RICHMOND, Va. – A late 16-6 run in the second half propelled the UMass men’s basketball team to a 79-68 win at Richmond on Saturday afternoon at the Robins Center. Jesse Morgan led the way with 20 points including a key three-pointer to spark the run after the Spiders had pulled within four points with 6:53 left in the game. The Minutemen (15-5, 4-2 A-10) will return home next Saturday to host Saint Louis in the Mullins Center at 2 PM.
Along with Morgan’s 20 points, Chaz Williams netted 17 points and was just shy of a triple-double with nine rebounds and seven assists. Sean Carter scored 15 points going 7-of-9 from the floor, while Maxie Esho scored 12 points in 20 minutes.
Richmond (11-9, 2-3 A-10) was led by Darien Brothers and Kendall Anthony who each scored 12 points. Derrick Williams and Cedrick Lindsay added 11 points apiece to round out the leading scorers.
The Minutemen went into halftime with a 35-31 lead thanks to eight points from both Morgan and Carter.
UMass started the second half with a 7-0 run to go up 42-31 after a Raphiael Putney dunk with 17:11 to go. The Minutemen held the Spiders without a field goal for nearly the first six minutes of the second half, however, Richmond did hit 7-of-9 free throws.
After the Minutemen went up by 12 points at the 15:45 mark, the Spiders put together an 13-3 run over the next four minutes, 30 seconds to pull within two points, 49-47.
UMass extended that lead to seven points before Martel hit a three-pointer to keep the Spiders within three. Morgan answered with his three-pointer from the corner with 6:53 to spark the Minutemen’s run closing out the game.
Both teams traded baskets early in the first half with UMass able to build a pair of seven-point leads midway through including a 19-12 advantage with 9:57 to go on a Morgan jumper.
The Spiders tied the game 23-23 on a Garrett dunk, but he was called for a technical foul after hanging on the rim. Williams converted a pair of free throws and then hit back-to-back field goals as UMass stretched its lead back to six, 29-23, with five minutes left in the half.
With 54 seconds left in the half, a pair of Kendall Anthony free throws cut the lead back to one, 32-31, but a Javorn Farrell three pointer pushed the Minutemen back on top by four at the intermission.
The Minutemen finished the game shooting 28-of-58 (48.3%) and hit 19-of-22 free throws. Included in the impressive shooting from the charity stripe was a 10-for-10 effort from Williams. He has now hit 32 consecutive which ties the UMass record for consecutive free throws in a season against conference opponents (Donta Bright, 1996).
Richmond shot just 32.3% (20-of-62) for the game, but hit 24-of-32 free throws. UMass held the Spiders to just 4-of-24 shooting from behind the arc and out-rebounded Richmond 43-to-33 for the game.