No. 5 seed Bloomfield Cruises into East Regional Semifinals with 91-83 win over No. 4 seed UMass-Lowell
WORCESTER, Mass. (March 10, 2012) – No. 5 seed and Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference champion Bloomfield College cruised to a 91-83 win over No. 4 seed UMass-Lowell on Saturday night in the quarterfinals of the 2012 NCAA Division II Men's Basketball East Regional at Laska Gym on the campus of Assumption College.
Bloomfield improves to 25-7 with the win and moves on to face No. 1 seed and Northeast-10 champion Franklin Pierce (22-7) in the East Regional Semifinals on Sunday in a 7:30 p.m. tip at Assumption's Laska Gym. Franklin Pierce advanced to the semifinal round by virtue of a 58-57 win over CACC member Philadelphia University in the quarterfinals on Saturday.
This marks the second consecuti ve season that Bloomfield has advanced to the East Regional semifinals. Last year saw the Deacons capture the East Regional title while playing as the No. 7 seed and earn a berth in the 2011 NCAA Division II Elite Eight.
The Deacons employed a balanced offensive attack in the win that featured four players finish with double-figure points. 2012 CACC Co-Player of the Year Ahmad Harris posted a team-best 23 points, which included a 13-of-15 clip from the charity stripe. Sophomore Terry Hicks added 19, freshman Marvin Williams tabbed 15 and senior Matt Wafula chipped in 19 while adding a team-high nine rebounds.
Bloomfield ended any doubt about the outcome early in the second half as it ripped off a 17-7 spurt to extend its lead to 60-41 with 15:22 remaining. Harris keyed the surge with eight of the 17 points.
UMass-Lowell (19-11) was chasing the Deacons for the rest of the contest as it saw the Bloomfield lead bulge to as many as 21 points before eventually falling by the final eight-point margin.
The Deacons trailed early as UMass-Lowell opened an 11-6 advantage over the opening four minutes of the contest before claiming the lead for good at the 12:39 mark of the first half at 16-15. Bloomfield put together a 23-15 run over the final 10 minutes of the opening half to turn a 20-19 lead into a 43-34 advantage at intermission.
Akeem Williams paced UMass-Lowell in the loss with a game-high 28 points while Dipanjot Singh contributed 15.