Massasoit Holds Off UCAP, 57-53; Advances to Region 21 Semifinals

#24 Jovani Harper-Lopez
#24 Jovani Harper-Lopez

BROCKTON, Mass. ---- Mike Ward (Brockton) made a clutch basket and Jovani Harper-Lopez iced the game at the free throw line as the Massasoit men's basketball team held of the University of Connecticut at Avery Point, 57-53, on Wednesday night in NJCAA Region 21 Tournament action.

The win advances the No. 4 seeded Warriors (14-11) to the regional semifinals, hosted by Massasoit, and will play No. 1 Bunker Hill on Saturday at 4 PM. 

Leading by one, 54-53, Ward put in a bucket off a broken play with under 30 seconds to play. After a missed game-tying 3-point attempt by No. 5 UCAP (11-12), Harper-Lopez made one of two at the line with 5.2 seconds left to give the Warriors the four-point victory.

Harper-Lopez led a balanced attack, netting 14 on the night as six Warriors finished with 6-or-more points. Brockton native Ian Wade added 12 points, while Ward, Latrelle Cartwright (Brockton) and Bryan Tavares (Rockland) added seven each. Center Mark Munroe (Quincy) chipped in with six points.

Massasoit jumped out to a 20-8 lead, but the Pointers would hang around as the Warriors held a 29-24 lead at the break.

The Warriors lead would balloon to double figures in the second half. However, UCAP kept fighting back highlighted by back-to-back 3s by Ryan Tobin to eventual tie the game at 53 before Massasoit scored the game's final four points.

Will Orr topped the Pointers with 15 points.