UMass Falls To La Salle, 62-54
Jan. 24, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - Tony Gaffney registered his seventh double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds, but the Minutemen suffered a tough shooting day, falling to La Salle, 62-54, on Saturday afternoon at the Mullins Center. UMass shot just 26.5 percent in the second half and 33.9 percent for the game. The Minutemen fall to 7-11 overall and 2-3 in the A-10, while La Salle goes to 11-7 and 2-2 in conference.
The Minutemen shot only 14 percent (3-for-21) on 3-pointers while La Salle was 25 percent (4-for-16). Chris Lowe also tallied 10 points while Anthony Gurley added eight. Rodney Green led the way for the Explores with 22 points.
UMass jumped out to an early 8-4 lead, led by two early hoops by Tyrell Lynch off the bench, but La Salle came back by getting to the foul line. At the 12 minute mark of the first half, six fouls had been called on the Minutemen to none on the Explorers.
La Salle led by eight when at the 5:54 mark Gurley converted a 4-point play, his second in as many home games, to cut the Explorers lead to 23-19.
The Explorers went on a 9-0 run, led by six points from Green, to take a 13-point lead with 2:27 left in the half, 33-20, but the Minutemen used a fullcourt press to force turnovers and closed the half on a 8-1 run and go into halftime down six, 34-28.
UMass shot just 1-for-11 from 3-point range in the first half, while connecting on 43 percent of its shots overall. The Explorers shot 48 percent from the field and were 4-for-9 from behind the arc in the first 20 minutes.
The Explorers increased their lead to nine, 43-34, with 14:15 left, but the Minutemen scored seven-straight points midway through the second half to pull within one, 49-48, on a 3-pointer from the corner by Luke Bonner.
That is when UMass' shooting went cold and the Explorers, led by Green and Kimmani Barrett (11 points), scored outscored the Minutemen, 10-4, over the final 5:10.
The 100 Years of UMass Basketball Celebration continued on Saturday with the players and teams of the 1980s being honored throughout the game and at halftime.
The Minutemen return to action in a week when they travel to Cincinnati to take on #15 Xavier in a noon tilt on Saturday.
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