UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — David Caraher scored 17 points to lead St. John’s to a 78-63 victory over Massachusetts Sunday in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off consolation game.
After trailing for the first time all season at the half, the Red Storm (5-2) dominated the final 11 minutes of play to avoid losing to their second mid-major school of the season.
Josh Roberts scored 16 points with eight rebounds, while Julian Champagnie had 12 points for St. John’s.
T.J. Weeeks led UMass (5-2) with 19 points, Tre Mitchell added 14 and Keon Clergeot chipped in with 11. The Minutemen committed a season-high 17 turnovers, which St. John’s converted into 23 points.
UMass took a 53-48 lead on a three-point play by Mitchell with 10:54 remaining, but St. John’s stormed back with a 13-0 run, led by five points from Champagnie, to take a 61-53 lead with 7:06 left.
The Red Storm did it with second-leading scorer Mustapha Heron on the bench with four fouls. Heron took a seat after picking up his second straight offensive foul with 15:50 left in the half and didn’t return.
Weeks scored 17 first-half points to give UMass a 38-37 lead. The Minutemen made just two field goals in the final five minutes of the half — 3-pointers from Clergeot and Mitchell — but went 4-for-4 from the foul line. Weeks made a pair with 31 seconds left to give them the halftime lead.
A three-point play by Rasheem Dunn gave St. John’s a 31-25 lead with just inside six minutes to play but were outscored 13-6 from there. Roberts had a team-high eight points in the half for the Red Storm.
UMASS: After averaging 78.4 points during a five-game winning streak to start the season, the Minutemen have struggled for points in two straight losses, averaging just 54.5 per game.
St. John’s: For the third straight season, the Red Storm finished third or better in an early-season tournament with the consolation game victory.
UMASS: The Minutemen continue their stretch against major programs with a Friday trip to Rutgers.
St. John’s: The Red Storm return to New York where they have five straight home games, starting with Wagner on Saturday.
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