Men's Basketball

No. 19 Men's Hoops Rallies Late For 66-62 Win Over Saint Joseph's

Jan. 8, 2014

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An 18-to-5 run to close out the game gave the No. 19 UMass basketball team a 66-62 win over Saint Joseph's in the Atlantic 10 opener for both teams. The Minutemen trailed 57-48 with 6:23 left in the game, but clutch shooting from Chaz Williams, Maxie Esho and Trey Davis pulled UMass back for the win.

Williams led all players with 22 points while Esho scored 12 off the bench including a thunderous dunk late in the game putting UMass (13-1, 1-0 A-10) back ahead for good. Davis finished with six points, but they came on a critical three-pointer during the run and three of four free throws in the final minute of play.

Halil Kanacevic led SJU (9-5, 0-1 A-10) with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Langston Galloway scored 18 points, while DeAndre Bembry netted 16 in the loss.

Saint Joseph's led 31-28 at the intermission, but a quick 7-to-0 run put the Minutemen ahead 35-31 after a three-pointer by Raphiael Putney (11 points) just under two minutes into the second half.

The teams traded leads until an Esho lay-up tied the game at 48 each.

The Hawks began to pull away, however, using a quick 9-to-0 run over a three minute span to take a 57-48 lead with 6:23 remaining in the game.

A pair of free throws from Williams stopped the run and a steal by Derrick Gordon on the ensuing inbounds play set up a three-pointer by Davis pulling UMass back within six, 59-53 with 5:50 to go.



Williams hit a three-pointer and then one-of-three free throws in the next two minutes to pull the Minutemen within two.

The Hawks saw their lead evaporate to just one point, 62-61, before Esho forced the crowd onto their feet with a steal and a thunderous dunk putting UMass back ahead for good with 61 seconds remaining.

Saint Joseph's missed a shot on their next possession with Davis diving underneath three Hawks to secure the rebound and force a jump ball with possession going back to the Minutemen. Davis hit two free throws after being fouled on the inbounds play.

The Minutemen pressured the Hawks into another tough shot on the next SJU possession and Davis hit one of two free throws with four seconds to go. Kanacevic heaved a three-pointer from the left wing as time expired hoping to get fouled, but the shot was long.

The first half saw the Hawks jump out to a 16-7 lead after a Galloway three-pointer with 12:55 to go. In that stretch, the Minutemen were just 3-of-11 from the floor including 0-for-4 from the three-point line.

A 10-to-2 run by UMass culminated in a Williams lay-up at the 9:57 mark whittling the Hawk lead to just one, 18-17. The Minutemen tied the game just over two minutes later after a Gordon lay-up and a steal by Esho on the press turned into a dunk to even things up.

UMass led 26-23 after three free throws from Williams, but Saint Joseph's closed the half on an 8-to-2 run.

The Minutemen shot 43.6 percent for the game hitting 24-of-55 shots including 5-of-15 from beyond the arc. Saint Joseph's hit 48.9 percent of its shots on 23-of-47 shooting and was 6-of-18 from the three-point line. The Hawks outrebounded UMass 35-to-28.

The game featured seven ties and nine lead changes. UMass turned 17 SJU turnovers into 21 points and held an 18-0 edge in bench scoring.

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