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May 8, 2017

Notebook: Jack Gibbs stars as UMass men’s basketball team drops game to Davidson Saturday

(Robert Rigo/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts men’s basketball team had its hands full when it welcomed Davidson to Mullins Center Saturday afternoon.

Jack Gibbs and Peyton Aldridge have been two of the Atlantic 10’s best scorers this season and it showed in the Wildcats (14-11, 7-7 Atlantic 10) 79-74 victory over UMass (13-14, 3-11 A-10).

Along with putting up 32 points, Gibbs often took the momentum out of the Minutemen’s hands. A 15-4 UMass run—which lasted for five minutes, eight seconds in the first half and eventually resulted in the score being tied at 26—was abruptly ended almost solely by Gibbs.

The Wildcats responded to the Minutemen’s efforts to tie the game by immediately going on an 8-2 run. All eight of the points were scored by Gibbs who hit two 3-pointers over the two-minute stretch.

“It reminded me of last year where he did the same exact thing,” Kellogg said of Gibbs’ 32 point performance. “He made two or three that were like probably bad shots that are good shots when they go in.”

Close game late

UMass would ultimately fall despite making a comeback effort in the final minutes of the game.

Davidson led by as much as nine with less than two minutes remaining in the game. However, with the lead cut to four with 44 seconds left, the Minutemen turned the ball over twice, once by Anderson and then again by Jarreau, in a span of 10 seconds which brought the Wildcats lead back up to seven.

Jarreau would finish the game with eight turnovers, once again the UMass-high.

“I had (eight) turnovers and it was all crazy turnovers trying to make the homerun play instead of just trying to chip away a little by little,” Jarreau said. “So I just have to get better at that and just keep playing my game and trying to run a team and match my coach’s intensity so we can start trying to turn this thing around.”

“We had a couple of turnovers in that last 25 seconds that kind of took the game from our hands,” Kellogg said. “All and all, I thought it was a pretty good basketball game.”

The loss comes only a few days after the Minutemen were beaten by Duquesne by 30 points. This is the first time all season that UMass had fallen below the .500 mark which affects how the positives from the Davidson game are viewed.

“If our record wasn’t where it is, I kind of would be more like ‘hey, it’s a decent college basketball game,’” Kellogg said. “I thought our guys competed, I think the win column is where we need to get something done.”

“A loss is a loss. Whether you lose by 40 or you lose by 2 so that hurts,” junior forward Seth Berger said. “But there are some bright sides and we obviously improved but like I said there’s still and L in that column so.”

Berger played 21 minutes and scored 16 points, one point shy of a career high.

UMass will travel to George Washington Thursday to take on the Colonials. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. at Smith Center.

Philip Sanzo cane be reached at psanzo@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Philip_Sanzo.

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