March 6, 2009

Courtesy Baruch Athletics

WORCESTER, Mass. - Matt Walker (Brockton, MA) led four Corsairs in double figures, registering a team-high 19 points and seven rebounds, leading UMass Dartmouth to a 82-72 win in the first round of the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament on Friday evening at WPI's Harrington Auditorium.

The Corsairs, now 26-3, will face WPI (21-5) in the tournament's second round, scheduled for Saturday at 7pm. Baruch sees its season come to a close with a 23-6 record.

UMass Dartmouth took control of the game late in the second half. Tied 72-72 with 2:45 to play, the Corsairs closed the game on a 10-0 run, due in large part to four Baruch turnovers in the final 2:16 of play. UMass Dartmouth shot 51.9% in the second half (14-for-27), helping the Corsairs overcome a five-point halftime deficit.

Tammer Farid (Woodside, NY) started the game on fire for the Bearcats, draining four 3-pointers in the first 6:29 en route to a game-high 22 points. Farid sank five threes in the first half en route to Baruch posting a 40-35 halftime lead.

Steven Bader (North Bergen, NJ) posted one of Baruch's two double-doubles on the evening, with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

George Kunkel (Glendale, NY) chipped in with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Lionel Hilaire (Far Rockaway, NY) also was in double figures for the Bearcats, with 10 points and six rebounds. Mike Dietz (Middle Village, NY) dished out a game-high eight assists.

Baruch shot 63.6% from behind the arc (7-for-11) in the first half, but was only 1-for-7 from long range in the second half.

"The team left it all on the court tonight and I am very proud of them." said Baruch Head Coach Ray Rankis. "We knew UMASS-Dartmouth was a team of spurts and they had their final big spurt in the final minutes to break open a 72-72 tie."

Brandon Shelton (Cambridge, MA) dropped in 15 points for UMass Dartmouth, while Brandon Stephens (Dorchester, MA) added 14 and Reece Freeman (Cambridge, MA) contributed 10 points, six rebounds and a team-best six assists for the victors.

UMass Dartmouth's reserves outscored Baruch's bench by a 16-3 margin. The Corsairs converted 16 Baruch turnovers into 33 points and converted six of eight free throws down the stretch to key the victory.

UMass Dartmouth will take on WPI in an NCAA Division III Tournament second round matchup Saturday night at Harrington Auditorium, with tipoff scheduled for 7pm. The winner will move on to the sectionals next weekend.