Men's Basketball

Minutemen Come Out Short Against Rhode Island, 71-59

Ricky Harris was one of two Minutemen to finish with 15 points.

Ricky Harris was one of two Minutemen to finish with 15 points.

Feb. 18, 2009

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AMHERST, Mass. - Keith Cothran scored a career-high 28 points, 18 of which came in the second half, to lead Rhode Island to a 71-59 win over UMass on Wednesday night at the Mullins Center. UMass led by as many as 12 points in the first half and by three at halftime before the Rams took over in the latter stages of the second half. The Minutemen fall to 9-15 overall and 4-7 in the Atlantic 10, while URI improves to 19-8 overall and 8-4 in the A-10.

Ricky Harris and Chris Lowe each netted 15 points to lead UMass. Tony Gaffney added 11 points, six blocks, and four steals. The Minutemen shot 37.3 percent from the field, including 19.2 percent from 3-point range, while the Rams shot 42.4 percent for the game, including 60 percent in the second half.

With five assists for the game, Lowe tied Carl Smith for the UMass career lead with 633. The Minutemen defense held Rhode Island's top two scorers, Jimmy Baron and Kahiem Seawright, to only 12 combined points.

UMass fed off the energy of a packed student section to open the game with a 10-2 run, started off by back-to-back 3-pointers by Luke Bonner and Matt Glass.

A Bonner jumper at the 14:05 mark made the UMass lead 10, 15-5, but Cothran scored the game's next six points to pull the Rams within four, 15-11, with 12:23 left in the half.

The Minutemen lead reached 12, its largest of the half, when Tyrell Lynch put back a miss making it a 31-19 game with five minutes left, but the UMass offense would go cold and not score for the rest of the half. The Rams scored nine points during that drought to pull within three at halftime, 31-28.

Harris and Lowe led UMass in the first half with seven points each. URI's Cochran led all scorers with 10 points, while Rams' leading scorer Baron was held to just two points in the first 20 minutes.

After tying the score twice in the early going of the second half, URI took its first lead of the game, 38-37, at the 12:44 mark on a Lamont Ulmer free throw.

The Rams led by two, 41-39, when the Minutemen went on a 8-0 run over a 2:23 span, led by four points by Gaffney, on a dunk and two free throws, while the senior forward also took a charge at the defensive end. The run put UMass back on top, 47-41, with 9:42 to go.

URI responded with a 12-4 spurt, fueled by four points each from Cothran and Will Martell, to take the lead back, 53-51, with 5:19 to go.

A Harris runner and two Gaffney free throws negated a four-point Rams lead and tied the game with just under three minutes remaining, 57-57, but URI would score the game's next eight points, four of which came at the free throw line, to take a 65-57 lead with 1:11 on the clock.

The Minutemen return to action on Sunday when they travel to Philadelphia to take on Saint Joseph's in 2 p.m. Atlantic 10 game at the historic Palestra.




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