H.) also managed a team-high eight boards as well.
PSU plays its final two regular season games at home, beginning Wednesday against the University of Southern Maine, while UMass Boston will finish off the regular-season on the road, starting Wednesday at in-state rival UMass Dartmouth.
(Courtesy of UMass Boston Sports Information)
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