Senior Kenny Frease scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half at UMass.
Feb. 21, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. -- The Xavier men's basketball team fell to Atlantic 10 foe Massachusetts 80-73 Tuesday night at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass. With the loss, XU fell to 17-10 overall and 8-5 in A-10 play while UMass improved to 19-8 overall and 8-5 in the conference.
The Musketeers saw four players in double-figures with freshman Dezmine Wells leading the way with 19 points on 5-of-10 from the field including 4-of-5 from behind the arc and 5-of-7 from the free-throw line. Mark Lyons was second in scoring with 15 points thanks to a 3-of-9 mark from 3-point territory. Senior Kenny Frease scored 10 points in the second half to finish the game with 12 and a team-high eight rebounds and Tu Holloway added 10 points.
UMass was led by Chaz Williams with 29 points on 8-of-12 from the field including 6-of-8 from behind the arc and a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. Four Minutemen posted double-digits with Raphiael Putney posting 13 and Terrell Vinson and Freddie Riley each adding 12.
XU won the battle of the boards 40-30.
The Minutemen led by as much as 20 with 11:58 left in the game, but XU clawed back into the game thanks to a big run midway through the second period.
Xavier started a 14-2 run when Brad Redford added a spark off the Xavier bench with two straight treys that cut the Minutemen's lead to 59-47 with 10:36 left in the game. Senior Kenny Frease got the Musketeers within 10, 61-51, with a jumper from the free-throw line at the 8:53 mark. Lyons took advantage of a Holloway steal to cap the XU run with a jumper from the wing at 7:36 that cut the UMass lead to eight.
Frease's dunk followed by a Lyons 3-pointer cut the UMass lead to 66-58 with 4:19 left in the game.
Lyons' long 3-pointer got Xavier within six, 77-71, with 24.9 seconds left in the game. However, Williams' solid free throw shooting in the closing seconds sealed the win for the Minutemen.
The Musketeers trailed 41-29 after going 1-for-5 from the field in the final four minutes of the first half. Xavier shot 33.3 percent from the field in the first frame with Wells leading the way with 11 points. UMass went 45.7 from the field with Williams leading the way with 13 points. Turnovers were a big part of the first half as Xavier gave up 16 to the Minutemen's seven.
XU used an 8-0 run including five straight points by Wells to take a 14-11 lead with 12:30 left in the first half.
The Minutemen answered with an 11-0 run capped by a Williams 3-pointer that put UMass in front 27-21 and forced an XU timeout with 4:45 left in the first period. UMass scored five straight points to close out the first half.
The Musketeers return to action Saturday, February 25 as they host A-10 rival Richmond. Tip-off from Cintas Center is set for 8 p.m.