UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Sophomore Max Brooks (Waldorf, Md.) posted his first career double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, as the UMass Lowell River Hawks men’s basketball team (3-1) turned in one of their best performances of the young season to take down Central Connecticut State (0-4), 77-53, in the final game of the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Showcase on Wednesday.
“We played the right way tonight,” said Head Coach Pat Duquette. “We pushed the ball, spaced the floor, and moved the ball to the open man. We gave ourselves high-percentage shots. Lots of guys got involved and made winning plays on both sides of the floor.”
Brooks finished with new career highs for both points and rebounds with 18 and 11, respectively. Junior Kalil Thomas (New Orleans, La.), who was a perfect 4-for-4 from long range, also put up 18 points on the night to match his own personal best. Graduate student Justin Faison (Prince George’s County, Md.) added in a double-digit scoring performance with 10 points, in addition to a game-high five assists.
As a team, the River Hawks put together a strong defensive showing, grabbing 43 boards and nine steals, while holding the Blue Devils to a season-low 53 points.
UMass Lowell jumped out to a quick lead, going up 20-10 on the Blue Devils only 10 minutes into the game. The River Hawks were aggressive driving to the hoop during that stretch, as their first 22 points came from inside the paint until Thomas hit a three with 7:48 left in the first half.
Faison then added a triple of his own on the River Hawks’ next possession to push the lead to 28-15. CCSU would use a quick, 7-1 offensive burst to pull back within seven, but Thomas followed with back-to-back threes to push the River Hawk lead to 36-23 heading into the locker room.
In the second half, the River Hawks executed well on defense. UMass Lowell forced multiple turnovers, leading to a 10-0 run that was capped off by a fast-break score from sophomore Ayinde Hikim (Washington D.C.) that gave the squad a 58-36 advantage with just over 10 minutes to go.
Late in the game, a layup from sophomore Quinton Mincey (Upper Marlboro, Md.) earned UMass Lowell its largest lead of the night, 75-51, en route to the victory.
Next up, the River Hawks will head to Washington D.C. to take on George Washington on Friday, November 19. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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