February 24, 2008

Bona road struggles continue at UMass

Feb. 24, 2008

Final Stats |  AP Action Photos 

AMHERST, Mass. - UMass jumped out to a 19-point halftime lead and never looked back as it defeated St. Bonaventure 79-56 on Sunday afternoon at the Mullins Center.

Senior Gary Forbes led the Minutemen to their third-straight win with a game-high 18 points and a career-best 16 boards. Sophomore guards Ricky Harris and Chris Lowe chipped in with 14 and 11 points, respectively, as UMass improved to 18-9 overall and 7-6 in the Atlantic 10.

Despite four players in double figures, the Bonnies (7-19, 1-11) dropped their fifth in a row and 14th-straight road game, dating back to last season. Senior forward Michael Lee picked up his eighth double-double of the season with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Junior D'Lancy Carter added 11 points and eight rebounds in 25 minutes of work. Seniors Zarryon Fereti and Tyler Relph had 11 points and 10 points, respectively.

The Brown and White found themselves down 19, 40-21, at the break after a dismal offensive performance in the opening 20 minutes.

The opening eight minutes of the second half looked nothing like the first half, as St. Bonaventure ripped off a 19-5 run to cut the deficit down to five, 45-40, with 12:15 left.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Fereti and Lee quickly shifted the momentum in the visitor's favor as they started their charge back into the game. Both Lee and Fereti finished the run with six points, while Carter contributed three points and Relph a trifecta.

UMass' Harris then hit back-to-back three-pointers in a 27-second span, his only two of the game, to push the lead back up to nine, at 51-42 with 11:25 remaining.

Fereti cut the lead back to seven, 51-44, on the very next possession, but, again, it was Harris hitting his fourth consecutive field goal for UMass to jump start a game-clinching 10-1 run.

The Minutemen shot 44 percent (27-61) from the field and became the fifth consecutive team to make 10 or more three-pointers against the Bonnies. Once again, St. Bonaventure took care of the ball, evident by its 12 assists and nine turnovers, but was outscored 23-4 in bench points.

Bonaventure returns to Bob Lanier Court on Wednesday to take on Richmond for the second time this season. The Spiders won the first meeting earlier in the season in Richmond and are 7-5 in the A-10. Tip at the Reilly Center is slated for 7 p.m.

Game Notes
Senior Michael Lee jumped three spots into 14th place on the all-time rebound charts with 655 career boards ... hit 1,350 career points ... Lee also had his 15th career double-double ... moved into sole possession of fifth place on the all-time blocks list ... Lee tied a career-high with his 21st double figure game of the year and 67th of his career ... Zarryon Fereti played his 50th career game in the Brown and White ... moved into eighth place with 109 three-pointers ... grabbed his 100th rebound of the season and 150th of his career.