MBB Win Streak To Four, Defeat Davidson, 73-65
Dec. 22, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass men's basketball team was able to improve to 10-3, Thursday night, as the Minutemen defeated Davidson, 73-65. UMass remains undefeated in the friendly confines of the Mullins Center now at a record of 5-0; 6-0 overall in home games including the season-opener at the Cage. The Minutemen are riding a four-game win streak going into next Friday's match-up against Central Connecticut. Jesse Morgan led the Minutemen with 14 points, while Maxie Esho had a career-high 12 points.
All told, five players reached double-figures in the scoring column for UMass, while Sean Carter hauled in a season-high 10 rebounds. Along with Esho and Morgan, Raphiael Putney, Chaz Williams, and Javorn Farrell each scored 10 points.
Davidson (7-4) was led by De'Mon Brooks who scored a game-high 22 points and added eight rebounds. Tyler Kalinoski added 12 points off the bench for the Wildcats.
A Putney three-pointer with 15:45 left in the first half gave UMass an 11-9 lead early, but Davidson responded with a 12-2 run to take a 21-13 lead over the next four minutes. A lay-up by Putney for his 10th point of the game stemmed the run.
With Davidson up 26-17, the Minutemen responded with an 9-0 run of their own. A pair of Maxie Esho free throws tied the game at 26-26 with 4:37 left before halftime.
Momentum once again shifted the way of the Wildcats to close out the half as Davidson used a 9-3 run to go into the break up 35-29.
The game of runs continued in the first six minutes of the second half with UMass putting together a 17-4 run sparked by five points from Morgan and a four-point play from Maxie Esho. Esho added a put-back with 12:53 left giving UMass a seven-point lead 46-39 - its largest of the game.
Tom Droney hit a three from the left wing with 12:24 to go to pull Davidson back within four and sparking an 8-0 run which gave the Wildcats a 47-46 lead.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Freddie Riley put UMass back up 52-47 with 9:17 left in the second half.
The teams traded baskets for nearly the next six minutes until a pair of free throws by Davidson's Jake Cohen cut UMass' lead to one, 58-57, with 3:30 left to go.
Davidson hit a pair of three pointers in the final 43 seconds, but UMass countered with 4-of-6 free throws to preserve the lead and the win.