WORCESTER, Mass. –
University of Massachusetts men's basketball junior guard Donte Clark
led both sides with 18 points while redshirt-junior forward Seth Berger
shot 6-for-6 on field goals and ended with 13 points in a 68-60 victory over Holy Cross at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Sunday.
also had 13 points while Luwane Pipkins
scored 11 and Rashaan Holloway
finished with 10. Holloway ripped down eight rebounds while Clark had seven. Pipkins paced the Minutemen with six assists while Berger, Lewis and DeJon Jarreau
each had a pair of steals.
Malachi Alexander and Anthony Thompson scored 14 apiece for Holy Cross while Patrick Benzan chipped in a double-double on 12 points and 10 rebounds.
"At times, our guys played hard and competed," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "At times, we looked like we had a lot of work to do. … We were fortunate to come away with a win at the end."
With play even at 50-all and seven minutes remaining on the DCU Center scoreboard, Kellogg called timeout to regroup his Minutemen. The squad broke the huddle and responded with the next 11 points for a 61-50 lead with 3:56 to go. The Crusaders pulled no closer than within eight the remainder of the game as Massachusetts hit seven of its last eight shots.
The Minutemen made a push earlier in the second half that resulted in a nine-point lead, only to see the advantage evaporate. Helped out by an 8-for-8 start to the second half at the foul line and a pair of Clark 3-pointers, the Minutemen pushed their lead to 47-38 with 11:43 remaining.
However, Holy Cross answered as the Crusaders worked the ball inside for layups and drew foul calls on the Minutemen that put Holy Cross at the line. With UMass ahead, 50-43 and 8:11 left on the clock, Karl Charles started a seven-point Crusader run with a pair of points in the paint. The scoring run continued until Kellogg's timeout with seven to go.
"The lesson is, no matter where you are in the country, teams are going to be good," Kellogg said. "There's a lot of good basketball teams out there. When you go on the road, its going to be a battle, no matter who you're playing."
The Minutemen led by as many as 10 points in the early moments of the first half before Holy Cross chipped away at its deficit. The Crusaders used a stringent zone defense, forced turnovers, converted on key possessions and went 9-of-12 at the foul line as they fought back to even, 27-27 before the break.
The Minutemen have five days off before they return to the Mullins Center court for a Sat., Nov. 26 game against Harvard at 1 p.m.
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