With 26 seconds to go in the game, Cady Lalanne went up for an easy shot in the paint. He was stripped on the way up and Denzel Gregg held on the ball for a jumpball. With the Bonnies up 53-52, it seemed like the game was over.
Then Derrick Gordon showed why he is UMass' premier defender, forcing an Andell Cumberbatch turnover. What happened next may have well saved the Massachusetts Minutemen's season.
Jabarie Hinds, the erretic sixth man, swished a three with 8.6 secounds left. Hinds usually picks a small stretch of the game to take over. Thank god for UMass that he choose those few seconds to unleash.
The building that had been so rowdy since that 18-5 run to begin the secound half. Cumberbatch had a shot to win it but missed and Ndoye couldn't hit the put back.
This game was full of ugly offense and that was represented in the turnover numbers. UMass committed 20 in total, including five from both Cady Lalanne and Maxie Esho. Donte Clark did his best to tie them with four of his own. The Bonnies were just behind them with 15 and their big man, Youssou Ndoye had five also.
Ndoye was rendered useless on offense as the Minutemen consistently double teamed him and never gave him an easy look. He finished with just four points and seven rebounds. A far cry from his performance last time these teams met.
The first half went exactly as UMass had planned. They shut down Marcus Posley, only had two points that came with four seconds left in the half, and contained Ndoye. Despite ten first half turnovers, the Mintuemen were able to have a 30-23 lead.
That was quickly erased when St. Bona went on that 18-5 run that lasted until the secound media timeout. The Bonnies held onto a two possession lead for almost the rest of the game and looked to be poised to fend off UMass.
Here's one explanation for the Bonnies spark in play.
Marcus Posley ate a Snickers at halftime.— Daniel Malone (@Daniel_Malone) February 12, 2015
The tide seemed to turn though when Lalanne got a very rare offensive rebound and hit the second chance points. UMass then would steal the ball two times in under two minutes as the Bonnies froze up under pressure. Posley must of used up all his heroics last week. He would finish the game as the Bonnies leading scorer with 13 points and six boards.
Despite all of the turnovers, UMass shot the ball quite well. Shooting 46.3 percent from the floor and 83.3 percent from the free throw line certainly help to combat 20 turnovers. Their struggles from deep continued though, going just 2-9. St. Bona struggled much more from the field with just 36.7 percent and more amazingly, only shot 8 free throws.
The Bonnies did have the advantage on the offensive glass. With 12 offenisve boards, they dwarfted the Minuteman's effort of four. UMass did have more total rebounds (32) than the Bonnies (31) but the lack of second chance oppurtunities almost cost UMass the game.
Niether Lalanne nor Maxie Esho had the games that they wanted to have. Cady scored 10 points but had as many rebounds as turnovers (5). He faced more or less the same defense that Ndoye did and really struggled with holding on the ball. Esho scored just seven points and grabbed four rebounds.
It's not often Trey Davis plays the best but today he did. He led the team in scoring with 12 points adding three assists, two steals and most importantly one turnover. He was the rare Minuteman who was reliable with the ball.
But the play of the game goes to Jabarie Hinds. That game winner gave him seven points on 3-5 shooting. We will no doubt be seeing Hinds continue to play at the end of games where it counts after this.
UMass is now 15-9 (8-3) and is curretnly in a four way tie for first place in the A-10 with a URI and VCU loss today. UMass now controls their own fate and could be playing their way back into the NCAA bubble watch. They will have a possible trap game coming up with Duquesene at home on Saturday.
St. Bonaventure on the other hand drops to 6-5 in the conference but is only two games out.
|Points||T. Davis (12)||M. Posley (13)|
|Rebounds||D. Gordon (8)||D. Wright (8)|
|Assists||T. Davis (3)||J. Adams (4)|
|Blocks||D. Clark (2)||Y. Ndoye (2)|
|Steals||Three tied (2)||D. Wright (2)|