Second Half Rally Short As UMass Falls 82-75 At La Salle
Jan. 8, 2012
PHILADELPHIA - Chaz Williams scored a career-high 24 points and Jesse Morgan added a career-high 20 points, but it was not enough as the UMass men's basketball team mounted a second-half rally that fell just short with the Minutemen falling 82-75 at La Salle on Sunday afternoon. After trailing by 26 points at halftime, UMass went on a 21-6 run to start the second half sparked by eight points from Morgan.
With the loss, UMass falls to 12-4 overall and 1-1 in the Atlantic 10, while La Salle improves to 12-4 and 2-0 in the league. The Minutemen will return home on Wednesday, Jan. 11 to host Charlotte at the Mullins Center (7 PM).
Morgan, a native of Philadelphia, led the Minutemen in the first half with 11 points, but the Explorers were hot from beyond the arc hitting 10-of-16 three-pointers.
Along with his 22 points, Morgan finished the game with four steals, three rebounds and a blocked shot. Williams added five assists to his 24 point effort. Sean Carter rounded out UMass' top scorers with a career-high 18 points along with six rebounds.
La Salle was led by Earl Pettis and Ramon Galloway who scored 19 and 18 points, respectively. Tyreek Duren added 12 points, while Sam Mills scored 11.
The Explorers opened the game with an 11-2 lead after UMass went 1-for-7 from the floor in the game's first six minutes of play. La Salle converted 16 UMass turnovers into 20 points which alongside the hot shooting from outside gave the Explorers a 51-25 lead at halftime.
Thanks to UMass' 21-6 run to start the second half, the Minutemen were able to cut the lead down to 57-46 with 10:44 left.
Both teams traded baskets until a dunk by Carter followed by a traditional three-point play from Williams cut the lead to seven, 67-60, with 2:31 remaining in the game.
La Salle hit 11-of-13 free throws down the stretch as UMass extended the game with fouls and timeouts. The Minutemen were able to pull within five points twice in the final 32 seconds, but a dunk by Devon White sealed the win for the Explorers with 15 seconds left on the clock.
UMass finished the game shooting 41.9 percent (26-of-62) thanks in part to a strong shooting second half. La Salle finished the game hitting 47.3 percent of its shots (26-of-55) after hitting a blistering 57 percent in the first half.
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