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UMass Comes From Behind, Downs Northeastern on the Road

Dec. 4, 2012

Box Score

BOSTON – Jesse Morgan scored 12 of his 18 points in the final seven minutes of play as the UMass basketball team overcame a late second-half deficit to defeat Northeastern 72-66 on Tuesday evening at Matthews Arena. After Morgan’s fourth three-pointer of the game tied the game 62-62 with just over three minutes to go, the Minutemen received timely baskets from Chaz Williams and Sampson Carter before hitting six consecutive free throws to seal the win.

The Minutemen improve to 4-3 overall and will be off until hosting Elon on December 15 at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield for the 2012 Holiday Showcase.

Morgan and Williams each finished with a game-high 18 points, while Carter netted 14 thanks in part to an 8-for-10 effort at the free throw line.

Northeastern (4-4) was led by four players in double-figures highlighted by Reggie Spencer’s 15 points. Quincy Ford (14 points), Demetrius Pollard (12) and Joel Smith (10) rounded out the Huskies high scorers.

The back-and-forth game featured seven ties and 11 lead changes until Williams’ fast-break lay-up with just under two minutes to go gave the Minutemen the lead for go. UMass closed out the game on a 10-4 run.

The first half was a back-and-forth affair with the Minutemen leading by as many as seven, 18-11, following a Vinson three-pointer with 11:20 left in the half. The Huskies put together an 8-0 run to take a 19-18 at the 8:53 mark. From that point on, the half saw three lead changes and three ties with a Williams’ three-pointer with 45 seconds left giving UMass the 30-29 lead at the break.

Coming out of the intermission, UMass put together a quick 7-0 run to go up 37-29 just under two minutes into the second half. Back-to-back Northeastern turnovers in that stretch led to a Raphiael Putney break-away dunk and a Williams three-pointer in transition.

Like the first half, the Huskies continued to trade punches with the Minutemen and put together their own 8-0 run following the first media timeout. After Northeastern tied the game 39-39 with 13:58 to go, UMass managed to stretch the lead back to six, 45-39. Chaz Williamshit a lay-up and free throw to convert a three-point play with 12:15 left in the half.

The teams traded baskets, lead changes and ties for the next six minutes until a Ford three-pointer for Northeastern sparked a 9-3 run giving the Huskies a 61-55 lead at the 4:24 mark.

Morgan’s fourth consecutive three-pointer in that stretch proved the back-breaker as it brought the Minutemen back even with Northeastern 62-62 with 3:05 left in the game.

Williams hit a fast-break lay-up and Carter tipped in a Maxie Esho miss extending the UMass lead to 66-62. A pair of Williams free throws followed by four straight from Carter down the stretch sealed the win.

The Huskies missed five straight shots in the final 36 seconds before Ford’s lay-up at the buzzer gave the final score.

UMass shot 47 percent from the floor (24-of-51), while Northeastern hit 35 percent (24-of-68) of its shots). The Minutemen hit four more three-pointers (7) than the Huskies with Morgan’s four consecutive in the second half making the difference in the game.

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