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UMass men’s basketball loses to St. Bonaventure at the buzzer

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(Sam Anderson/Daily Collegian)

When Massachusetts guard Donte Clark released the final shot of UMass’ game against St. Bonaventure Saturday evening, despite watching the ball swish through the net, he didn’t have a good feeling about it.

With the Minutemen (12-16, 5-11 Atlantic 10) trailing by two with 4.6 seconds remaining, they executed a perfect play as Jabarie Hinds found Clark open in front of the UMass bench to attempt the game-winning three-point shot.

However Bonnies (20-7, 12-4 A-10) guard Dion Wright was quick to close out on Clark, forcing him to shot fake and take a dribble before resetting his feet to get off the clean look. The basket went in, however when the refs went to review the shot at the monitor, it was clear his shot was not off in time as St. Bonaventure walked away with a 85-83 win at Reilly Center.

“I kind of figured that I didn’t get it off in time,” Clark said to reporters after Saturday’s game.

“I don’t know, I couldn’t tell you honestly. I knew he was going to jump so I just tried to shot fake him,” Clark added about the shot.

Hinds, who finished with 25 points on 8-for-12 shooting off the bench, had the perfect view of the shot. Hinds played hero last year in Olean, New York when he hit a game-winning 3-pointer with eight seconds remaining to beat the Bonnies 55-53 last year on the road.

“Yeah, I knew it wasn’t good. I saw it in his hand and I saw the red buzzer go off so that’s why I knew they were going to call it off. It was a good look, just a split second less and we would have hit another game-winner, back-to-back years, but it fell short.”

The Minutemen got off to one of their best starts of the season, shooting 18-of-27 (66.7 percent) from the field, including eight 3-pointers.

Trey Davis (game-high 26 points) drilled a 3-pointer with 3:57 remaining in the first half to give UMass an 18-point before leading 45-35 at halftime.

“They missed some shots. We were playing some percentages on a few guys. That hit them a little bit. I thought we did a nice job of throwing some punches at them. They got a couple offensive rebounds when we were in that stretch that cut it to 15, then 12 and then at halftime made it 10,” Minutemen coach Derek Kellogg told reporters after the game

“I didn’t think, with what they were playing for and the crowd they had and the guys that they have on the team, that they were going to go away. That wasn’t happening,” Kellogg added.

After exchanging blows for the entirety of the second half, UMass extended its lead to 79-74 with 3:32 remaining after Davis hit a 3-pointer off of a Hinds assist. However St. Bonaventure answered right back with a 3-pointer from Idris Taqqee (19 points) and a pair of free throws from Jaylen Adams (14 points) to tie the game at 79.

Marcus Posley led all Bonnies scorers with 22 points and also added six assists on the day.

Aside from Davis and Hinds, Rashaan Holloway was the only other Minutemen who finished in double figures, scoring 10 points off the bench in 22 minutes.

“My team, they trusted me today and saw that I was confident with the ball. They saw that I came ready to play. I had energy off the bench and they were working with me. They gave me the rock when I needed it, and they were behind me 100 percent,” Holloway said.

UMass next travels to Rhode Island this Thursday to take on the Rams. As of Sunday, the Minutemen are currently in the bottom four of the A-10, meaning they would have to play in the play-in game Wednesday night in Brooklyn.

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

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