Rhode Island certainly made the Minutemen sweat, but UMass (22-5, 9-4) was able to pull out a 70-67 win over the Rams (12-17, 3-11) at home Wednesday evening.
UMass’ defense left something to be desired, allowing URI to shoot 50 percent from the floor, but the Minutemen were able to exercise an advantage at the free-throw line, sinking 21 of 31 attempts. URI only made 11 of 18 from the charity stripe.
UMass was also able to outrebound the Rams, 41-28.
The Minutemen led 31-30 at halftime, and by as many as nine during the second stanza. They coughed up the lead with less than five minutes to go, but managed to battle back and win it with some clutch free-throw shooting by Chaz Williams and Trey Davis.
Williams led the scoring for the Minutemen, knocking down 16 points, while URI’s Gilvydas Biruta managed 17 points and eight rebounds in defeat.
UMass goes on the road next to play a tough matinee against Dayton on
Saturday. (Set an alarm, tip is at t 11 a.m.)
Boston Univeristy (21-9, 14-3) was down by 10 at the half, but rallied bravely to beat Army (13-15, 9-8) in West Point Wednesday night 71-70.
John Papale came off the bench and led the assault with 19 points. Maurice Watson Jr. also had a good game, knocking down 16 points.
The Terriers started the second half with a 13-4 run, and eventually took a 58-53 lead with 7:30 to play.
The Black Knights responded by tying it up at 66 apiece with two minutes to go. Kyle Wilson, who had 20 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks in the game, played a crucial part in Army’s re-rally, sinking two straight layups to even the score.
But the Terriers did not buckle, and the duo of Papale and Watson Jr. were clutch at the free-throw line when it counted late in the game.
Breaking news: the Boston College Eagles still stink. In their second game since beating then-number one Syracuse, BC (7-21, 3-12) stunk it up again against Pittsburgh (21-7, 9-6), losing 66-59 at home.
This comes on the heels of an embarrassing 27-point loss to Miami on Saturday.
Pitt, which had lost three straight going into this game, took a nine point lead into the locker room at halftime, and coasted to an easy win against the hapless Eagles, who have now dropped seven of their last eight decisions.
Olivier Hanlan was a bright spot for BC; he had 25 points in the losing effort. Pitt’s Talib Zanna led all Panthers scorers with 21 points.