UMass Dominates Paint, Holds Off La Salle, 74-71
Jan. 15, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Led by 20 points from Anthony Gurley, UMass (10-6, 2-1 A-10) held off a late La Salle (8-10, 0-3 A-10) run as the Minutemen defeated the Explorers, 74-71 on Saturday afternoon at the MassMutual Center. Ruben Guillandeaux missed a potential game-tying 3-point attempt in the final seconds to secure the win for the Minutemen. UMass scored 54 of its 74 points in the paint as it improved to 2-1 in Atlantic 10 play and 3-0 at the MassMutual Center this season.
Sean Carter (15 points) and Terrell Vinson (11 points) each recorded season-highs in scoring, while Javorn Farrell netted 13. Gary Correia (7 assists) and Farrell (5 assists) each set career-highs in assists.
Jerrell Williams led La Salle with 20 points, while Aaric Murray added 12.
Ahead by three, 74-71, UMass' Farrell made a key block with 32 seconds left on a Ruben Guillandeaux layup attempt after intercepting a UMass pass in the backcourt. After another Minutemen turnover in the backcourt with 26 seconds left, UMass retained possession when Guillandeaux steppedout of bounds after making the steal.
Farrell missed two free throws with 22 seconds left, keeping the score 74-71 before La Salle's final possession.
For the game, UMass shot 50.8 percent from the field, while La Salle shot 39.4 percent. The Explorers held a 40-29 rebounding edge, with 19 offensive boards. The Explorers had 15 turnovers to UMass' 10.
UMass led by nine, 64-55, before being held without a field goal for 4:50, during which La Salle outscored the Minutemen, 12-5, to make it a two-point game, 69-67 with 4:12 left. Gurley's 3-pointer with 3:42 on the clock broke the drought and put UMass up by five, 72-67.
After UMass built its lead to 14 early in the second half, La Salle used five different scorers in an 13-2 run to cut the Minutemen's lead to four, 54-40 with 12:23 remaining.
Led by Farrell (12 points) and Gurley (11 points), UMass took a 10-point lead into halftime, 43-33. The Minutemen shot 59.4 percent in the first half, their second-best shooting half of the season, behind only their 65.4 percent performance in the first half against New Mexico State on Nov. 20, also at the MassMutual Center. The Explorers (35.3 % shooting) stayed in the game with a 19-14 rebounding advantage, including 11 offensive boards.
UMass outscored La Salle, 20-8, over a span of 7:18, led by nine point from Gurley and six by Farrell, to take a 27-18 lead, but the Explorers responded with back-to-back 3-pointers, while the Minutemen turned the ball over on three-straight possessions to cut the lead to 27-24 with 5:52 left in the first half.
The Explorers used a 7-2 rebounding advantage over the first five minutes, including four offensive boards, to take an early 10-7 lead.
The Minutemen are back on the road Wednesday when they travel to Charlotte to take on the 49ers in a 7:30 p.m. tip at Halton Arena.
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