UMass Out-Duels Dayton To Open A-10 Play, 55-50
Jan. 9, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. - On a day shooters struggled and defenses ruled, UMass made 29 of 36 free throws (80.6%) to defeat Dayton, 55-50, in a grind-it-out game on Sunday afternoon at the Mullins Center in the Atlantic 10 opener for both teams. The Minutemen (9-5, 1-0 A-10) shot 27.3 percent from the field, and the Flyers (13-4, 0-1 A-10) shot 28.6 percent, but the Minutemen used a 41-31 rebounding advantage and its season-high total from the free throw line to start 1-0 in A-10 play for the third year in row.
After Dayton cut the UMass lead to two, 44-42 with 3:24 left in the game, Anthony Gurley hit a 3-pointer at the three-minute mark and Javorn Farrell converted a 3-point play to give the Minutemen a 50-42 advantage with 47 seconds left, but Chris Johnson's 3-pointers at the 38 and 20-second marks kept it tight before more Minutemen free throws iced the victory.
Gurley led the Minutemen with 15 points and was a perfect 10-of-10 from the foul line, while Paul Williams led the Flyers with 12 points.
UMass' 55 points was its fewest in a victory since a 53-50 win over Saint Louis on Feb. 24, 2007 at the Mullins Center, while the Minutemen held the Flyers to the lowest field goal percentage of the season by an opponent (28.6%).
Sampson Carter's jumper with 8:37 left in the game marked UMass' first field goal of the second half, breaking a 13:09 field goal drought, but the Minutemen maintained their lead over that span, building it to as much as 12, by going 12-of-15 at the free throw line over the first 10 minutes of the half.
Both offenses struggled to find their shooting touch in the first half. UMass shot 29.6 percent, including 1-of-7 from 3-point range, while Dayton shot 28 percent, including 1-of-10 from long range. UMass was a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line in the first 20 minutes. The Minutemen owned the glass, taking a 25-12 rebounding edge into halftime.
The leading scorers for both teams were held in check in the opening half. Gurley (20.4 ppg) did not score until the 2:22 mark and finished the half with four points. Dayton's Chris Wright (13.7 ppg) and Chris Johnson (12.4 ppg) recorded just two points each.
After a 7-2 Dayton spurt midway through the first half cut a UMass eight-point lead to three, 17-14, the Minutemen widened the lead back to eight, 26-18 at the half by outscoring the Flyers, 9-4 over the final nine minutes.
A Freddie Riley 3-pointer capped off a 9-1 UMass run and forced a Dayton timeout as the Minutemen jumped out to a 15-7 lead, 11:27 into the game. The home club held a 10-5 rebounding advantage in those first eight and a half minutes.
The Minutemen next travel to Cincinnati to take on Xavier on Wednesday in an A-10 game that will air on CBS College Regional at 7 p.m.
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