Comeback Falls Short For Men's Hoops Vs. Rutgers, 83-75
Nov. 27, 2009
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - After being down by as many as 19 points early in the second half, UMass rallied back to within four points in the final minutes, but wasn't able to overcome the Rutgers, falling 83-75 on Friday night in the first semifinal of the Legends Classic. The Minutemen (2-3 overall) were led by Ricky Harris (22 points - 20 in the second half) and Anthony Gurley (19 points). Rutgers sophomore guard Rosario scored the game's first 10 points and finished with 22 for Rutgers (3-1). The Scarlet Knights' 18-1 run midway through the first half proved to be the difference despite UMass' valiant second-half rally.
UMass will take on No. 2 Michigan State tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. The game will be televised on HDNet (DirecTV Channel 79, Dish Network Channel 362). UMass will be playing the No. 2 team in the nation for the first time since falling to No. 2 Saint Joseph's, 93-58 on Feb. 25, 2004.
Harris moved to 10th in career scoring at UMass with 22 in the game and now has 1,438 as he passed Horace Neysmith (1,428). Gurley had double-figures for the fifth time in as many games this season. Sophomore David Gibbs scored 11, to tie his career-high, set last season.
The Minutemen, who were down by as many 19 early in the second half, cut the deficit to single-digits for the first time in about 20 minutes at 75-68 on a David Gibbs 3-point field goal with 4:41 left in the second half.
UMass continued to inch closer as Harris stole the ball and laid it in with 3:31 left to make it 77-72. Mike Coburn's jumper with 2:38 left regained a 7-point lead for Rutgers at 79-72. Harris then canned a 3-pointer with 1:31 left in regulation for a 4-point margin (79-75).
Rutgers' Mike Coburn (13 points) made three free throws and James Beatty made one with 6.3 second left for the final.
Rutgers got off to a quick start as Rosario scored the Scarlet Knights' first 10 points of the game as RU took a 10-6 lead 4:16 into the action.
UMass rallied back with eight of the next 10 points as Riley canned a pair of 3-pointers and Gurley finished a steal with a lay-up and the Minutemen jumped in front for the first time, 14-12 with 14:21 left in the first half. After falling behind for the first time, Rutgers went on an 18-1 run as five different players scored as the Scarlet Knights took a 30-15 lead with eight minutes left in the first half.
Rosario continued to drop daggers on UMass as Rutgers' lead ballooned to 16 points at 40-24 with 4:30 left in the first half as he had 18 in the first half, all in the first 15 minutes of the game.
The Minutemen battled back to cut the halftime deficit to just 11, 46-35. A Gurley free throw made it a single-digit lead (44-35), but Jonathan Mitchell made a pair of throws just before the half.
It was more of Rosario in the second half as led by as many as 19 (60-41), four minutes into the half. The Minutemen took the time to experiment with Harris playing some point guard. Gurley continued to score and Harris joined him as he moved to 10th in career scoring in the middle of the second half with a 3-pointer.
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