Senior guard Matt Harris led UMass Lowell with 23 points. (Courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics)
The UMass Lowell men’s basketball team edged out a 76-73 victory over the Marist College Red Foxes Wednesday night at the Costello Athletic Center. Senior guard Matt Harris led the River Hawks with 23 points.
“We were led by our two seniors tonight, no question about it,” said UMass Lowell head coach Pat Duquette.
UMass Lowell found themselves clinging to a single-digit lead for most of the first half. Entering the locker room for halftime, the River Hawks led 48-43 behind senior forward Jahad Thomas’ 15 points. Beyond the arc, Harris connected on four three-pointers in the first half, scoring 12 points.
Leading the way for Marist in the first twenty minutes of action was junior guard Brian Parker, who led all scorers with 16 points, finishing with 22. Meanwhile, junior forward David Knudsen chipped in 11 points and would go on to complete the game with 18 total.
The second half saw a similar stream of competition with the River Hawks’ lead dwindling and extending at different lengths. The defensive intensity of both teams increased significantly as time went on.
With 4:24 left in the second half, the River Hawks began to pull away following Harris’ seventh three-pointer of the contest and a key lay-up by Thomas. From there on out, the teams exchanged scores until 2.9 seconds remained with UMass Lowell leading Marist by one possession. Harris was able to evade defenders off of the inbound pass to secure the victory. The final score of 76-73 awarded UMass Lowell with the victory.
Harris finished the game with 23 points and Thomas added 21 of his own to compliment 17 rebounds and 8 assists. Junior forward Josh Gantz provided 11 points, including a critical three-pointer down the stretch.
UMass Lowell forced a total of 19 turnovers in the contest and after seeing Marist’s scoring shaved to 30 points in the second half following their first half performance of 43 total points, Duquette was pleased.
“[It was a] good win, I thought we were a little better defensively,” said Duquette. “I think we can go deeper in our roster and I believe that is how we’re going to get better this season.”
As a result, UMass Lowell improved to 2-1, while Marist dropped to 0-2. The River Hawks will host Cornell University at 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 19th.