Conger scores 22 as Bonnies edge UMass in A10 semi

TOM CANAVAN
The Associated Press
Conger scores 22 as Bonnies edge UMass in A10 semi
View photos
Massachusetts' Sean Carter, center, holds onto the ball as he is defended by St. Bonaventure's Da'Quan Cook (20) and Jordan Gathers (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament in Atlantic City, N.J., Saturday, March 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) Demitrius Conger had 22 points and 10 rebounds and St. Bonaventure advanced to the Atlantic 10 Conference championship game by holding off Massachusetts 84-80 on Saturday afternoon.

Conference player of the year Andrew Nicholson added 19 points for the fourth-seeded Bonnies (19-11), who are now a win away from advancing to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2000.

Massachusetts (22-11) rallied from a 16-point deficit with 7:29 to play and had a chance to take the lead in the closing seconds, only to see Raphiael Putney's high-arcing 3-pointer hit off the side of the rim with less than 2 seconds to play.

Matthew Wright hit two free throws to ice the game.

Terrell Vinson had 20 for UMass, which knocked off top-seeded Temple on Friday.