Minutemen Drop Crushing 83-75 Decision To St. Bonaventure
Feb. 14, 2009
OLEAN, N.Y. - The UMass men's basketball team fell victim to hot second half shooting as the St. Bonaventure Bonnies hit 63 percent of their field goals in the final 20 minutes to hand the Minutemen (9-14, 4-6 A-10) another crushing road loss, 83-75, on Saturday evening at a raucous Riley Center. The Minutemen held a seven point halftime lead, but the Bonnies couldn't miss in the second, hitting 15 of their first 17 shots to get right back into the game. Four UMass players finished in double figures led by Tony Gaffney's career-high 21 points along with 19 from Ricky Harris.
Gaffney also grabbed 11 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season (and his career). Needing eight assists to set the UMass all-time record, Chris Lowe finished with only two helpers, but did net 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Luke Bonner added 11.
All five St. Bonaventure starters reached double figures in scoring led by 18 from Chris Matthews and Maurice Thomas.
For the game, UMass shot 45 percent from the field (27-60) while the Bonnies shot 47 percent (31-66). St. Bonaventure dominated the boards, 48-28.
The Minutemen opened their largest lead of the game only 1:20 into the second half. Gaffney made it 44-35, finishing an alley-oop feed from Harris.
As was the case all night, the Bonnies would not go away as they used a 13-5 run to pull within one, 53-52.
St. Bonaventure's unworldly shooting continued as the Bonnies knocked down their first seven shots of the half, and 13 of their first 14 for their first lead of the game, 62-61 with 8:55 to go in the second half.
A Jonathan Hall basket gave them their largest lead of the game, 64-61, before Bonner answered with a 3-pointer to tie the score at 64, the third tie in the span of 3:27.
The teams went back and forth, with the score tied at 67, 69, and 71. Gaffney made it 71 all with his third acrobatic dunk of the game, with 4:15 remaining in regulation.
The Bonnies used a 9-0 run in the final minutes to erase a 73-72 UMass lead to make it 81-73 in favor of St. Bonaventure, a lead that proved too much for the Minutemen to overcome.
UMass jumped out to a quick 11-4 lead behind points from all five starters. St. Bonaventure answered with 13 of the next 17 points to pull even at 17 all. UMass responded with a 12-4 run to open its largest lead of the game, 29-21 with six minutes remaining in the first half.
Gaffney and Harris were the stories of the half with 10 points apiece, including two key Harris 3-pointers in the span of 1:26 allowing the Minutemen to break away from the 17-17 tie for the 38-31 halftime advantage.
The Minutemen are back in action on Wednesday night as they host New England rival Rhode Island at 7 p.m. at the Mullins Center. It is Black Out Night and 2000s celebration.
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