WESTON, Mass. – The Regis (Mass.) men's basketball team ushered in the new year with a sensational win, topping regional stalwart UMass Boston with an 80-73 overtime win on Tuesday at Higgins Court. The Pride improved to 4-6 while the Beacons dropped to 7-4.
Four Regis players finished in double figures led by Sam Jean-Gilles (Melrose, Mass.) with 19 points on 9-16 shooting. Ademola Afonja (Staten Island, N.Y.) scored six of his eight points in overtime while pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds.
Sam Freeman (Boston, Mass.) had a game-high 25 points (9-16) for UMass who upset then-No. 5 Tufts last month. Freeman also corralled a team-high eight rebounds with Careem Kirksey (Dorchester, Mass.) adding 13 points.
Regis held an early 11-10 lead off a Jean-Gilles layup, but the Beacons responded with an 11-1 run. Freeman's layup capped the big run and UMass led 21-13 with 7:48 to play in the half. Jean-Gilles's layup halted the run and three pointers by Josh Germain (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) and Shaun Wingfield (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) helped the Pride tie up the game at 28-28. The Beacons would carry a 32-31 lead into halftime.
The second half featured a tightly contested battle with Regis holding a slim lead most of the way. Wingfield's three pointer put his team up 47-42 with 13:29 to play, but a Dan Powers (Westwood, Mass.) three ball evened the game at 52-52 as the two teams went toe to toe down the stretch. Jean-Gilles hit a pair of shots inside the final three minutes to break ties but with the game tied at 68-68, a Regis miscue gave the Beacons the final possession. The Pride came up with the defensive stop however, and sent the game into overtime.
Afonja came alive in overtime, scoring the first basket of the period and finishing the win off with a key rebound and a pair of made free throws.
Both teams return to action on Thursday, Jan. 5. The Pride host Colby-Sawyer at 7:00 p.m. with UMass Boston welcoming Bridgewater State for a 7:00 p.m. contest.