HAMDEN, Conn. –
University of Massachusetts men's basketball team's second half rally came up short on Wednesday evening as they fell to Quinnipiac on the road at the TD Bank Sports Center 68-66. UMass (3-4 Overall) erased a 12-point deficit to take the lead with 5:44 remaining in the contest, but could not recapture the lead after a quick Bobcat (2-5 Overall) run seized control for the home team down the stretch.
UMass held a 10-8 lead in the opening minutes as four different Minutemen scored heading into the first media timeout with 15:46 left in the first. Quinnipiac came out of the timeout on the floor and put together a 9-0 run to go ahead 17-10, a lead they would not relinquish until late in the second half.
led UMass with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-17 from the field and 4-of-7 from behind the 3-point line. The senior helped trim the gap out of the second media timeout in the first to bring UMass within one point after consecutive scores on his way to dropping in 14 first-half points.
The Bobcats owned a 28-29 lead heading into the break after ending the half on a 9-2 scoring run in a frame that saw eight UMass turnovers lead to eight Quinnipiac points while the Minutemen held a 20-15 rebounding advantage after the first 20 minutes.
After seeing just one minute in the first half due to foul trouble, Rashaan Holloway
helped jumpstart a quick 8-0 run in just under two minutes of gameplay in the second half to trim the Bobcats lead down to four points at 41-37. Holloway finished the night with 14 points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes of action.
UMass cut the lead down to four points multiple times throughout the second half until finally breaking through to take the lead after a Unique McLean
steal eventually led to a Holloway dunk off an assist from Rayshawn Miller
. Miller provided UMass with a key spark in the second half, scoring nine of the team's 12 points during a stretch that saw UMass recover after trailing by double-digits.
Quinnipiac quickly regained the lead as a foul away from the hoop put the Bobcats in the bonus with just over five minutes to play. The Bobcats went a perfect 8-for-8 down the stretch from the charity stripe and shot 22-of-27 in the game while UMass shot five times from the line.
The Minutemen battled down the stretch with two buckets each in the paint by Anderson and Holloway late, scoring four of their 14 second chance points and eight of their 36 points in the paint while Quinnipiac closed out the game from the free throw line.
grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for a Minutemen squad that owned a 40 to 30 rebound advantage on the night.
UMass will remain out on the road as they travel to Columbia, S.C. on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. before returning home to host Holy Cross on Dec. 6 at the Mullins Center.
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