AMHERST, Mass. – Luwane Pipkins
scored a game-high 36 points on Tuesday evening as the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team fell to Harvard 74-71 at the Mullins Center in a back-and-forth battle down the stretch. The Minutemen (2-1 Overall) trailed by as many as 10 points early in the second half before slowly chipping away at the deficit to grab the first UMass lead of the night on a Tre Wood
jumper with 10:55 remaining.
UMass' first lead of the night at 50-49 began a stretch where the lead changed hands six times before Harvard (2-1 Overall) extended their lead to five points twice within the final 2:34 of regulation on their way to closing out the win. Jonathan Laurent
got to the hoop down on the baseline for two of his 11 points to trim the lead to three once again with just over a minute left prior to Pipkins knocking down a pair from the line to bring the count to 70-69 late.
The Crimson's Justin Bassey went 2-of-2 at the line after a UMass intentional foul with nine seconds left to push the lead to three before Pipkins took an easy layup down at the other end to once again cut the lead down to a single point with under three seconds remaining. Christian Juzang connected on a pair from the free throw line to extend lead back to three prior to a Pipkins heave from half court as time ran out that went off the left side of the rim.
Pipkins was a factor on the offensive end all night for the Minutemen, including the opening moments of the contest as the junior guard had his hand in 18 of the first 21 UMass points on 12 points and three assists. Pipkins reached the 30-point mark for the seventh time in his career and put together his 50th game in double-figures as he finished the night 13-of-23 from the field with five assists, four rebounds and four steals.
Through the first six minutes of play, Harvard shot 70-percent while the Minutemen converted on 67-percent of their attempts on their way to finishing with a 44-percent clip from the field. Rashaan Holloway
shot 4-of-7 while pulling down a game-high nine rebounds to go along with eight points.
Chris Lewis led Harvard with a team-high 16 points on 8-of-11 shooting while Danilo Djuricic added 13 points.
The Minutemen will remain at home as the begin the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational by hosting Howard on Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. before wrapping up their regular-season opening five-game homestand with Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Monday night.
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