New Haven tops Dominican for first NCAA tournament win since 2003
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Fourth-seeded New Haven recorded its first NCAA postseason win since 2003 with a 73-66 triumph against fifth-seeded Dominican in the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division II East Region Championship.
New Haven (20-8) advanced to play top-seed Franklin Pierce on Saturday in the second semifinal contest. UNH defeated the Ravens 53-50 in Rindge on Jan. 15. The victory marks the program’s first 20-win campaign since the 2003-04 squad won 21 contests. Dominican (22-7) was the regular season champion of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
Justin Exum led all scorers with 21 points, sparked by a 12-for-14 showing at the free throw line. Jeffery Adkins added 15 points and Jeremy Williams netted 15. Eric Anderson added seven points, tore down a game-high 16 rebounds and matched his career high with seven blocked shots.
Collectively, the UNH Chargers shot 17-for-40 (42.5 percent) from the floor, 6-for-11 (54.5 percent) from 3-point range and 33-for-40 (82.5 percent) from the free throw line.
The Chargers went 25-for-57 (43.9 percent) from the field, 5-for-14 (35.7 percent) from distance and 11-for-17 (64.7 percent) at the line. Leon Porter had a team-best 20 points for Dominican.
The rebounding efforts resulted in a 30-30 deadlock, and Dominican held an 8-6 edge in forced turnovers.
After Dominican scored the first four points of the contest, an Adkins three-point play started New Haven on a 12-0 run as the Chargers were held scoreless for a span of 4:48. The game of runs continued as Dominican answered with an 11-2 spurt to reclaim a 15-14 lead with 9:38 remaining until the intermission. The Blue and Gold rebuilt a six-point edge at 25-19 and headed into the locker room with a 29-25 advantage.
A four-point play by Porter immediately evened the score at 29 just 15 seconds into the second period. In total, Dominican began the half on a 7-0 run to claim a lead and extended the cushion to five points at 43-38. New Haven netted eight of the next 10 points, including 3-pointers by Ashanti DePass and Exum, to tie the score at 45. Williams followed with a jumper to put UNH back on top.
The score was tied three more times before a 7-1 run gave New Haven a 58-52 lead that it would not relinquish with 4:28 to play. UNH shot 10-for-14 from the stripe from that point forward to ice the 73-66 victory.