Morgan's Hot Shooting Powers UMass Past Rhode Island, 89-83
March 3, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. -- Sophomore Jesse Morgan was perfect from the floor and connected on all six 3-pointers for a career-high 25 points to lead Massachusetts to a 89-83 win over Rhode Island at the Mullins Center on Saturday.
UMass (20-10, 9-7 Atlantic 10) closed out the regular-season tied for fifth and will enter next week's Atlantic 10 Tournament as the No. 8 seed. The Minutemen will play host to No. 9 seed Duquesne in Tuesday's first round. Tipoff at the Mullins Center is set for 7 p.m.
While Morgan was doing his thing from the outside, senior center Sean Carter concluded senior day with his third career double-double as he finished with a career-high 22 points to go along with 10 rebounds and three blocks. Sophomore Chaz Williams added 19 points, nine assists, six boards and five steals.
The Minutemen shot 43 percent from the floor and connected on 14 3-pointers, their second-highest total this season.
Rhode Island (7-24, 4-12) shot 44 percent and was led by Orion Outerbridge's 24 points. Jonathan Holton pitched in with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
The game featured six ties and 10 lead changes but none over the final 6:30. With URI having taken a 72-71 lead on a pair of Outerbridge free throws, UMass went on a 14-0 run that ended with seven second-chance points.
Despite being outrebounded in the contest 47-37, UMass dominated the glass during the final six minutes to the tune of a 14-5 margin.
UMass led by as many as nine early in the first half before taking a 44-43 lead into the intermission.
The Minutemen extended their lead to 11 twice in the second half but the Rams hung tough and trimmed the margin to one, at 66-65, with 10:50 to play. The UMass lead remained in the low-to-mid single digits until its big run five minutes later.
UMass won 20 games for the 15th time in school history and the first in four seasons under Derek Kellogg. Additionally, the Minutemen improved to 14-1 at home this season. The 7,501 in attendance marked the fourth crowd in the last five games of at least 6,200 at the Mullins Center (capacity 9,493).
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