Minutemen Fall Short To Duquesne In A-10 First Round, 91-81
March 11, 2009
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Despite staging a 29-11 run over the final eight minutes of the first half, the UMass men's basketball team saw its season end with a 91-81 loss to Duquesne in the first round of the A-10 Tournament on Wednesday evening. The Minutemen trailed by as many as 19 points, but rallied to within one at the half before taking the lead on four occasions in the final 20 minutes. The Minutemen were burned by a pair of freshmen, Melquan Bolding and Eric Evans, who combined for 30 second half points in turning the tides back in Duquesne's favor. UMass ends its season at 12-18 while the Dukes advance to face Rhode Island in the A-10 Quarterfinals on Thursday.
Chris Lowe tied a career-high with 23 points and Ricky Harris added 17 despite shooting 3-of-13 from behind the arc. Anthony Gurley scored 16 of his UMass career-high 22 points in the first half. Tony Gaffney ended his college career with his 12th career double-double on 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Bolding's 16 second half points gave him 23 for the game to go with 13 rebounds. Evans chipped in with all 14 of his points after halftime. Aaron Jackson and Bill Clark finished with 18 and 16, respectively.
The Minutemen shot 43 percent from the field and only 24 percent from behind the arc while Duquesne was 51 percent, 46 percent from 3-point range.
Lowe scored UMass' first four points of the second half to deadlock the score at 45 for the first tie of the game. The teams traded baskets until a Luke Bonner tip-in gave the Minutemen their first lead, 52-50, with 15:49 remaining in the second half.
The score was knotted at 56, 58, and 60 before a David Gibbs steal and dunk gave UMass its third lead, 62-60 with 12:02 to go. Duquesne went on an 11-2 run capped off by a 4-point play by Evans to turn a 64-62 UMass lead into a 73-66 Duquesne advantage with 4:31 to go.
After Lowe cut the score to 75-70, Duquesne scored six consecutive for its largest lead of the second half, 81-70. The Minutemen cut the lead to eight, but could not get any closer the rest of the way.
Jason Duty scored Duquesne's first eight points of the game to jumpstart the Dukes' offensive attack. Duquesne extended its advantage to 31-12 with 7:59 remaining in the first half, but the Minutemen answered with a 12-0 run to pull back to within seven, 31-24.
The Dukes responded by opening up another double figure lead, but UMass scored seven straight in the final 1:36 to cap off the 29-11 run for the 42-41 halftime score.
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