Saint Joseph's Hands UMass First Home Loss In Over A Year, 98-92
Jan. 9, 2008
AMHERST, Mass. - Ahmad Nivins poured in 31 points and 12 rebounds to lead Saint Joseph's highest scoring output of the season, as UMass (11-4, 0-1 A-10) fell to the Hawks (8-4, 1-0), 98-92, in Wednesday night's Atlantic 10 basketball game at the Mullins Center. The loss ended a 15-game home winning streak for the Minutemen and was their first conference loss at home since 2005-06. Ricky Harris led the UMass offense with 25 points and four 3-pointers, while Gary Forbes added 22 points and hit five 3-pointers. Etienne Brower chipped in with 14 points and Dante Milligan grabbed 10 rebounds. Pat Calathes added 21 points and 15 boards for the Hawks.
Saint Joseph's shot 58.5% (38-65) for the game, while UMass shot 42.7% (32-75) from the field. The Minutemen were 13-33 (39.4%) from 3-point range and the Hawks were 6-14 (42.9%).
UMass started slow, missing six of its first nine shots to fall behind, 12-7, but quickly heated up, scoring on six of seven possessions to take a 23-20 lead with 10:40 left in the opening half. It was a back and forth for the rest of the half as the offenses took over. The teams traded leads seven times and were tied five times until the Hawks outscored the Minutemen, 15-5, over the final 3:48 of the half to take a 52-44 lead into the locker room.
Harris led the Minutemen with 14 first half points with the help of three 3-pointers. Forbes added eight points and hit two from long range. Nivins led all scorers with 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting for the Hawks in the opening 20 minutes. UMass shot 50% (15-30) from the field and from 3-point range (8-16), while Saint Joseph's shot a blistering 66.7% (22-33) in the first half. The Hawks held the advantage on the boards as well, 18-9.
The Hawks started the second half by outscoring UMass, 19-10, over the first 4:57 to put the Minutemen down by 17, 71-54. UMass then used an 8-0 run, consisting of a Matt Glass 3-pointer, a Forbes 3-point play, and Harris layup, to reduce the deficit to nine, 71-62, with 12:42 left. Etienne Brower made all three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt to pull UMass within six, 83-77, with 5:24 left. The Hawks responded with a 10-4 spurt over the next 3:36, to take a 12-point lead with 1:36 remaining and secure the win.
The Minutemen return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 16 when they travel to Dayton to take on the 17th-ranked Flyers (13-1) in a 7 p.m. tip.
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