Late Surge Lifts Saint Joseph's Past UMass, 68-64
Feb. 8, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - With close to 30 members of the 1990s decade on hand as part of the 100 Seasons Of UMass Basketball Celebration, the Minutemen couldn't rekindle the glory of yesteryear as Saint Joseph's had a 13-2 run in the final minutes to beat UMass, 68-64 on Sunday afternoon. Both Ricky Harris and Anthony Gurley led the Minutemen (8-13, 3-5 A-10) with 18 points. Tony Gaffney, who was plagued by foul-trouble in the second half had eight points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.
Ahmad Nivins led Saint Joseph's with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Tasheed Carr added 14 and Darren Goven had 10 for the Hawks (14-8, 7-1). It was Saint Joseph's ninth win in 10 games.
After a hot offensive start, the Minutemen cooled down with only 27 second-half points. UMass was 24-for-63 (38 percent) from the field, 9-for-27 (27 percent) from behind the arc, while Saint Joseph's was 25-for-55 (46 percent) and 5-for-14 (36 percent). Rebounds were 40 to 36 in favor of the Hawks.
Saint Joseph's went on an 9-0 run starting with 4:07 left in the second half that was keyed by back-to-back jumpers from Nivins and Garrett Williamson with less than 2:30 left in the second for a 60-56 Hawks lead. Then Carr added a pair of free throws for a 62-56 edge and Williamson made a foul shot for a 63-56 lead.
Gurley's jumper cut the lead to 63-58 with 39 seconds left.
A Williamson runner in the lane with less than five minutes gave the Hawks their first lead since 7-6, at 54-53. Luke Bonner quickly answered with a 3-pointer with 4:25 left to retake the lead, 56-54.
Gurley's 3-pointer on a pass from Lowe gave UMass a 53-48 edge with 7:22 left. Saint Joseph's Darren Govens' putback with 6:58 left drew the Hawks to within 53-50.
A questionable foul call on Gaffney, his fourth of the game, with 11:21 left in the second half, put UMass at a disadvantage as the Hawks quickly took over scoring the next three points to cut the lead to 48-45 with 10 minutes left in regulation. The game continued to get chippy as double-technical fouls were called on UMass' Lowe and Saint Joseph's Idris Hilliard.
Gary Correia's underhanded lay-up with just under 14 minutes left gave UMass a 46-40 lead before Nivins quickly answered.
The Minutemen led 37-34 at the half as Harris led all scorers with 13 points. Saint Jospeh's Tasheed Carr knocked in a 3-pointer as time expired to end the first half.
UMass continued to maintain its lead as Harris bombed away from 3-point land. The Hawks got back to within two points on a 3-point play by Nivins with 2:34 left in the first half, cutting it to 30-28.
The Minutemen extended the run to 15-5 building a 21-12 lead with 11:14 left in the first half. UMass had 10 fastbreak points in early going to help build the advantage.
After falling behind 7-6 in the first two minutes, UMass went on a 9-0 run punctuated by a Gaffney alley-oop from Chris Lowe with 16:35 left as UMass took a 15-7 lead at the first media break, 4:20 into the game.
UMass heads to the road for a pair of games this week. First at Fordham on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Than Saturday, UMass plays at St. Bonaventure. The next home game is set for Wednesday, Feb. 18 against Rhode Island. That game is the 2000s Celebration and Black Out Night.
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