Men's Basketball Falls at Massachusetts, 71-62
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  01/14/2012

Jan. 14, 2012

AMHERST, Mass. - The Saint Joseph's men's basketball team dropped a tightly contested 71-62 result to Massachusetts on Saturday night at the Mullins Center. Junior Ronald Roberts led the Hawks, converting all seven of his field goal attempts and finishing with 16 points.

Saint Joseph's (12-6, 2-2 Atlantic 10) got off to a blistering start, opening a 20-3 advantage on the Minutemen on a three-pointer by freshman Papa Ndao with 13:13 left in the first half.

Sophomore Halil Kanacevic opened the scoring with a three-pointer and, after Terrell Vinson knotted the game for UMass, Saint Joseph's went on to score the next 17 points of the game. Junior Carl Jones scored four straight before Roberts and sophomore C.J. Aiken scored the next five on a layup and a three.

With the Hawks ahead 12-3, Ndao converted a three-point play before a Roberts dunk extended the advantage to 14. Ndao then followed with a basket from long range to give SJU its largest lead of the game at 17.

The Hawks then went 5:33 without a point as Massachusetts (14-4, 3-1 Atlantic 10) went on a 13-0 run to end a six minute-plus drought of their own and cut the SJU lead to 20-16 with 9:57 to go.

Sophomore Langston Galloway ended the UMass run with a three-point play with 7:40 remaining and, after a brief 6-2 spurt for the Minutemen, hit a three-pointer just over two minutes later to give the Hawks a 28-22 lead with 5:16 left in the stanza.

The Minutemen would use an 11-4 stretch to end the half with a 33-32 lead. Four points from Sean Carter cut the margin to one before a three-pointer by Raphiael Putney gave UMass its first lead at 30-29 with 1:50 to go.

Sophomore Daryus Quarles started off the second half with a three-pointer to give SJU a two-point lead. After Vinson answered to put UMass back on top, Aiken gave the Hawks a 37-36 lead with a putback dunk; unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, Chaz Williams scored four straight for the Minutemen to give Massachusetts a 40-37 lead.

The teams kept things tight through the midpoint of the half as a Roberts layup tied the score at 45 with 10:53 to play. The Hawks went cold again as the Minutemen went on an 11-2 run to take a 56-47 lead with 7:29 left.

Roberts put SJU on his back, scoring eight of the next 12 Saint Joseph's points as the Hawks clawed back to within two at 57-55 with less than five minutes to play. The teams then traded baskets, with an Aiken dunk making the score 59-57 at the 3:48 mark.

After Vinson doubled the lead, Kanacevic followed a Galloway miss to cut the lead back to a single bucket with 2:27 to play at 61-59. Carter then restored the four-point advantage before an empty Hawk possession forced SJU to foul and extend the game. The Minutemen iced the victory with an 8-for-8 performance at the free throw line over the final minute.

Roberts led the way with 16 points for the game, 10 of them after halftime, on 7-for-7 shooting from the field while Kanacevic and Aiken finished with 11 and 10, respectively. Aiken also added 10 rebounds. Galloway was limited to eight points before fouling out, having only played 28 minutes in the game. Jones struggled from the floor, going 2-for-12 and 0-for-5 from outside for four points.

Williams led all scorers, pacing the Minuteman offense with 22 points, and Putney (17) and Vinson (11) also reached double figures for UMass. Carter chipped in eight points and 10 rebounds in the winning effort.

Saint Joseph's will look to bounce back on Wednesday night as the Hawks travel to Xavier. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.; the game will air on The Comcast Network and SportsRadio 610 WIP.