AMHERST, Mass. – Luwane Pipkins
set a new UMass scoring record and a new Mullins Center mark with 44 points as the Minutemen erased a 21-point deficit to rally to defeat La Salle 86-79 in overtime on Wednesday night. The Minutemen (9-8 Overall, 2-2 Atlantic 10) trailed by 21 points in the early moments of the second half before putting together a 13-0 run that saw UMass pull ahead 72-66 late in the contest.
Pipkins reached double-figure scoring for the 30th
time in his career and eclipsed 20 or more points for the seventh time this season as the sophomore broke Billy Tindall's record of 41 points set on Feb. 10, 1968. The guard finished the night shooting 15-of-27 from the field at 6-of-10 from behind the arc on his way to passing Tony Barbee for 16th
all-time in career 3-pointers made at UMass.
La Salle (7-10 Overall, 1-3 Atlantic 10) held the lead for the entire first half and for 35:35 on the night as the Explorers shot over 59-percent from the field on 16-of-27 in the opening half to jump ahead 41-25 at the break before posting their largest lead of the night over the Minutemen with 18:21 remaining and the score at 48-27.
scored 15 of his 25 points in the second half and overtime for a UMass team that shot 58-percent from the field in the second half while out-scoring the Explorers 49-33 to force overtime. Pierre was a key factor in a 15-2 run with 14:00 remaining that saw the La Salle lead cut to below 10 points for the first time since the 4:41 mark in the second half. The freshman scored seven points during the run before converting on an and-one play after La Salle ended their scoring drought to keep UMass within single-digits on a night where he tied his career-high in scoring.
Pipkins dropped in 17 of his record 44 points from the 8:48 to 2:19 mark in the second half to propel UMass to their first lead of the night behind a 25-8 scoring run during the span after UMass trailed 58-47 before pulling ahead 72-66. Pipkins scored eight straight points down the stretch to put the Minutemen ahead by six prior to an 8-0 La Salle run that saw the Explorers go ahead 74-72 with 42-seconds behind eight consecutive points by Isiah Deas. Pipkins converted on a pair of three throws late to tie the game up at 74-74 and finished 8-of-8 at the line.
The Minutemen connected on four of their eight shots during the overtime period to outscore La Salle 12-5. Pierre posted the first points of overtime with 3:38 left, grabbing an offensive rebound and converting the three-point play at the line before knocking down a jumper just over a minute later to put UMass up 79-74. Pipkins followed with consecutive baskets of his own moments later, draining back-to-back triples to put the Minutemen ahead by their largest margin of the evening at nine points, 85-76.
led UMass on the glass off the bench with nine rebounds to go along with five assists as UMass out-rebounded La Salle 25-19 in the final 20 minutes and overtime. Pipkins added five rebounds and five assists while Malik Hines
scored six and added six boards.
The Minutemen will remain at home in the Mullins Center for another Atlantic 10 matchup as they are set to take on Saint Joseph's on Sunday at 5 p.m.
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