AMHERST, Mass. - Senior forward Stephane Lasme (Libreville, Gabon) became the 23rd player in NCAA history to post multiple triple-double performances in one season as he scored 23 points, hauled in 15 rebounds and blocked 11 shots to lead UMass to a 91-84 win over Atlantic 10 rival George Washington in the Mullins Center on Wednesday night. The Minutemen led by as many as 17 points in the second half before the Colonials went on a 20-to-4 run to pull back into the game.
The Minutemen improve to 12-4 overall, 2-0 in the Atlantic 10, while George Washington falls to 10-4 overall, 1-1 in the league. The win snapped an 18-game Atlantic 10 winning streak dating back to the 2004-05 season.
Lasme was UMass' go-to man in the second half as he had 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 blocked shots in the frame. Senior Rashaun Freeman (Schenectady, N.Y.) scored 21 points, while Gary Forbes (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored 16 and James Life (Fort Myers, Fla.) scored 11 to round out the box score. Forbes hit a career-best 10-for-12 from the free throw line on the night.
Along with just becoming the 23rd player in NCAA history to post multiple triple-doubles in one season, he also became the first player in UMass history to accomplish the feat. Lasme joins several great names in NCAA and NBA history such as Shaquille O'Neal, David Robinson, Jason Kidd, and Penny Hardaway.
After leading by nine points at halftime and going on a 11-to-3 run to start the second half, UMass led by 17 points when Life nailed a three-pointer from the right wing.
Cheyenne Moore drilled a three-pointer from the left wing to cap a 20-to-4 run for cutting the lead to one-point, 60-59, with 9:04 remaining. George Washington was paced in the run by six points from Maureece Rice and four points from Carl Elliott. Rice finished as the game's leading scorer with 30 points, while Elliott ended the night with 19 points.
The Minutemen extended their lead back to eight, 69-61, with 6:35 to play before the Colonials once again rallied to pull back within one point. Rice scored consecutive buckets before Carl Elliott hit a jumper to make the UMass lead 72-71 with 4:30 remaining.
The two teams nipped and tucked until the final minute as UMass was able to hold the Colonials at bay. The Minutemen shot well from the free throw line in the clutch once again hitting 8-for-10 from the stripe in the final 57 seconds.
UMass held firm control of the first half taking a 45-36 lead at intermission after shooting 57 percent from the field. Freeman tallied 13 points in the frame while Lasme, Brower and Life each scored eight.
The Minutemen started the game on a 19-to-8 run with Brower scoring all eight of his points in that stretch keyed by two three pointers. UMass hit seven of its first 10 shots in that run while holding the Colonials to just 4-for-13 from the field. George Washington finished the half shooting just 33 percent (12-of-36).
Lasme gave UMass its largest lead of the half, 41-27, on a lay-up with 4:37 to go in the period. The Colonials then went on a 7-0 run to pull within seven, 41-34. Lasme hit two free throws and then threw down a two-handed dunk to end the Minutemen's nearly four-minute scoreless drought.
UMass finished the game shooting 58.8 percent hitting 30-of-51 shots, while the Colonials shot just 39 percent (30-for-77). In the second half despite the big George Washington run, UMass shot nearly 62 percent from the field and over 70 percent from the free throw line (26-for-38 for the game).
- UMASS Media Relations -