Men's Basketball

Basketball Knocks Off Top-Seeded Temple To Advance To A-10 Semifinals, 77-71

Jesse Morgan scored a game-high 21 in the win over Temple.

Jesse Morgan scored a game-high 21 in the win over Temple.

March 9, 2012

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  • ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - A pair of command performances from Chaz Williams and Jesse Morgan led the UMass men's basketball team to a 77-71 upset of top-seeded No. 21 Temple on Tuesday afternoon in the opening game of the Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals at Boardwalk Hall. The win advances UMass (22-10) to the A-10 Semifinals against the winner of Saint Joseph's and St. Bonaventure. It also marks the Minutemen's first win in the A-10 Quarterfinals since defeating St. Bonaventure in 2001.

    Williams scored 20 points in the game, while Morgan led all players with 21 points - 16 of which came in the second half. Just over 30 minutes from his hometown of Philadelphia, Morgan was 8-for-13 and hit three three-pointers as his play sparked much of UMass' offense in the second half.

    Temple (24-7) had four players in double-figures with Khalif Wyatt scoring a team-high 15 points. Ramone Moore added 14 points.

    After trailing by five at halftime, UMass jumped out of the gates to start the second half with a 15-0 run to take a 46-36 lead on a Sean Carter dunk just over four minutes into the period. Seven of Morgan's points came in the run as UMass hit four of its first five shots and forced three Temple turnovers in the stretch.

    Just as quickly as UMass jumped out to the 10-point lead, Temple responded with the long ball. Moore hit back-to-back treys followed by a three pointer from Juan Fernandez as the Owls cut the lead to five, 55-50, with 12:12 to go.

    An 11-2 run from that point for Temple gave the Owls a 61-57 lead thanks to another Fernandez three-pointer.

    A driving lay-up and a three-pointer for Williams gave the Minutemen the lead again 62-61 with just under six minutes remaining. The Owls responded again to regain the lead on a traditional three-point play for Wyatt.



    Morgan hit his third three-pointer of the day with 4:50 to go giving UMass a 65-64 lead. Terrell Vinson forced a turnover on the ensuing Temple possession. Javorn Farrell hit another three pointer to extend the Minutemen's lead to 68-64 just 18 seconds later and UMass never looked back.

    The Minutemen hit 7-of-9 free throws in the final two minutes and the Owls went just 2-for-7 from the field. A Fernandez three-pointer with two seconds missed as Morgan pulled down the rebound to seal the win.

    Temple took a 36-31 lead into halftime as the Minutemen struggled at points shooting from the field. UMass missed six straight field goals in a three-minute stretch midway through the stanza as Temple built an early 22-13 lead.

    An Esho jumper with 8:11 to go snapped the cold shooting and the Minutemen fought their way back into the game. A Farrell lay-up with 2:22 left in the first half cut the lead to four, 32-28, but Temple kept the Minutemen from getting any closer.

    UMass overcame its slow shooting first half with a 15-of-30 performance in the second half. The Minutemen also hit 6-of-7 three pointers after halftime.


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