Men's Basketball

Hoops Moves To 10-0 At Home With 71-62 Win Over St. Joe's

With his emphatic dunk in the first half, Raphiael Putney sparked a UMass rally in which St. Joe's couldn't comeback from.

With his emphatic dunk in the first half, Raphiael Putney sparked a UMass rally in which St. Joe's couldn't comeback from.

Jan. 14, 2012

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AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass basketball team rallied from an early 17-point deficit to improve to 10-0 at home this season with a 71-62 victory over Saint Joseph's at the Mullins Center on Saturday. The win gives the Minutemen their best home start since 1992-93 and improves the squad to 14-4 on the year and 3-1 in A-10 play. The Hawks fall to 12-6 overall and 2-2 in the conference following the loss.

Sophomore Chaz Williams led the way for UMass with 22 points, aided by a 10-for-10 performance at the free throw line, while also handing out seven assists. Classmate Raphiael Putney had another standout game, scoring 17 and shooting 6-for-9, including 4-for-6 from deep, on the way to his second straight game in double figures. He also stole the ball a career high three times and totaled seven rebounds. Junior Terrell Vinson added 11 points and six boards and redshirt-senior Sean Carter was just shy of a double-double with eight points and a team-leading 10 rebounds.

Saint Joseph's started the first half on a 20-3 run, shooting 8-of-16 from the field, in the first seven minutes of the contest. The Minutemen struggled to start the game, going 1-for-11, but were able to battle back scoring 13 unanswered points in a three minute stretch. The run was sparked by a Putney dunk, who accounted for eight points, and a Riley three-pointer. UMass took their first lead of the game at 1:43 and ended the half leading 33-32.

Daryus Quarles hit the first shot of the second half, a three at 17:43 that put the Hawks on top 35-33, but Vinson hit an answering trey at the other end of the floor. C.J. Aiken's dunk moments later gave Saint Joseph's the lead for the final time before Williams' jumper at the 16:18 mark put the Minutemen in front for good. The margin did not expand beyond 10 as Saint Joseph's managed to pull within two several times, including with 2:27 to play, but UMass connected on 8-of-8 free throw attempts in the final 59 seconds to seal the victory.

The Minutemen shot 23-for-61 (37.7%) overall, compared to the Hawks' 25-for-59 (42.4%), but made up the difference from beyond the arc where UMass made 11-of-27 (40.7%), while limited Saint Joseph's to just 6-for-23 (26.1%) from long range.

Ronald Roberts led the Hawks with 16 points off the bench, while Aiken added a double-double on 10 points and 10 rebounds. Halil Kanacevic contributed 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks.

UMass will be back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 18, when the team will travel to Pittsburgh, Pa., for a 7 p.m. contest at Duquesne.




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