Massachusetts 87, Saint Joseph's 76
Records: Massachusetts (13-12, 3-9 A-10) • Saint Joseph's (10-14, 3-9 A-10)
Location: Hagan Arena; Philadelphia, Pa.
- Donte Clark scored a team-high 24 points at Saint Joseph's on 6-for-9 shooting and an 8-of-10 showing at the foul line. It was his second consecutive game with at least 20 as Clark scored 30 against Rhode Island. His 24 points came in only 26 minutes played.
- Zach Lewis totaled 11 points for the Minutemen, including nine in the pivotal second half. He scored all nine of those in the span of four minutes, 25 seconds, starting with a pair of free throws with 6:37 to go and ending with a jumper at the 2:12 mark. It helped the Minutemen turn a five-point lead (64-59) into a 13-point margin (77-64).
- Rashaan Holloway nearly earned his fourth double-double of the season via 10 points and nine rebounds. He had eight points and six rebounds in the second half as he shot 3-of-3 overall and 2-of-2 at the foul line. He split his second half boards evenly on each end of the floor.
- With nine made 3-pointers, the Minutemen added $456.93 pledged in donations to their Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge total. With a per-made 3-pointer donation total of $50.77 currently, UMass has raised 1,116.94 for Coaches vs. Cancer and the American Cancer Society through three games of the 3-Point Challenge.
- The Minutemen only turned the ball over nine times at Saint Joseph's. It is the fourth time this season UMass only committed single digits in turnovers. The team is 3-1 in those games with wins over North Carolina A&T, Pacific and Saint Joseph's as well as a loss to George Mason at home.
The Minutemen hit their opening five 3-pointers, including four from Donte Clark
, as the Minutemen raced to a 17-7 lead less than five minutes into the game. Holloway started scoring with an up-and-under layup before Clark put in all four of his triples in a row. Pipkins followed Clark's lead and drained his first from long-distance for the 10-point margin.
The Hawks cut back within three of tying, 36-33, with 84 seconds to go in the frame but the Minutemen responded with seven of the final nine points in the half – highlighted by a Tyrn Flowers
one-handed put-back slam dunk – for a 43-35 halftime margin.
Massachusetts pushed the ball inside to Rashaan Holloway
following the break to the tune of six consecutive points for UMass from the 6-foot-11, 310 sophomore center. Holloway connected on consecutive traditional 3-point plays, the second of which put UMass up nine, 49-40, with 17:08 to play.
The lead grew to 10 on a Flowers tip-in with 13:11 to go, but the Hawks fought back into contention for the win with a 10-point run covering nearly three minutes of game action. However, after the Hawks evened the game at 55-all with 10:24 to go, Massachusetts countered with the next seven points to ease back in front for good.
secured the outcome with seven consecutive points on a variety of plays as the Minutemen took a 71-59 lead with 4:37 to go. Lewis drew a shooting foul and sank both free throws before a left side 3-pointer gave his five straight points. Two UMass possessions later he drove the right side of the hoop for two at the rim.
Massachusetts plays its second consecutive road contest and makes its third straight trip to the Keystone State as the Minutemen head to Duquesne in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Wed., Feb. 15 at 7 p.m.
Follow the team throughout the season on Twitter and Instagram (@UMassBasketball).