Explorers Outlast The Minutemen, 89-78
March 3, 2010
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Despite a career-high eight 3-pointers from Ricky Harris, the UMass men's basketball team fell, 89-78, to La Salle on Wednesday night at Tom Gola Arena. The senior guard scored 31 points, while the Explorers' Rodney Green tallied 30 in a clash of the Atlantic 10's top two active career scorers.
La Salle led throughout the second half, but UMass cut the deficit to four on a Harris 3-ball with just under eight minutes to go. La Salle however, was able to hold off the Minutemen, with Green hitting key free throws down the stretch.
UMass attempted a school record 39 3-pointers, making 13 from beyond the arc (33.3 percent) and shot 41 percent overall. The Explorers shot 50 percent from the field and were 5-for-14 from 3-point range. La Salle scored 28 points at the free throw stripe, led by Green going 13-for-16.
Besides his 31 points and eight 3-pointers, Harris finished with eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
Green continues to be the A-10's active career scoring leader with 1,902 points while Harris is second with 1,889 heading into his final regular-season game.
The Explorers built a lead as large as 13 in the second half as Green scored 17 of his points in the second stanza. Steve Weingarten scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half including 7-of-8 from the foul line.
La Salle's Jerrell Williams (14) and Aaric Murray also added 13 points.
UMass didn't have a player in double-figures other than Harris. Sampson Carter made and attempted a career-high 7-of-8 free throws and finished with nine points. Freddie Riley also had nine points, making three 3-pointers.
La Salle took a 40-32 halftime lead as the Explorers shot 48.4 percent in the first half, while the Minutemen struggled from the floor, making just 11-of-32 shots (34 percent). Harris scored all 12 of his points on four 3-pointers in the first 12 minutes of half. As a team, UMass was just 4-of-16 from beyond the arc with Anthony Gurley and Freddie Riley combining to go 0-of-8 in the first 20 minutes.
Terrell Vinson suffered an injury early in the second half and didn't return
A win in Wednesday's game, or a Saint Joseph's loss, would have clinched the Minutemen a berth in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, but UMass' loss combined with the Hawks defeating George Washington, 80-71, means UMass' fate will be decided in Saturday's regular season finale.
UMass closes the regular season at home on Saturday when they host Rhode Island at 4 p.m. It will be Senior Day at the Mullins Center, with Harris and Lex Mongo to be honored. Its Maroon Mania, where special T-Shirts will be given to fans.
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