Second Half Run Leads UMass Over Saint Joe's, 87-80
PHILADELPHIA - In a game of runs, UMass used a 15-2 run midway through the second half keyed by Freddie Riley 3-pointers to win at Saint Joseph's newly-refurbished Hagan Arena, 87-80 on Wednesday night. Riley (14) was one of three UMass players to score in double-figures. Ricky Harris led the way with 23 points while Terrell Vinson had 16. UMass (8-12, 2-4 A-10) had a season-best 11 different scorers in the game.
Saint Joseph's (8-12, 2-4) was led by Garrett Williamson's 16 points, while Idris Hilliard added 14.
UMass was dominant on the glass, outrebounding the Hawks 44-31, led by Vinson and Sean Carter with nine each and Harris, who had a career-high eight boards.
After UMass had built a lead of 12 several times midway through the first half, Saint Joseph's used a 17-4 run bridging the first and second half to regain the lead at 42-41 on a 3-point play by Darren Govens with 18:39 left in the second half. That started a game of back-and-forth early in the second half as the game stood tied at 49 on a Riley 3-pointer with 15:54 left.
Saint Joseph's than answered with a 7-0 run of its own to retake the lead at 56-54 with 13:02 left in the second, forcing Derek Kellogg to call timeout. Riley then bombed a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched around a Sean Carter alley-oop dunk to give UMass a 62-56 edge with 11:22 left in the second half.
UMass continued its 15-2 run with lay-ups by Harris and Vinson to take a 69-58 lead with 9:13 left in the game. Of course the Hawks answered with a run of 9-2 to cut the lead to 71-67 with 5:07 left.
But in the final five minutes, UMass was able to withstand the Hawks as Saint Joseph's missed several key free throws. The Minutemen were clutch down the stretch as SJU began fouling early. UMass made 12-of-14 free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.
UMass took its first lead of the game with a 9-0 run midway in the first half. Gurley's putback lay-up with 7:36 gave the Minutemen a 22-20 advantage as UMass rallied from a 20-14 deficit with 10:28 left.
Vinson made UMass's first 3-pointer to balloon the Minutemen's advantage to eight points at 30-22 with 5:13 left in the first. Harris then bombed his first trey to extend the lead to 33-22 and wrap up a 19-2 run with 4:37 on the clock.
Saint Joseph's ended the first half on a 12-2 run to cut the deficit to 39-37 at intermission as Williamson got a nice roll on a lay-up at the buzzer.
UMass finally returns home, and it's the second straight Saturday game televised on ESPNU as the Minutemen host Charlotte on Jan. 30 at 6 p.m.
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