DAYTON, Ohio –
Sophomore guard Luwane Pipkins
scored a game-high 25 points and connected on a key bucket down the stretch in the second half as the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team defeated Dayton at UD Arena 62-60 on Saturday afternoon to pick up their first league win of the season. Pipkins led three double-digit scorers for the Minutemen (8-8 Overall, 1-2 Atlantic 10) and scored his final points of the day on a contested driving layup in the paint to put UMass ahead by four with under a minute remaining for a UMass squad that shot 58-percent from the field in the second half.
Both teams traded buckets early as UMass made four of their first five shots but trailed a Dayton (7-8 Overall, 1-2 Atlantic 10) team that connected on four of their first six to pull ahead 11-9 heading into the first media timeout just over four minutes into the game. Chris Baldwin
led four starters who scored in the early going as he went 3-of-3 from the field to bring UMass back within eight points, ending a Flyer run that saw them go ahead by double-digits for the first time on the afternoon.
Dayton opened the game by shooting 5-of-8 from deep, but finished the half 6-of-13 from behind the arc as UMass went on to cut down the lead to just three points late in the half. Pipkins scored five of his 11 first half points during a Minuteman scoring run that brought the score to 30-27 as Dayton went almost three minutes without scoring before connecting on an attempt on their final possession to give the Flyers a five-point lead at the break. Pipkins' 3-pointer during the run tied him with Charlton Clarke for 17th
all-time in program history with 113 career made 3-point field goals before the sophomore eclipsed the mark midway through the second half.
The Minutemen came out of the break with strong play on the defensive end to continue their run as Carl Pierre
scored early off a Unique McLean
steal before Pipkins swiped and scored moments later to put UMass up 32-31. Pierre followed with an and-one play at the 18-minute mark as the Minutemen outscored Dayton 13-2 since trailing 30-20 and 20 to eight since facing their largest deficit of 13 points in the first half as the freshman finished with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting.
UMass connected on 6-of-7 to open the second half, taking a 42-38 lead after a Pierre triple with 14:08 left in the half before the Minutemen missed their next six shots, going scoreless as Dayton used a 6-0 run to pull ahead 44-42 on back-to-back 3-pointers. The Minutemen shot 14-of-24 in the final 20-minutes on a night where they posted a 32-to-18 advantage in points in the paint over the Flyers.
Pipkins lone triple of the second half tied things up for the final time at 47-47 before Baldwin reached double-digits in the scoring column for the third time in his career to put UMass ahead by two with 9:39 left. Malik Hines
capped off a stretch that saw UMass make five straight field goals to pull ahead by six at 56-50 and again scored after a rebound and finish to cap off a 6-0 run while extending the lead to eight. Hines finished with nine rebounds and six points.
McLean scored two of his six points on a layup off the dish from Rayshawn Miller
to end a two-minute UMass scoring drought to bring the lead back up to four points at 60-56 after Josh Cunningham scored six straight points to bring Dayton within two late before Pipkins all but sealed the road win with a tough runner in the paint with 49-seconds remaining to put UMass up four points once again at 62-58.
UMass returns home to the Mullins Center for a pair of conference contests next week, beginning with a matchup against La Salle on Wed., Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. and ending with a contest against Saint Joseph's on Sunday at 5 p.m.
For continued coverage of UMass Men's Basketball, follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at UMassBasketball.