AMHERST, Mass. – While the defense allowed the second-fewest points of the season, Anthony Gurley led the offense with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting as UMass (15-11, 7-6 A-10) cruised past Saint Joseph’s (7-20, 2-11 A-10), 69-51 on Wednesday night at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen held the Hawks without a field goal for the first 11:31 of the game and to 30.8 percent shooting for the game, while dominating the boards, 44-24.
Gurley’s performance led a 45.6 percent shooting performance for the Minutemen. Sampson Carter added 10 points while Raphiael Putney and Terrell Vinson each had nine. Gary Correia dished out seven assists.
The Minutemen held the Hawks without a field goal for the first 11:31 of the game, a span in which the visiting club went 0-for-13 from the field while the Minutemen built a 20-4 lead. Highlighting the stretch were back-to-back 3-point plays by Gurley, on nifty lay-up, and Vinson, on a dunk.
The only time UMass held an opponent to fewer points this season was a 67-48 win over TCU on Nov. 22 at the MassMutual Center.
After building 34-15 halftime lead, UMass extended its lead in the second half to a game-high 26 points, 47-21 on a Vinson putback with 15:58 remaining, but the Hawks put together a 10-0 run in the middle of the period to cut its deficit to 15, 50-35 with 7:42 left, before the Minutemen, led by seven-straight points from Putney, put the lead back over 20, 60-37 with 5:26 left.
Gurley led the Minutemen in the first half with 12 points. UMass shot 50 percent in the half, while the Hawks finished the half at 17.4 percent, including 1-of-13 from 3-point range. The Minutemen dominating the glass, 21-12.
Langston Galloway, who scored 25 points and was 6-of-6 from beyond the arc in St. Joe’s 67-64 victory over the Minutemen on Feb. 5, held to six points and was 1-of-5 from long range.
With his 22 points, Gurley passed Doug Grutchfield for 17th on the UMass all-time scoring list with 1,262.