AMHERST, Mass. –
University of Massachusetts men's basketball team held Holy Cross without a field goal for over 10-minutes of game time in the second-half as the they defeated the Crusaders 64-50 on Wednesday evening at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen (4-5 Overall) used their defense to build a second-half lead that saw UMass stretch their lead to nine after trailing for most of the first half.
UMass had four players finish with double-digits in the scoring column, led by Luwane Pipkins
' 13 first-half points while Unique McLean
scored 11 and Malik Hines
and C.J. Anderson
added 10 each.
Holy Cross (2-6 Overall) commanded an early lead in a low scoring start to the contest in which UMass went without a field goal until an Anderson 3-pointer with 15:19 left in the opening half. The Crusaders led for 13:03 in the first half before UMass took the lead with a quick scoring run.
sparked the UMass scoring run that gave the Minutemen their first lead of the night at 23-19, knocking down back-to-back triples to cap off an 8-0 run in 1:49 of game time.
After Holy Cross recaptured the lead with just over two minutes remaining in the half on their final field goal for the next 10 minutes of gameplay, Anderson knocked down a pair of free throws to give UMass a 34-31 lead heading into halftime. The Minutemen shot 11-of-12 from the charity stripe in the first and finished 20-of-22 for 92-percent.
Hines scored eight of his 10 points in the second half as the junior scored six straight points for UMass out of the locker room to stretch the lead to nine at 40-31. Hines nearly missed out on a double-double as he added a game-best nine rebounds for a Minutemen squad that out-rebounded Holy Cross 36 to 25.
pushed the UMass lead to double-digits for the first time midway through the second frame, connecting on consecutive 3-pointers before converting on an and-one play to bring the score to 49-38. McLean knocked down one of his two shots from behind the arc with 6:41 remaining to give UMass a 16 -point lead while Anderson made a free throw a minute later to cap off a 12-0 run while building a 17-point lead, the largest of the evening.
The UMass defense once again held Holy Cross without a make from the field for a significant stretch of the half as the Crusaders went another 7:37 of gameplay without a basket. Holy Cross made a few shots late to cut the Minutemen lead down to 10 points before UMass iced the game at the line.
The win brought UMass to 33-3 against non-conference competition in the Mullins Center over the last six seasons.
The Minutemen will remain at home for the next four contests as they are set to take on Providence on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. in the Mullins Center.
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