BOSTON – Javaris Hill grabbed an offensive rebound and sank the put-back to give the UMass Boston Beacons a 75-74 lead in the closing moments of the game and the University of Southern Maine Huskies were unable to convert in its final possessions as the Beacons earned the one-point win over the Huskies in a Little East Conference men's basketball game Wednesday night at Clark Athletic Center.
With the win, UMass Boston extends its win streak to three games and improves to 9-7 overall and 4-4 in the Little East Conference. Southern Maine drops its second straight and is now 4-10 overall and 2-5 in the LEC.
Michael Boyd led three Beacons in double figures with 24 points on 10-for-22 shooting, adding six assists and five rebounds. Charles Mitchell had 15 points, including three three-pointers, and Dasan Cinelli racked up a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Charlie Mitchell finished with nine points and a game-high seven rebounds. Hill finished with four points, including the go-ahead basket.
Southern Maine junior Jayvon Pitts-Young (Portland, Maine) led all scorers with 33 points. Pitts-Young was 14-for-23 from the field (60.9 percent) for his third thirty-point game of the season, and had four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Senior Avaughn Brown (Hartford, Conn.) was the only other Husky in double figures with 10 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Machar Nguany (Portland, Maine/Casco Bay) tossed in eight points off of the bench on 4-for-6 shooting, while seniors Sean Jany (Westbrook, Maine) and Christian McCue (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) each had seven points.
After a layup from Boyd with 4:04 on the clock, Southern Maine trailed the Beacons by 10, 73-63. Faced with a double-digit deficit late, the Huskies rattled off 11 straight points over the next three and a half minutes to claim a slim 74-73 lead. Pitts-Young was instrumental in the run, scoring seven of USM's 11 points, including the go-ahead bucket with 1:27 on the clock. In the Beacons' next possession, UMB was able to extend its play with a pair of offensive rebounds, including Hill's put-back to go up by one with 51 seconds to play. USM turned the ball over in the first of its final two possessions but earned the ball back with an offensive charge, but missed on the game-winner with seconds remaining for the 75-74 final.
Southern Maine shot a solid 54.7 percent from the field (29-for-53) and knocked down eight three pointers in the game. UMass Boston shot 44.6 percent (29-for-65) but held a 41-31 lead in rebounds and scored 18 of its 75 points off of put-backs.
Southern Maine remains on the road and faces Little East Conference opponent Keene State on Saturday (3:00 p.m.).