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Rams turned back

Another double-figure lead nearly got away for UMass Sunday before the Minutemen held on to edge Fordham, 77-73, in Atlantic 10 Conference men’s basketball at Rose Hill Gym in Bronx, N.Y.

UMass (11-4, 1-1 A-10) led 18-14 midway through the first half before putting on a 13-2 run to go up 31-16. The Minutemen led by 14 at halftime, 40-26, behind 16 points from Terrell Vinson and 10 by Chaz Williams.

Fordham closed to within five points at 58-53 with eight minutes to go, but UMass used 3-pointers by Vinson and Freddie Riley to take a 67-58 lead at the 4:12 mark. The Rams then scored seven straight points, the last three on a trey by Branden Frazier with two minutes left, to make it 67-65.

Cady Lalanne then tipped in a missed shot and Riley hit another 3-pointer with 34 seconds to play for a 72-67 UMass lead. Williams and freshman Trey Davis combined to make five free throws in the last 26 seconds, offsetting a 3-pointer and three foul shots by Frazier.

Williams led all scorers with 22 points, adding seven assists and six rebounds. Vinson scored 19 points, Davis had 12 coming off the bench and Riley ended with 11. Lalanne pulled down 11 rebounds, although UMass was dominated on the boards, 51-37. The Minutemen played their first game without junior guard and second-leading scorer Jesse Morgan, who sprained his right knee in Thursday’s loss at Saint Louis.

Frazier scored 21 points to pace Fordham (5-12, 1-1 A-10) while Chris Gaston filed a double-double with 20 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots. Ryan Canty also had 13 rebounds for the Rams and Mandell Thomas scored 10 points.

The teams met in New York for the first time since March 5, 2011, when Fordham broke a 41-game Atlantic 10 losing streak by defeating UMass by the same 77-73 score.

UMass hosts Duquesne (7-9, 0-2 A-10) Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Mullins Center, the first of a three-game homestand for the Minutemen.

Hockey blanked at PC

Jon Gillies stopped all 44 shots he faced Saturday night and Providence broke a scoreless tie late in the second period to go on to a 2-0 victory over UMass in Hockey East action at Schneider Arena in Providence.

The Friars (9-8-3, 7-4-2 HE) swept the weekend home-and-home series and took the regular-season series from the Minutemen, winning two of three.

Ross Mauermann gave the hosts a 1-0 lead at 18:13 of the second period, beating UMass goalie Steve Mastalerz (22 saves). Tim Schaller made it 2-0 for the Friars at 9:58 of the third.

The Minutemen outshot Providence 44-24, including a 21-4 advantage in the second period alone.

UMass (7-11-2, 4-8-1 HE) travels to Chestnut Hill Friday for a 7 p.m. game against No. 3-ranked and Hockey East leader Boston College (13-4-2, 10-3-1 HE).

Women take A-10 opener

Carolann Cloutier scored 13 points to lead four players in double figures Saturday as UMass slipped by George Washington, 62-58, in Atlantic 10 Conference women’s basketball at the Mullins Center.

The Minutewomen (3-13, 1-0 A-10) snapped their eight-game losing streak in winning their 2012-13 conference opener.

Emily Mital scored 11 points and Jasmine Watson and Aisha Rodney each had 10 for UMass. Rashida Timbilla added eight points, 11 rebounds and five steals.

UMass recovered from an early 7-1 deficit to take a 28-21 lead at halftime, then built it to as many as 15 points at 55-40 with just over five minutes left. GW rallied to within three, 59-56, before a clinching basket by UMass’ Nola Henry with 13 seconds to play.

Tara Booker and Danni Jackson each scored a game-high 14 points for the Colonials (6-9, 0-1 A-10).

The Minutewomen travel to Fordham Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game.

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