Davis lifts No. 19 UMass over Bonnies 73-68
AMHERST, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts coach Derek Kellogg is going to have to keep coming up with new phrases if his team continues to rally.
Three days after overcoming a late deficit, Trey Davis rebounded from a poor shooting game by nailing a pair of key baskets in the closing two minutes as the No. 19 Minutemen stormed back for a 73-68 win over St. Bonaventure on Saturday.
After UMass overcame a late nine-point deficit for a win against Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday, Kellogg praised his team’s “will to win.”
“I think we might stick with that one,” he said, smiling as he headed out to get ready for the school’s annual alumni game. “It was more gut-check time tonight. (St. Bonaventure) really had everything going. They had the flow they wanted and were playing really well. I thought our guys had to really dig down inside and make some plays.”
Raphiael Putney led the Minutemen (14-1, 2-0 Atlantic-10) with 17 points and eight rebounds. Cady Lalanne scored 16 and Davis finished with eight.
UMass point guard Chaz Williams, the team’s leading scorer, missed 6 of 7 shots and finished with eight points and nine assists.
“We’re trying to stand our ground as much as possible and be ready for whatever is thrown at us,” Williams said. “We know it’s not going to be easy. Today we got down on ourselves early and had to play comeback. That’s not how we want to play, but, fortunately, an ugly win is a great win.”
Charlon Kloof led St. Bonaventure (11-5, 1-1) with 15 points and seven assists, and Youssou Ndoye scored 11.
The Bonnies lost their 23rd straight game against a ranked team, with the last win coming against then-No. 20 Temple on Jan. 15, 2000.
“I think we did a lot of the things we wanted to do. I thought we did a good job on Williams and competed on the backboard,” Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt said. “The thing that hurt us was turnovers. We wanted to keep it under 12 and we had 20. Against UMass, out on the open court, that’s what hurts you.”
With UMass trailing by four, Davis, who missed eight of his initial nine shots in the game, banked in a shot off a drive down the lane and nailed a long 3, pushing the Minutemen ahead 69-68 with 1:12 to play.
Williams hit two free throws with 10 seconds left and Putney sealed it with one from the line.
UMass trailed by 13 with just under 10 minutes to play and the Bonnies became conservative offensively, running the shot clock down before taking tough long-range jumpers over the next few minutes.
“I think their initial game plan was let’s attack the press. They do a good job against us,” Kellogg said. “At the end, I think they were a little apprehensive of which way they wanted to go with it.”
Despite his shooting woes, Williams started to take control, setting up Putney and Lalanne for easy baskets during a 12-3 run that closed it to 63-59 on Putney’s short bank shot with 4:53 to go.
St. Bonaventure maintained a two-possession lead until Putney’s conventional 3-point play narrowed it to 67-64 with 2:42 to play. Ndoye had a free throw for the Bonnies before Davis hit his two baskets.
The Minutemen entered the week with their highest ranking in the AP Top 25 since 1998.
The Bonnies, who led by seven at the half, scored 11 of the initial 16 points in the second half, taking a 43-30 lead on Matthew Wright’s short jumper in the lane with 16 1/2 minutes to play.
Sampson Carter scored consecutive baskets for the Minutemen, the second shot a 3-pointer that closed it to eight. But St. Bonaventure went on an 11-6 spree, opening it to 54-41 on Kloof’s back-to-back foul-line jumpers with just over 12 minutes left.
In the first half, both teams started slowly in an opening few minutes filled with sloppy passing, bad ball handling and poor outside shooting before the Bonnies went on an 11-1 run late in the half en route to their 32-25 edge at intermission.
Late in the half, the Minutemen had as many turnovers (13) as missed shots (5 of 18).
Kloof started St. Bonaventure’s run by splitting UMass’ fullcourt press and driving down the middle for a layup. He added a pair of free throws in the spree before Jordan Gathers capped it with a 3-pointer from the right wing.
UMass went nearly seven minutes with a field goal late in the half, but went to the locker room with a bit of momentum after Carter nailed a 3 at the buzzer.