Saint Joseph’s 81, Massachusetts 77
PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Ahmad Nivins had 20 points and 12 rebounds, Pat Calathes added 16 points and 10 rebounds and Saint Joseph’s held on to beat Massachusetts 81-77 on Wednesday night.
D.J. Rivera, Darrin Govens and Garrett Williamson added 11 points each as the Hawks (11-5, 3-1 Atlantic 10) won for the seventh time in eight games and the 10th time in 12 meetings against the Minutemen. The Hawks also beat the Minutemen 98-92 on Jan. 9.
Ricky Harris scored 30 points and Gary Forbes added 24 for Massachusetts (13-5, 2-2), which had its two-game winning streak snapped. Dante Milligan had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Harris hit a 3-pointer early in the second half that cut Saint Joseph’s lead to 30-19. Four Hawks scored in a 9-0 run and Saint Joseph’s extended its lead to 39-19 with 14:58 remaining.
Massachusetts got within 47-39 with 9:03 left, but the Hawks scored eight straight points to take a commanding 55-39 lead.
Massachusetts chipped away and closed within 77-71 with 25 seconds left on a steal and layup by Harris. A 3-pointer by Forbes with 3.5 seconds remaining closed the gap to 79-77. But Calathes hit two free throws to seal the victory.
The Minutemen shot 40 percent from the field and 8-for-26 from 3-point range. Saint Joseph’s was 39-of-54 from the free throw line, while the Minutemen went 9-for-18.
Saint Joseph’s led 29-16 at halftime. Both teams struggled from the field. The Hawks shot 28 percent (9-of-32), while the Minutemen shot 20 percent (7-of-35).
Massachusetts also misfired on all 10 of its 3-pointers and was outrebounded 29-24.
It was the lowest-scoring half for Massachusetts this season and the team’s fewest since a nine-point effort at Temple on Feb. 1, 2006. In that game, the Minutemen trailed 34-9 at halftime and wound up losing 76-47.