Did you ever watch LeBron James in high school? When he was playing at a different level and speed than the other nine guys on the court. That is what DeAndre Bembry was doing tonight for the Saint Josephs Hawks. He had a career high 33 points on 10-18 shooting from the floor and 3-4 from behind the arc. He also was a near perfect 10-11 from the charity stripe. Don't forget his 14 rebounds and four assists. The young man could do no wrong tonight as he repeatedly gashed the Minutemen defense.
Despite Bembry's performance, the Massachusetts Minutemen played a pretty competitive first half. They fell behind early as Chris Wilson had five quick points to give the Hawks a 12-8 lead. Wilson, battling an ankle injury, finished with 13 points (3-5 3PM).
Demetrius Dyson had other thoughts however as he hit back-to-back threes to give the Minutemen the lead. Dyson would score two more points in the half and finished with 12, making it two games in a row with double figures. He was just three shy of another double-double.
The UMass lead would get as high as seven after a Trey Davis three made it 22-15. The Hawks would storm back to cut it to single digits and finally take the lead when Aaron Brown hit a free throw with four seconds left in the half to give the Hawks a 36-35 advantage.
As the second half started Saint Joe's jumped out to a ten point lead after a 9-0 run and the Minutemen were never able to recover.
Cady Lalanne tried to pick up the slack scoring six straight points in the paint but to no avail. Not even a thunderous dunk by Demetrius Dyson could give UMass the energy they needed on the defensive end.
UMass was able to erode the lead to just one, but Bembry tossed their efforts back at them as he glided into the lane for six straight layups and boy did he make it look easy. He carved up Cady Lalanne and that Minutemen defense like your Uncle does at Thanksgiving.
In the end UMass lost to one man, DeAndre Bembry. He did whatever he wanted and Derek Kellogg either couldn't figure a game plan to stop him or the Minutemen just aren't that good defensively. I'd say the latter.
What also doesn't help is when your opponent goes 9-13 from deep. For those of you without a calculator that's 69.2 percent. UMass and Saint Joe's shot 73.1 from the free throw line. Let that sink in. UMass on the other hand was trying to build the yellow brick road as they put in a 6-24 effort.
The electric sixth man for UMass finally came back down to earth. Hines scored nine points but shot just 3-10 although he did hit a big three down the stretch. He also struggled with foul trouble.
Once again UMass out-rebounded their opponents by a good margin, 44-35. They even had 18 offensive rebounds! But when you shoot 33.8 percent from the field it doesn't matter how many second chances you get I guess.
Cady Lalanne once again had a double-double with 14 points and 13 boards. Even though he's putting up stats, when you watch him he has so many more chances to dominate. Defensively he didn't bring it especially in the last 10 minutes of the second half. A hard foul against Bembry would have been nice. Saint Joe's Isaiah Miles played Lalanne pretty well as he was second in points with 15.
Lalanne wasn't the only Minuteman to get a double-double. Trey Davis had 11 points and 10 assists. He ran the offense pretty well and had one of his better games with 3-7 three point shooting.
Donte Clark and Derrick Gordon on the other hand were a different story. Clark was the main brick layer with 2-11 shooting from the floor but did go 6-9 from the stripe. Gordon didn't even make a FG and finished with just three points. Not only that but he didn't record a steal. He made some hustle plays but Gordon is at the point where UMass needs more from him than that.
For UMass this was a crushing loss and very likely ended their NCAA tournament bid, sans a A-10 championship. UMass is now 16-12 (9-6) while the Hawks move up to 12-15 (6-9).
|Points||C. Lalanne (14)||D. Bembry (33)|
|Rebounds||C. Lalanne (13)||D. Bembry (14)|
|Assists||T. Davis (10)||D. Bembry (4)|
|Blocks||M. Esho (2)||J. Baumann (3)|
|Steals||T.Davis (4)||C. Wilson (4)|