Hoops Closes Decade With Loss At Davidson, 63-61
Dec. 30, 2009
DAVIDSON, N.C. - In its final game of the 2000s decade, the UMass basketball team suffered a tough 63-61 loss at Davidson on Wednesday night. The Minutemen fell to 6-7 overall as they open the Atlantic 10 season vs. Fordham at the Mullins Center next Wednesday. The Wildcats, who have been to national postseason in each of the last four years, moved to 6-8. Ricky Harris led UMass with 21 points coming off the bench and Anthony Gurley added 17. In his state homecoming, Fayetteville native Sean Carter had a game-high 10 rebounds as the Minutemen outrebounded the Wildcats, 44-38.
J.P. Kuhlman (18 points) hit two free throws with 4.1 seconds left to give the Wildcats a 63-61 lead. UMass inbounded the ball and called timeout after moving the ball to the front court with 1.0 seconds left. Sean Carter fumbled an in-bounds pass but Gurley had a chance for a putback, but it rolled off the rim as the horn sounded.
Davidson used an 11-0 run to rally from down 49-47 with 10:28 left to build a lead as large as nine at 58-49 with 4:48 left in regulation. UMass didn't score for more than seven minutes late in the second half. The Minutemen rallied to tie the game with eight seconds left.
Jake Cohen's bank shot 3-pointer with 5:45 gave Davidson a 56-49 lead, the largest lead of the game in the first 35 minutes. It came after his hook shot with 6:30 left gave the Wildcats a four-point edge. Davidson would never relinquish the lead as UMass went cold from the floor as the Minutemen didn't score for more than seven minutes before a Harris lay-up-and-one with 3:40 left in the game, cut the score of 58-52 with 3:40 left.
Harris canned a 3-pointer with 2:27 left to cut the deficit to three, 58-55, but Brendan McKillop answered 15 seconds later with his own trifecta. Harris' runner with 52.7 seconds left made it a one possession game again, 61-59. He tied the game at 61 all on another lay-up.
Harris ended UMass' drought from the 3-point line (0-of-9 in the first half) with a bomb to give UMass a 42-40 lead with 13:47 left in the second and forcing Davidson to call timeout. Davidson had taken its first lead since 6-4 early in the game on a 3-pointer by J.P. Kuhlman 1:27 into the second half to give the Wildcats a 33-31 edge.
UMass' defense was solid limiting Davidson's top two scorers Cohen (14.7 ppg) and Will Archambault (11.2 ppg) to a combined eight points.
UMass held the lead for much of the first half as the Minutemen led 29-28 in a spirited first half. Both teams shot 34 percent from the floor in the first half as Harris had eight points to lead UMass and Bryant Barr had nine for the Wildcats. The teams were a combined 4-of-26 from beyond the arc (15 percent) in the first 20 minutes (UMass 0-of-9 and Davidson 4-of-17).
The Minutemen defense was stout as it held Davidson without a field goal for a span of 7:41 as UMass led 25-19 on a pair of Harris free throws with 3:31 left in the first. Those foul shots tied him for eighth all-time at UMass in career makes with Julius Erving.
After being stone cold from the floor, Davidson's Barr canned back-to-back 3-pointers to pull the Wildcats to within two points at 29-27 with 1:40 left. The Davidson had a chance to take the lead into intermission but Barr missed a trey with seconds left in the half.
UMass finished the 2000s with a record of 160-150. It is the third-most wins in a decade in school history. The record was set in the 1990s with a mark of 239-97. The second-most wins came in the 1970s with a mark of 170-98. In the 2000s, UMass made three trips to the NIT (2000, 2007 and 2008), winning the 2007 Atlantic 10 Regular-Season Championship.
The Minutemen host Fordham next Wednesday at the Mullins Center in the second half of a doubleheader as the UMass women host Harvard at 5 p.m. The men's game will tip around 7:30 p.m.
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