Massachusetts 84, La Salle 71
Records: Massachusetts (14-15, 4-12 A-10) • La Salle (14-13, 8-8 A-10)
Location: Mullins Center; Amherst, Mass.
- Zach Lewis led both sides and recorded an Atlantic 10-best 37 points in the win over La Salle. Lewis reset his career high in the process. He was 9-of-16 from the floor (6-of-9 on 3-pointers) and 13-of-13 at the foul line. Lewis' performance tied him for sixth all-time in the UMass record book while it was also the third-most in the Mullins Center in the history of the building.
- DeJon Jarreau added 20 points as he shot 7-of-8 overall, including a 4-of-4 afternoon from beyond the arc. It was his 14th game of the year scoring double-figures, 10th during Atlantic 10 play and fourth consecutive. He is averaging 15.0 points over those last four games.
- Zach Lewis' 13-of-13 showing at the foul line marked the first perfect double-digit free throw performance by a Minutemen since Trey Davis went 10-of-10 against Rhode Island on March 10, 2016. Lewis' 13 made also tied him for the season-high among Minutemen, which Donte Clark had twice earlier in the season, including most recently against Rhode Island on Feb. 7.
- UMass shot 46.4 percent overall (26-of-56), 55.0 percent on 3-pointers (11-of-20) and 84.0 percent at the free throw line (21-of-25). It was the first game this season the Minutemen reached each conversion percentage in the same game.
- With the 11 made 3-pointers against La Salle, the Minutemen secured pledged donations of $556.27 for the Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge. Including the numbers from the win over La Salle, the Minutemen have hit 49 3-pointers during the 3-Point Challenge, good for $2,477.93 in pledged donations.
Both teams were dialed in from the jump as La Salle shot 50.0 percent overall and the Minutemen hit 48.3 percent of their attempts. Zach Lewis
poured in 19 points for Massachusetts while DeJon Jarreau
added 10 as the duo shot a combined 10-of-15, including 5-for-6 from beyond the arc.
The Maroon and White closed the half on a 12-point run to take a 40-35 advantage into halftime. Down by seven with five minutes, 19 seconds still to go, Massachusetts followed with a C.J. Anderson
3-pointer, two Zach Lewis
free throws and back-to-back
Jarreau layups before Lewis capped the half with a left-side 3-pointer on the final possession.
Massachusetts matched La Salle's every comeback effort as the Minutemen did not trail in the closing frame. Lewis poured in the points again, with 18 in the second half for a single game career-high 37 points for the redshirt junior.
It was a 3-point game with 11:52 to go in the contest when the Minutemen put together a seven-point run to go ahead by double-figures. Chris Baldwin
knocked down an elbow jumper before Lewis hit one of his six 3-pointers. Lewis followed up with a drive to the rim for two more and a 57-47 advantage.
Jarreau offset La Salle's accuracy and kept the game out of reach with 3-pointers on the next three UMass scoring possession. He finished 4-for-4 from long range, his best performance with as many attempts as a Minuteman.
When La Salle snuck back to within nine with 2:40 to go, Seth Berger
converted at the rim during a two-on-one break alongside Donte Clark
. After Cleon Roberts turned the ball over, Lewis absorbed a foul by Amar Stukes, calmly stepped to the line and sank two foul shots for a 77-64 margin.
Head Coach Derek Kellogg
On Zach Lewis' performance:
"It gives a little confidence for the team, to see him make some plays for us and get to the free throw line. DeJon (Jarreau) makes a couple three and loosens things up. I think that's huge for us, that it is happening this late in the year shows that these guys have some confidence and fight to make a run here."
Redshirt Junior Guard Zach Lewis
On how the win felt:
"It felt great. Coach (Derek) Kellogg has been preaching about playing for a full 40 minutes and I think today we definitely did that. Last game we played well for about 28 or 29 minutes, so it feels good to play for a full 40 and have everybody get the ball."
On playing well and scoring consistently throughout the game:
"It's really about being confident and finishing off the game. I played well for the first half of the last game (at George Washington) and bad in the second half, so at halftime today Coach (Derek) Kellogg told me to keep being aggressive and finish off the game."
Freshman Guard DeJon Jarreau
On hitting all four of his 3-point field goal attempts:
"I was just shooting with confidence. It's just a confidence thing with me for shooting. Everything just fell into place today."
UMass plays its second-to-last home game in the Mullins Center when La Salle visits Western Massachusetts for a Sun., Feb. 26 contest. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on NESN, NESNnational and the American Sports Network (ASN).
Follow the team throughout the season on Twitter and Instagram (@UMassBasketball).