Men's Hoops Falls To St. Joseph's, 52-49
March 8, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) - Jameer Nelson scored 28 points as St Joseph's beat Massachusetts, 52-49, despite going the final 12 minutes without a field goal.
Nelson added 12 rebounds and five steals for St. Joseph's (22-5, 12-4), the Atlantic 10 East Division champion.
UMass had a chance to send the game into overtime when forward Jeff Viggiano stole an inbounds pass with five seconds left. But Viggiano's off-balance 3-pointer from the right corner hit the rim as the buzzer sounded.
UMass (11-17, 6-10) was led by point guard Anthony Anderson, who scored 18 points. UMass lost 17 games in a season for the first time since dropping 18 in the 1988-89 season.
The Hawks shot just 4 for 21 in the second half, scoring their final 15 points on free throws, 10 of them by Nelson.
Nelson's constant drives to basket caused three UMass guards - Anderson, Mike Lasme and Marcus Cox - to foul out. Coach Steve Lappas was forced to use walk-on junior guard Paco Kotaridis in the final minute, the first time in his 15-year career that Lappas could recall using a walk-on in a game that was still competitive.
The Hawks were playing without leading scorer Delonte West, who was out with
a stress fracture in his right fibula. West is expected to play in next week's
Atlantic 10 tournament.