Huge Second Halves By Gaffney & Harris Lead UMass Over Richmond, 80-71
Feb. 4, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - After combining for just three points in the first half, Ricky Harris and Tony Gaffney combined to score 33 second half points to spark UMass to a 80-71 victory over Richmond on Wednesday night at the Mullins Center on the 16th anniversary of the building's opening. Senior Chris Lowe scored his 1,000th career point in the first half and recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists. The Minutemen go to 8-12 on the season and 3-4 in the Atlantic 10, while the Spiders fall to 11-11 and 3-4 in conference.
Harris scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half, while Gaffney netted all 12 of his points after the break.
A player for both sides scored their 1,000th point in the game, with Lowe getting his in the first half and Richmond's David Gonzalvez getting his in the second half, finishing with 18 points. Kevin Anderson also scored 18 for the Spiders.
Both teams shot the ball well from outside as UMass was 9-for-18 from 3-point range (49% overall) and Richmond was 7-for-17 from behind the arc (47.5% overall).
The offenses were slow to get things going early on with the score knotted at six after five minutes of play. At the 14:29 mark, Lowe drove the lane and made a spinning layup for his 1,000th and 1,001st career points. He became the 41st Minuteman to reach the 1,000-point mark and the first to ever combine 1,000 points with 600 assists.
After Lowe's basket, the Spiders went on a 8-0 run to take a 15-8 lead with 12:44 left in the half, but the Minutemen quickly came back with an even bigger run of their own. A Matt Glass 3-pointer started a 15-2 UMass run over a 4:38 span giving the home team a 25-19 lead with 6:20 left in the first half.
Richmond outscored UMass, 12-2, between the 5:16 and 2:35 marks of the half to take the lead, but the Minutemen used a 3-pointer by Luke Bonner and free throw by Lowe to score the last four points of the half and head to the locker room with the game tied, 32-32.
Bonner led all scorers in the first half with seven points, while Tyrell Lynch led the way on the boards with five rebounds to go along with four points. The Spiders were paced six points each from Kevin Smith and Ryan Butler.
The Minutemen controlled the first seven minutes of the second half, outscoring the Spiders, 15-9, and out-rebounding them, 11-1, to take a 47-41 lead.
Harris then got hot for UMass, scoring 10 points in a four and a half minute span with a 3-pointer from the corner giving the Minutemen a 12-point lead, 71-59, with 4:37 to go.
The Spiders tried to use a fullcourt press to come back in the closing minutes, but the Minutemen were able to knock down enough free throws down the stretch to ensure the victory.
The Minutemen are back in action on Sunday when they host Saint Joseph's in a 3 p.m. A-10 match-up at the Mullins Center. The 100 Years of UMass Basketball will continue with the 1990s Celebration commemorating the Minutemen teams of that decade, including the 1995-96 Final Four team.
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