Saint Louis' Hot Shooting Downs Minutemen, 69-64
Jan. 14, 2009
ST. LOUIS - Kwamain Mitchell scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half as UMass men's basketball fell to Saint Louis, 69-64, on Wednesday night at Chaifetz Arena. Saint Louis, which came into the game shooting 28 percent from beyond the 3-point arc was red hot canning 53 percent including 6-of-9 in the second half. UMass falls to 6-9 on the season and 1-1 in the A-10, while Saint Louis goes to 10-6 and 1-1 in the A-10.
Chris Lowe led all scorers with 21 points on 10-for-16 shooting. He gave the Billiken defense fits all night driving to the basket. Ricky Harris connected on 4-of-6 from 3-point range on his way to 18 points. Luke Bonner turned in a solid effort with nine points and eight rebounds.
The Billikens were led by Mitchell and Tommie Liddell with 14 points each. Liddell and Kevin Lisch, SLU's senior guards, combined to score their club's final 13 points as they rallied from down 57-56 with 5:54 left to come away with the win.
The game see-sawed back and forth as UMass retook the lead at 57-56 on a 9-2 run capped by a Lowe lay-up with 5:54 left in the second half.
But Saint Louis' senior guard combo of Lisch and Liddell hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Billikens a 62-59 lead with 4:25 left in the second.
SLU took advantage of an inside-outside game early in the second half making 12 of their first 16 shots including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. Liddell's free throw - the first point for SLU not on a lay-up or a 3-pointer - gave the Billikens their largest lead at 52-46 with 9:51 left in the second half.
The early second half was more of give and take as UMass took a 33-27 edge on another lay-up by Lowe. But SLU answered as Mitchell canned two 3-pointers and Brian Conklin's lay-in gave the Billikens a 37-36 led with 16:42 left in regulation.
The teams battled nip-and-tuck in the first half with the Minutemen holding a slight 31-27 advantage as Lowe hit a runner in the lane as time expired. That gave Lowe 11 points in the first half.
The Minutemen built a lead as large as eight at 22-14 with 5:45 left in the first half on a Harris jumper. That finished off a 14-4 run.
SLU answered UMass' run with an 11-2 run to retake the lead at 25-24 with 2:45 left as Kwamain Mitchell hit a pair of free throws.
With the Billikens up 27-26 on a Brett Thompson putback with 1:50, UMass scored the final five points of the half including an Anthony Gurley 3-pointer with 1:12 left as the shot clock was about the expire. Lowe followed that with his lay-up for the four-point halftime edge.
UMass returns home to host Temple at 7 p.m. on Saturday in an A-10 clash. The game will air live on ESPN2. The night also serves as the 1970s Celebration as the Minutemen continue to honor the 100 Seasons of UMass Basketball.
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