NGSC Sports

UMass Lowell gets win number two over Marist 76-73

After a season-opening loss on the road at Massachusetts, the Umass Lowell River Hawks have come home and won two in a row. Back by the Senior tandem of Matt Harris and Jahad Thomas who combined for 43 points, 21 rebounds as the River Hawks improved to 2-1 on the young season with a 76-73 win over Marist.

For Thomas, this was his opening game of the year after missing the first two due to injury. The leading scorer and rebounder from a year ago picked up right where he left off by getting a double-double of 21 points and 17 rebounds of which 10 were offensive. Asked about it after the game the senior said: ” the coach tells me all the time to crash the glass”. Harris was Mr. outside on Tuesday night, going 7-13, all from beyond the arc for a game-high 23 on the night. Harris credited his teammates with getting him open looks all night.

Head Coach Pat Duquette was real happy with how his team took great care of the basketball against a Marist team that the coach called really good. Only 11 turnovers on the night, two in the first half to go along with 19 assists on 24 made baskets. Good things will happen with numbers like those. And it does not hurt to hold your own on the glass, yes they were outrebounded 39-38 for the game, but they were a plus-five on the offensive board’s thanks in large part to Thomas.

This was a close game throughout and Marist would never have a lead in this game. The game was tied five times. The biggest lead for the River Hawks came in the first half when off a steal by Thomas Stefan Borovac score his only basket of the night a layup off a nice feed from Ryan Jones (five points, five assists) at the time it made the score 23-14 with 10 minutes left in the first half.

The River Hawks would keep the Red Foxes at bay for the rest of the first half, taking a 48- 43 lead with them into the locker room. Yes, Marist did shoot 48% in the half and had two players in double figures, Brian Parker 16 on his way to a game-high 22 and David Knudsen who tossed in 11 of his 18 for the game. But as Coach Duquette would later say, he thought his team played solid defense for the game.

In the second half, the Red Foxes had several chances to take the lead in this one. Every time it looked like they were poised to take the lead either a costly turnover or a bad shot denied them the opportunity. Parker hit a basket and got fouled in the process. He would miss the free throws but the Red Foxes were only down one 53-52 with plenty of time left in this one. Isaiah Lamb (11 points), took the ball to the basket and drew a foul on Umass Lowell Josh Gantz. He would complete the three-point play to again bring his team to within one at 56-55 Lowell with 12 minutes remaining in the game. With 10 minutes left a turnover by Thomas gave Marist a chance at the lead, but Lamb missed a layup then Thomas took ball back down court to lay it in himself to give the River Hawks a four point advantage 61- 57.

Marist would not stop fighting as they got to within one on a Tobias Sjoberg jumper with five and a half left, 63-61 Lowell. The River Hawks would put the game away on a Ryan Jones three, 74-67 Lowell. The Red Foxes went on a quick four-point run to again cut the lead to a one-possession game 74 to 71 with 29 seconds left. Harris made two free throws in the closing seconds to put the game away final score River Hawks 76 Marist 73.

For Marist, now 0-2 they head home to take on Army. UMass Lowell continues their six-game homestand Sunday against Cornell from the Ivy League.

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