Feb. 14, 2010
AMHERST, Mass. - Held scoreless for the final 10 minutes of the first half, the Saint Joseph's men's basketball team couldn't rally in the second half as it fell at Massachusetts, 70-62, Sunday afternoon at the Mullins Center. The Hawks fall to 9-16 overall and 3-8 in the Atlantic 10 with the loss.
Massachusetts, which got a game-high 27 points from Ricky Harris, improved to 10-15 overall and 4-7 in the Atlantic 10 with the victory.
In the first half, Saint Joseph's tied the score 18-18 on three consecutive 3-pointers in a span of less than two minutes, with two straight from Darrin Govens. A Todd O'Brien free throw at 10:49 put the Hawks up 19-18, before Ricky Harris scored to give UMass the 20-19 lead. Both teams would go scoreless for the next five minutes until Matt Hill hit a 3-pointer to increase UMass' lead to 23-19. Saint Joseph's continued its scoring drought for the rest of the half, which spanned 11 minutes and 14 missed field goal attempts, allowing the Minutemen to finish off a 12-0 run to take a 30-19 halftime lead. The Hawks were held to just 25.9 percent shooting (7-of-22) in the opening 20 minutes.
The Minutemen maintained a steady lead for most of the second half, but a pair of free throws from SJU senior guard Garrett Williamson made it a 59-54 game with two minutes left to go. UMass wouldn't allow the Hawks to get any closer as the Minutemen sank 17 free throws to end the game and preserve the win.
"Give credit to a kid like Ricky Harris. The last seven games he's averaging 27 points. We made him the focuse of our defense and he still was able to get 15 shots in the air," said Saint Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli. "I'm not disappointed in our defense but leave hurting for my players to go 11 and a half minutes without scoring. That's hard to do. That's on me. We need more skill time and we have to become more creative on offense. We have to get some thrust to the basket."
Individually, Williamson's 19 points paced Saint Joseph's offense, with Govens adding 15 points and freshman guard Justin Crosgile finishing with 13 points.
The Hawks return to action this Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Xavier.