University of Massachusetts men's basketball used an 18-point first half run to spring itself to a 74-65 victory at Georgia State on Wednesday in the final non-conference contest of the season. Five Minutemen reached double-figures in points, led by 13 from DeJon Jarreau
. The win was Derek Kellogg's
150th as head coach of the program.
"It was a game of runs," Kellogg said. "When you're playing a good team on the road there are going to be different runs. I thought our guys showed a little more maturity and made some good basketball plays as the contest went on."
, Rashaan Holloway
and Luwane Pipkins
each scored 12 while C.J. Anderson
added 10 points with five steals. Jarreau added seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Pipkins collected five board and dished three assists. Holloway provided nine rebounds, three blocks and a pair of assists.
Jeremy Hollowell finished with 16 points for Georgia State and Malik Benlevi had 13.
The Minutemen finish their non-conference slate with a 10-3 record while Georgia State drops to 7-5 overall.
An 18-point run by the Maroon and White turned a 17-10 deficit at the 10-minute, five-second mark into a 28-17 advantage less than five minutes later. Holloway and Lewis spearheaded the streak with five points apiece while the defense forced Georgia State into 0-for-6 from the floor with four turnovers.
Massachusetts was poised to take a 12-point lead into the break; however, the Panthers chipped away at their deficit with their last play of the half and knocked it down to nine at the break, 36-27, thanks to a Jeff Thomas 3-pointer.
The Minutemen pushed the pace in an effort to pull away, but Georgia State answered each second half UMass run with a scoring streak of its own to keep the game within reach. The Panthers were as close as within five of tying on a pair of Hollowell freebies with 11:35 left before the Maroon and White rallied again.
Massachusetts collected itself as Brison Gresham
sparked an 8-point run with a two-handed jam from Jarreau, The run spread the advantage back to 57-43 with 9:41to go and Georgia State was unable to close back within six the remainder of the game.
"This was a huge win – they were 41-4 in their last 45 home games. That reminded me of going on the road to an Atlantic 10 team. These guys could be in the upper-half of the A-10 and to get a win against an RPI team in the 60s was a huge accomplishment."
The Minutemen begin Atlantic 10 action on Fri., Dec. 30 against St. Bonaventure at 4 p.m. Ticket information is available through 866-UMASS-TIX, the Mullins Center Box Office (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and online via the UMass Ticket Central.
Follow the team throughout the season on Twitter and Instagram (@UMassBasketball).