AMHERST, Mass. - Zach Lewis scored a game-high 23 points to lead Massachusetts (12-7; 2-4) to a 62-57 win over Saint Joseph’s (8-9; 2-4) in Atlantic 10 action at the Mullins Center.
Saint Joseph’s James Demery had 19 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for the first double-double of his career. Markell Lodge scored a personal best 11 points while grabbing nine rebounds and Charlie Brown added 11 points.
Lewis made four three-pointers in the game while C.J. Anderson added 12 points for Massachusetts.
In a game where both teams had struggled offensively, Rashaan Holloway started a 6-0 late run for UMass, breaking a 53-53 tie with a layup at 1:59, and ending with a dunk by C.J. Anderson at :26 to give the home team a 59-53 lead. The teams traded free throws and UMass iced it on a pair by Lewis at :13.
Saint Joseph’s jumped out to a 9-0 lead and led by as much as 20-10 in the first half. But UMass, which had been shooting just 1-of-12 from three-point range, caught fire and got back into the game with three-pointers. Trailing 24-12, the Minutemen made five of their next six three-pointers, with Lewis hitting three and Anderson converting two, to go on a 15-5 run and tie the game, 29-29, by halftime.
The Hawks maintained the lead through the first part of the second half, but UMass took its first lead of the game, 43-42, on a pair of free throws by Donte Clark at 11:05. The Minutemen increased it to hold their biggest margin of the game, 52-44, on a layup by Lewis at 5:44.
Demery helped SJU get back into it, scoring five points in an 8-1 run and tying it at 53-53 with a free throw at 2:30.
The teams combined for 29 turnovers in the contest, with Saint Joseph’s committing 16. The Hawks shot just 8-of-30 from the field in the second half. After its strong end to the first half from behind the arc, UMass went cold in the second half, going 0-for-9.
“Sixteen turnovers and we shoot 32 percent on the road. Two halves of under 30 percent (from three-point range) equals a loss. It doesn’t matter that they didn’t get scoring from two of their starters. It’s the numbers and it’s not very good,” said SJU coach Phil Martelli.
Saint Joseph’s takes a break from conference play when it faces Big 5 rival Penn at the Palestra on Saturday night.