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UMass rallies, but can’t hold late lead in 65-62 loss to Saint Louis



Thursday, January 10, 2019

ST. LOUIS — Hasahn French scored a career-high 25 points, Tramaine Isabell Jr. added 17, including two late free throws, as Saint Louis held off UMass 65-62 on Wednesday night.

The Billikens led by as many as 11 points in the second half, but Luwane Pipkins scored all nine points during a 9-2 surge to give UMass a 62-61 lead with eight seconds left. Jordan Goodwin and Isabell each made a pair of free throws and Pipkins missed a potential game-tying 3 in the final seconds.

“We battled and battled right down to the end,” UMass coach Matt McCall said. “Pip had a clean look there, the ball just sometimes doesn’t go in the basket.”

Saint Louis (11-4, 2-0 Atlantic 10) has won four of its last five games and is 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 2014. French, who averages 7.1 points and 7.9 rebounds and is coming off consecutive double-doubles, was 9 of 14 shooting with six rebounds, three steals and three blocks against UMass (7-8, 0-2). Isabell added seven rebounds and seven assists.

Pipkins was 8 of 10 from the line and finished with 18 points, but he missed all four 3-point attempts.

“He just hasn’t gotten into a rhythm from behind the 3-point line,” McCall said. “We have to look at the shots he’s taking, see if we can’t get him some better looks there. The ball will start to go in the net for him.”

Rashaan Holloway added 12 points and Carl Pierre had 10 for the Minutemen.

Freshman Samba Diallo had nine points on 4 of 5 shooting with a team-high 12 rebounds in 25 minutes.

“I continue to be very proud of him,” McCall said of Diallo. “His development and energy, the life he brings to the program and just every day he comes to the gym and works.”

UMass’ second-leading scorer, forward Jonathan Laurent, did not play. He injured an ankle in practice on Tuesday. Laurent (11.8 ppg) leads the conference in 3-pointer shooting percentage (50 percent).

Two first-half fouls, including one flagrant, sent Holloway to the bench. He had six points on 3-for-3 shooting in 6 minutes of action.