Dec. 10, 2008
AMHERST, Mass. - UMass guard Ricky Harris scored 23 points to lead the Minutemen to a 73-59 victory over the Holy Cross men's basketball team on Wednesday evening at the Mullins Center in non-conference action. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 3-7 overall, while the Minutemen improve to 2-6 overall.
After sophomore guard Andrew Beinert (Floral Park, N.Y.) opened the game with a three- pointer, the Minutemen went on an 8-0 run to jump out to an 8-3 lead. With UMass leading 15-7 with 15:02 on the clock, Holy Cross scored nine straight points to move out to a 16-15 advantage. The Minutemen were back in front 21-20 a few minutes later, when the Crusaders went on a 9-0 run, ending in a three-pointer by senior forward Colin Cunningham (Memphis, Tenn.) to take a 29-21 lead with 4:43 left in the half. UMass concluded the half by outscoring Holy Cross by an 8-3 margin as the Crusaders brought a 32-29 advantage into the locker room.
Holy Cross scored the first four points of the second half with layups by Evans and junior forward Eric Meister (Boalsburg, Pa.) to increase its lead to 36-29, but the Minutemen answered with seven straight points to tie the game at 36-36. With the Crusaders leading 45-43, UMass took the lead for good with a three pointer by Harris which started a 10-0 run and gave the Minutemen a 53-45 advantage. UMass extended its lead to 19 points at 73-54 with 2:25 left on the clock and went on for the 73-59 victory.
Freshman guard R.J. Evans (Salem, Conn.) led the Crusaders as he tied a career-best with 17 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Freshman guard Devin Brown (Randallstown, Md.) had 14 points, while sophomore forward Andrew Keister (Galloway, N.J.) chipped in with 10 points.
After a 12-day break, the Crusaders will return to action when they travel to Ohio on Dec. 22. Next, Holy Cross comes home for a pair of games between Christmas and New Year's Day, playing host to San Francisco on Dec. 27 and Siena on Dec. 30. The Crusaders will then conclude their non-conference schedule with a pair of road contests, traveling to Boston University on Jan. 2 and Central Florida on Jan. 6.