AMHERST, Mass. –
University of Massachusetts men's basketball team used a 21-5 run down the stretch to take control of the game on their way to a 72-63 win over Providence on Saturday afternoon at the Mullins Center. UMass (5-5 Overall) rallied from down five points using a combination of scoring and defense, holding Providence (7-3 Overall) without a field goal from the 10:51 to 2:04 in the second half.
The win moved UMass to 5-0 in the Mullins Center this season while giving them their first win against Providence since a 69-67 win in overtime back on Dec. 28, 2013 in Amherst.
A 3-point barrage in the opening minutes of the game saw UMass build a 29-20 lead with 8:13 remaining in the half. Luwane Pipkins
knocked down four on six attempts from behind the line in the first, including two in the early going to put the Minutemen up 9-3 a few minutes in. Pipkins dropped in 22 of his 30 points in the first 20 minutes for a Minutemen squad that had just three players scored in the first half.
Pipkins scoring outburst marked the 25th
time that the sophomore guard has reached double-figures while making it the seventh time he has scored more than 20 in a game. The Chicago, Ill. Native finished 12-of-16 from the field for a 75-percent clip, including 4-of-7 from deep.
added three of his own from deep, finishing with nine points in the first half while Rashaan Holloway
scored seven of his 11 in the first as UMass owned a 38-33 lead at the half on 61-percent shooting from the field and 7-of-12 from deep.
UMass finished the game shooting 56-percent from the field on 27-of-48 despite going without a 3-pointer in the final 20 minutes of play.
scored all of his nine points in the second half to go along with his eight rebounds as UMass and Providence traded buckets to open the second half.
The Friars used a 9-0 run to take a 51-46 lead with 9:42 left in the half, outscoring the Minutemen 18-8 to grab their first lead since 1-0.
After Pipkins' first score in the second, C.J. Anderson
knocked down a fade-away jumper before converting the and-one with a free throw make to knot things up at 51 as the Minutemen scoring run began. Anderson finished the day with 10 points to go along with six rebounds and seven assists, adding another bucket and an assist during the UMass scoring run that saw the Minutemen go ahead 67-54 after trailing by six.
Providence ended their field goal drought with 2:04 remaining in the game on a layup by Makai Ashton-Langford that helped the Friars go on a quick 6-0 run to bring them within seven before UMass closed out the game from the line. Ashton-Langford scored nine points with six assists while Rodney Bullock led Providence with 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
UMass continues their five-game homestand a week from today on Sat., Dec. 16 for game three as they are set to take on Georgia at 3 p.m. at the Mullins Center.
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