UMass Comeback Thwarted By Xavier, 87-79
Feb. 3, 2010
AMHERST, Mass. - After trailing by 17 at the half UMass came back to take the lead in the second half, before Xavier used a late 9-0 run to defeat the Minutemen, 87-79, on Wednesday night at the Mullins Center on Leaman Legacy Night. UMass opened the second half with runs of 11-2 and 12-2 to climb back before the teams exchanged the lead eight more times. UMass fell to 8-14 overall and 2-6 in the Atlantic 10, while Xavier, who received 31 votes in this week's AP poll, went to 16-6 overall and 8-1 in the A-10.
Ricky Harris led four Minutemen in double-figures with 24 points, 20 of which came in the second half. Javorn Farrell scored a career-high 12 points, while Terrell Vinson (11) and Freddie Riley (10) rounded out the UMass double-digit scorers.
Xavier was led by Jordan Crawford's 25 points, while Terrell Holloway added 16 and Jason Love 15. Jamel McLean had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Trailing by 17 at the half, UMass opened the second half on fire on both ends of the court, making three steals in the opening four minutes and shooting 5-for-7 in that time, to start the half with an 11-2 run and pull within eight, 52-42. The Minutemen kept the pedal down, putting together a 12-2 run on four 3-point trips, a three by Gurley, two by Harris, and an old-fashioned 3-point play by Hashim Bailey, to pull within two, 58-46, with 10:48 to go.
A Harris layup in transition tied the game, 62-62, and a Anthony Gurley free throw with 7:28 left gave UMass the lead, 63-62. The teams then exchanged blows, trading leads eight times over the next 3:15, until Crawford hit 3-pointers on back-to-back trips, followed by a McLean 3-point play to give the Musketeers 77-69 lead with 2:48 left.
For the game UMass shot 43 percent from the field, including 7-for-32 from 3-point range, while Xavier shot 59 percent and was 7-for-17 from behind the arc. The Musketeers held a 36-32 edge in rebounding.
A 10-2 run by the Minutemen gave them an early 13-10 lead as the home team made five of its first six shots from the field, but the Musketeers immediately went on an 18-0 run over 3:30, holding UMass scoreless over a total of five minutes, to take a 28-13 lead with 11 minutes left in the first half. Xavier shot a scorching 78.6 percent over the first nine minutes.
UMass did respond, outscoring Xavier, 15-10 over the next eight minutes to pull within eight, 38-30, with 3:26 left in the first half, but once again the Musketeers answered a Minutemen run with one of their own, closing the half on a 12-2 run to take a 50-33 lead into halftime.
Love led all scorers with 12 points in the first half on 5-for-6 shooting, while Xavier as a team shot 64.5 percent, including 5-for-9 from 3-point range. The Minutemen were led in the opening 20 minutes by Farrell's eight points as his team shot 38 percent.
The Minutemen return to action on Saturday when they travel to Kingston, R.I. to take on Rhode Island in a 2 p.m. Atlantic 10 game.
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