Men's Basketball

 
UMass' 15-0 Second Half Run Leads To 75-62 Win Over Dayton

Tony Gaffney finished the night with 17 points, including this thunderous dunk.

Tony Gaffney finished the night with 17 points, including this thunderous dunk.

Jan. 10, 2009

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Playing in head coach Derek Kellogg's hometown of Springfield for the first time since 2005, UMass held a two point lead at halftime, but used a 15-0 run in the middle of the second half to win its Atlantic 10 opener, 75-62, over Dayton on Saturday afternoon at the MassMutual Center. The Minutemen defense held the Flyers scoreless over a 6:43 span during the run. UMass (1-0 A-10) improves to 6-8 on the season, while Dayton (0-1 A-10), the top receiving votes team in this weeks coaches poll, falls to 14-2.

Ricky Harris led all scorers with 23 points, including 3-for-5 from 3-point range. Tony Gaffney (17), Anthony Gurley (16), and Chris Lowe (15) all scored in double-figures for UMass as well. Gaffney pulled down seven boards, while Lowe dished out six assists.

Chris Wright and Marcus Johnson were the only Dayton players in double figures scoring 13 and 10, respectively.

Gaffney started with the hot hand for UMass, scoring six of the team's first eight points on the way to an 8-7 Minutemen lead four minutes in. Two of his hoops during that span came on dunks, with the third being a tip-in of a miss.

It was then Harris taking over, scoring eight of UMass' next 12 points. His 3-pointer with 8:28 left in the half gave the Minutemen a 20-17 lead, but the Flyers came back with a 9-0 run over a 1:30, to take the lead, 26-20.

The Minutemen tied the game on three separate occasions over the rest of the half, with Harris' runner in the lane with 49 seconds left giving UMass a 35-33 lead going into halftime.

Harris piled up 17 points in the opening half on 5-for-6 shooting, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Marcus Johnson led Dayton with seven points. The Minutemen controlled the boards in the first half, outrebounding the Flyers, 19-11.

After Rob Lowery gave the Flyers the lead, 40-39, on a steal and dunk with 17:42 remaining, the Minutemen put together a huge run. They outscored Dayton, 20-2, between the 17:04 and 10:30 marks, including a 15-0 run over a 4:18 span. It was all capped off by a thunderous Gaffney dunk that brought the crowd to its feet and led to a Dayton timeout with the Minutemen leading by 15, 59-42, with 10 and half minutes to go.

The Minutemen then went through a scoring drought of their own, with Gaffney's six points accounting for the only UMass points between the 10:30 and 4:29 marks. Wright's dunk off a miss cut the UMass lead to nine, 65-56, with 2:25 left, but back-to-back 3-pointers by Gurley with under two minutes to go sealed the victory for the Minutemen.

The Minutemen return to action on Wednesday when they travel to Saint Louis to take on the Billikens in an 8 p.m. Atlantic 10 game.

 

 

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