A strong second half pushed UMass past Saint Joseph’s, 72-69, Sunday evening.
When the Minutemen needed a bucket, Luwane Pipkins was there to deliver.
After being held to seven points in the opening frame, in which UMass trailed 37-25 after, the sophomore guard exploded for 20 in the final stanza.
|JOES (7-9, 2-3 A-10)||37||32||69|
|UMASS (10-8, 3-2)||25||47||72|
UMass drew even at the 5:34 mark of the second half via a Rayshawn Miller 3-pointer.
From there, it went on a 7-2 run – capped by a Pipkins layup – to push ahead 66-61 with 1:52 remaining.
After a pair of James Demery free throws drew the Hawks within one, 66-65, Markell Lodge sent Pipkins to the line with 35 ticks to go, and he converted on them both.
Shavar Newkirk drew Saint Joseph’s within two, 68-67, with 25 seconds remaining, but the Hawks were forced to foul, and Pipkins was the man to receive that foul. After he canned two from the charity stripe, UMass led 70-67.
However, Newkirk would connect on another layup drawing the Hawks within two, but Pipkins sealed the UMass win with two more three throws.
The Minutemen shot 63.0 percent in the second half en route to the victory.
Carl Pierre added 17 points for the Minutemen.
UMass hits the road to play Rhode Island (13-3, 5-0) Wednesday at 7 p.m.