Men's Hoop Rally Falls Short In 84-80 Loss To St. Bona
March 10, 2012
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -
Despite a late surge for the Minutemen, UMass could not pull out the win over St. Bonaventure (19-11) and lost 84-80 in the Atlantic 10 Semifinals in Atlantic City, N.J. The loss eliminates them from the rest of the tournament and drops their record to 22-11.
Maxie Esho scored 16 points and grabbed 8 rebounds and was a major performer in the first half where he had 14 points and 7 boards.
Terrell Vinson contributed 20 points in this matchup, including 17 points in the second half. Vinson scored the first nine points of the second half for the Minutemen.
The guards had solid performances, Jesse Morgan had 13 points and three assists and Chaz Williams shared the ball five times to go with his 12 points. Both were perfect from the free throw line (5-5 and 4-4, respectively).
In spite of a 14-point effort by Esho in the first half, UMass struggled to put together an offense and went into the locker room trailing St. Bonaventure 48-41. Solid defense kept the half close, ending with a 18-14 point run in favor of the Bonnies in the last six minutes, which increased their lead to seven.
The Minutemen made a late second half 26-14 run that nearly gave them the win, but a missed three point shot by Raphiael Putney with five seconds left in the game ended their efforts.
UMass trailed St. Bonaventure by 16 with 7:30 left in the game and had struggled to put together an offense until that point. A dunk by Sean Carter and a fastbreak three by Putney created the spark the Minutemen needed to make a comeback late in the second half.
Two made free-throws by Vinson brought UMass within ten with three minutes left in the game and a three pointer from Williams cut the deficit to six with 2:16 left, starting a 7-0 run and diminishing the lead to two points.
Free throw shots would bring the score to 81-80 with eighteen seconds to go, but the Minutemen would be unable to add to their score and three free throw shots for the Bonnies ended the game with an 84-80 decision.
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