Minutemen Use 15 3-pointers To Beat Utah, 89-75 In Bahamas
Nov. 26, 2011
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas - The combination 15-of-30 3-point shooting and a defense that scored 31 points off 19 turnovers, UMass (5-1) cruised to an 89-75 victory over Utah (1-4) in the second round of the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas on Friday night. Jesse Morgan scored 15 points, all in the first half on 5-of-5 3-point shooting, as the Minutemen put five players in double figures for the first in two years. UMass concludes play on Saturday against the College of Charleston in a 7 p.m. game that will be televised on HDNet.
By forcing 19 turnovers with its fullcourt press, combined with 12 offensive rebounds, UMass took 22 more shots in the game than the Utes, who shot 60 percent from the floor. The Minutemen shot 50.7 percent for the game.
The last time UMass had five players in double figures scoring was two years and one day ago, on Nov. 24, 2009 against St. Francis (NY). The team's 15 3-pointers were one shy of the school record, set Feb. 25, 2009 against Duquesne.
Utah was led by Josh Watkins with 16 points and seven assists.
They Minutemen built on nine-point halftime lead with good shooting that carried over into the second half. Putney scored seven of eight UMass points on four successive possessions to extend UMass' lead to 19, 73-54 with 9:44 left, and a Farrell lay-up with 7:14 left pushed the lead to 20, 77-57.
UMass took a 44-35 lead into halftime, led by 15 points from Morgan on 5-of-5 3-point shooting and 11 points from Farrell. The Minutemen scored 15 points off 12 first-half Utah turnovers, most caused by the UMass press, to make up for the Utes shooting 68 percent.
Trailing by five, 24-19, UMass went on a 16-4 run that included four 3-pointer, two by Morgan and one each from Putney and Farrell to take a 35-28 lead with 5:49 left in the first half.
Morgan's hot hand would continue down the stretch of the first half with his fifth three in five attempts giving the Minutemen a 41-33 lead with 3:36 left.
After the Utes jumped out to an early 8-3 lead, the UMass fullcourt press began to force turnovers and easy baskets. Sean Carter recorded three dunks in transition and Terrell Vinson added another, but Utah made nine of its first 11 shots to give it a 19-16 lead just under seven minutes into the game.
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