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UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64

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(Jong Man Kim/Daily Collegian)

While it is not time to hit the panic button just yet on the Massachusetts men’s basketball season, the gauntlet of Atlantic 10 games to start conference play hasn’t done the Minutemen any favors.

For a half, UMass (10-6, 0-3 A-10) looked like it was capable of going toe to toe against one of the A-10’s top contenders in Virginia Commonwealth. The Rams (13-3, 3-0 A-10) and Minutemen went back and forth exchanging leads, but that’s when VCU’s experience took over.

The Rams’ lead ballooned to as much as 19 points in the second half and played on cruise control for the final 20 minutes as UMass fell 81-64 at the Siegal Center in Richmond, Virginia, giving the Minutemen their third straight loss to open A-10 play.

Rashaan Holloway was one of the few bright spots for UMass Saturday finishing with 22 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, all of which are new career highs just days after posting his first career double-double against George Mason.

The two teams exchanged leads five times in the first half with neither the the Minutemen nor VCU leading by more than six points in the first 20 minutes. However, after Holloway’s layup with four minutes, 50 seconds left, UMass failed to convert a field goal until DeJon Jarreau’s layup to beat the buzzer at the end of the half sent the Rams into the locker room with a 33-29 lead.

After scoring the Minutemen’s first eight points to open the second half, Holloway was forced to take a seat on the bench after picking up his third fouled 3:15 into the frame. With Holloway on the bench, VCU extended its lead to 11.

UMass’ backcourt – and main scoring options – struggled to find any sort of rhythm as Jarreau, Donte Clark and Luwane Pipkins combined for just 10 points on 3-for-22 shooting.

Outside of Holloway’s 22, C.J. Anderson was the only other UMass in double digits finishing with 12 points off the bench. Zach Lewis added nine points off the bench to go along with Ty Flowers’ seven.

Despite being held scoreless in the first half, JeQuan Lewis led all Rams scorers with 17 points including four 3-pointers. Doug Brooks (14 points), Jonathan Williams (12) and Justin Tillman (12) all notched double figures as the VCU won its seventh straight game.

The Minutemen struggled to contain the Rams as they out-rebounded UMass 45-32, including a 15-7 edge in offensive rebounds.

UMass returns back home to Mullins Center Wednesday night to host Dayton. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

Andrew Cyr can be reached at arcyr@umass.edu, and followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.

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