Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass men’s basketball falls to St. Bonaventure 88-77

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Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

For the first 11 minutes, 33 seconds it looked like the Massachusetts men’s basketball team and St. Bonaventure were headed for another closely contested, back-and-forth Atlantic 10 matchup.

Then Trey Davis was forced to heave up a desperation 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down and landed awkwardly on the foot of a Bonnies defender and limped off to the locker room. That’s when things went south for UMass (8-6, 1-2 A-10).

Despite returning to floor just 6:02 later, the Minutemen couldn’t regroup themselves as a unit as they dropped their second consecutive A-10 game, falling to SBU (11-3, 3-0 A-10) 88-77 at Mullins Center.

After Davis left the floor, UMass missed its next eights shots as the Bonnies watched a three-point deficit turn into a five-point lead heading into halftime after freshman guard Jaylen Adams sunk a pair of free throws and watched a 3-point shot rattle home in the final minute of the half.

SBU started the second half on a 9-1 run before eventually extending its lead to 54-41 at the under-16 minute media timeout.

The Minutemen came within single digits of the Bonnies on three separate occasions in the second half, but couldn’t string enough together offensively to come within striking distance.

SBU finished shooting 28-of-47 (59.6 percent) from the field and 10-of-18 from 3-point range, leading by as many as 19 in the second half.

“They outplayed us,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “They executed better on the offensive end of the floor.”

He added: “I thought that our effort, energy and intensity was a little bit better at different junctures, but as a whole for 40 minutes they played better basketball at both ends of the floor. We can’t do it for a certain amount of time, it’s not good enough in this league against the teams we are starting to play.”

UMass finished shooting 29-of-66 from the field and four-of-22 from 3. Donte Clark finished with a team-high 25 points, as he did the bulk of the scoring after Davis went down.

The Bonnies had five players score in double figures with Adams leading the way with 24 points and eight assists. Dion Wright finished with 19 points as the Minutemen struggled to contain him inside.

“They’re a good team and I thought (Jaylen) Adams did a good job controlling tempo, dominating the game,” Kellogg said.

“We were 15-for-23 from the free throw line, 4-of-22 from 3, and they go 56 percent (3-point field goal percentage) and 88 percent (free throw percentage). That kind of tells it right there.”

Tyler Bergantino made his first career start in 96 games for UMass, finishing with 13 points and five rebounds in 29 minutes played. Neither freshmen Rashaan Holloway – who’s started every other game this season – nor Malik Hines played a minute for the Minutemen Saturday.

“We’ve struggled some of our starts and I think Tyler’s more schooled in what we’re trying to do. Those guys are still coming along a little slower than I would like. And then the matchups, the way they played out, I went with a couple different lineups. When they went small, it was hard for Rashaan and Malik to get out there,” Kellogg said.

Davis, who finished shooting 2-for-12 from the field and 1-of-8 from 3, received treatment to his ankle after the game and wasn’t available to speak to the media.

Kellogg said that he expects Davis to play moving forward, although he wasn’t certain of his prognosis after the game. Kellogg also noted that Davis has had previous surgery on that same foot.

“Well, he was 2-for-12, so I’m not sure,” Kellogg said of Davis’ effectiveness playing through the injury.

“I thought he was okay. It wasn’t one of his better performances. He contributed to the 4-for-22 from 3. I thought he had a couple open looks that might have given us a little push that didn’t go in. When that happens and then they go down and make the same shot, then you know the game’s over as a coach.”

Andrew Cyr can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.

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