UMass can’t keep up with St. Bonaventure as season ends in Atlantic 10 Tournament

  • UMass guard C.J. Anderson dunks against St. Joseph’s during the Atlantic 10 Tournament Wednesday, in Pittsburgh. UMass’ season came to an end on Thursday with a 73-60 loss to St. Bonaventure. AP

@MattVautourDHG
Published: 3/9/2017 8:45:45 PM

PITTSBURGH — The familiar collection of culprits that hampered UMass all season conspired one more time to finish off the 2016-17 campaign in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

A pair of 10-0 runs in the first half put the Minutemen in a hole they couldn’t climb out of as they fell 73-60, Thursday in the second round at PPG Paints Arena.

UMass, the No. 12 seed, closed its season at 15-18. Coach Derek Kellogg was fired after the game.

St. Bonaventure turned 16 turnovers into 19 points and converted 11 offensive rebounds for another 12 points.

UMass’ season-long 3-point shooting woes continued. The Minutemen shot 6-for-24, a number that was worse before Luwane Pipkins hit four 3s late.

On Saturday when UMass hung with the Bonnies, the Minutemen slowed down Jaylen Adams and Matt Mobley with an effective triangle-and-two. After that game, SBU coach Mark Schmidt said his team was fortunate to win without other player stepping up offensively.

Five days later they seemed to get the message. David Andoh (12 points) and Josh Ayeni (10 points) each gave the Bonnies an offensive lift in the first half, which helped open things for the guards.

“When they start making that baseline jumper and that elbow jumper, you know, we were kind of willing to give some of those up, but when seven in a row go in, all of a sudden you have to change what were trying to do, and I thought that affected us some,” said Kellogg in the postgame press conference before he’d been fired. “We started pressing a little bit offensively. And that’s been kind of a common theme at times when we get playing a little faster than we’d like or taking some tough shots.”

Mobley led SBU with 19 points, while Adams had 17 points, six assists and four rebounds.

UMass led 14-13 with 12 minutes, 31 seconds left in the first half after a jumper by Zach Lewis. But Andoh hit a jump shot to start a 10-0 run for the Bonnies that made it 23-14 with 9:13 left, putting the Minutemen back on their heels. Donte Clark and DeJon Jarreau kept UMass afloat for a while, but St. Bonaventure closed the half on another 10-0 to make it 44-26 at intermission.

The Bonnies kept control throughout the second half. Their lead peaked at 25 as they coasted to the finish line.

Jarreau was a rare bright spot for UMass. He had 13 points, seven assists (two turnovers) and five rebounds in the final game of his freshman season. Pipkins added a team-high 14 points.

Rashaan Holloway and Jarreau talked about their off season goals before they’d learned about Kellogg’s dismissal.

“We’ve got to learn how to mature on the court, you know, and guys like myself, we need to know how to dominate every game and come out with good energy and just learn how to win games in the second half,” Holloway said.

Jarreau said Adams and Mobley were players to try to emulate.

“I know this offseason, I’ve got to go and work hard so I can get to their level, try to match that,” he said. “So if I go and work hard, then I could be able to lead my team next year and we’ll be in a better place and not be up here after a loss.”

UMASS IN ATLANTIC 10 TOURNAMENT — Thursday’s loss dropped UMass to 37-36 all time in 41 appearances in the event.

The Minutemen have now lost two straight to the Bonnies in the tournament and are now 3-2 all time vs. St. Bonaventure.

MILESTONES — Clark’s seven points gave him 1,238 in his career with one year of eligibility left. He passed Al Skinner (1,235) to end the year at No. 22 on UMass’ career list. Pipkins’ one steal gave him 63 as a freshman, the sixth-best single-season total in school history.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage


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