AMHERST, Mass. – Luwane Pipkins
scored a game-high 22 points while Jonathan Laurent
and Rashaan Holloway
each added 16 points as Holy Cross rallied in the second half to defeat the UMass men's basketball team 82-78 on Tuesday night in the Mullins Center. The Minutemen (5-4 Overall) shot 48-percent in the opening half before the Crusaders (6-3 Overall) went on to shoot nearly 61-percent from the field over the final 20 minutes of play.
UMass held Holy Cross to 2-of-7 shooting heading into the first media timeout of the night before the Minutemen eventually strung together a quick 5-0 scoring run to pull ahead 15-10 behind buckets from Curtis Cobb
and Pipkins. Pipkins added a game-high eight assists along with four rebounds to his game-high scoring performance.
Laurent paced the Minuteman offense in the early going, scoring 10 points on a 3-of-4 shooting effort in less than 10 minutes of play for a UMass squad that made four of their first eight attempts from range as they built an 18-12 lead. UMass went on to build its largest lead of the night with 4:22 remaining in the first half after a Pipkins steal led to a Keon Clergeot
and-one on the other end for three of his eight points.
Holy Cross responded by connecting on 6-of-7 shots to tie things up at 37-37 with under two minutes left in the half prior to a Holloway and-one conversion that helped UMass take a 41-39 lead into the locker room for halftime.
UMass came out of the break on a 5-0 scoring run to go ahead 46-39 as the half started off with a Laurent 3-pointer from the corner that helped the redshirt junior tie his UMass career-high in scoring with 16 points on his way to finishing the night 5-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 from deep.
After the Crusaders tied the score at 49-49, the Minutemen responded with a quick 4-0 run before Holy Cross took advantage of a negated UMass bucket on a flagrent foul to start off an 8-0 scoring run that gave the visitors their first lead since the opening moments of the game to eventually bring the score to 57-53 with 10:25 remaining. Jacob Grandison scored five points during the run as he finished with a team-leading 20 points for the Crusaders to go along with 17 from Caleb Green.
Clergeot ended the Holy Cross run with a 3-pointer from the right win before Pipkins connected on a running attempt to tie it up at 58-58 before scoring again shortly after to tie the game for the ninth and final time at 62-62. Holy Cross put together a 9-0 run over 2:29 of gametime to go ahead 71-62 with 5:08 left.
UMass rallied late to pull within a possession at 78-75 after a Cobb triple despite shooting 1-of-9 as a team to close out the game as Holy Cross shot 12-of-17 from the free throw line in the second half to secure the win. Cobb finished with 11 points while connecting on 3-of-5 attempts from range off the bench for UMass.
The Minutemen return to the court on Friday when they head out on the road to take on Providence at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 in Rhode Island.
For complete coverage of the UMass basketball team, follow the Minutemen on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @UMassBasketball and online at www.UMassAthletics.com.