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 AMHERST, Mass. (AP) -Ricky Harris scored 15 points as Massachusetts pulled away in the second half for a 79-55 win over Central Connecticut State on Saturday night.
After struggling through a sloppy first half and taking a 34-33 halftime lead, UMass (9-2) opened the second half with a 13-4 run.
The surge was fueled by defense, as the Minutemen recorded 18 blocked shots, the most since they had 20 against West Virginia on Jan. 3. 1995.
The Blue Devils (4-8) shot just shot just 23 percent from the field in the second half (6-for-26) and were outscored 45-22.
Freshman Papa Lo led the Minutemen with six blocks, while Luke Bonner blocked four shots.
Etienne Brower had 13 points for the Minutemen, who have won four in a row, while Gary Forbes and Max Groebe had 11 each and Dante Milligan finished with 10. Forbes had a game-high eight rebounds.
Joe Seymore was the only Central Connecticut State player in double figures with 11 as the Minutemen held leading scorer Tristan Blackwood to just five points.
The Blue Devils led for much of the first half and had a 33-31 lead when Shemick Thompson's 3-pointer clanged off the rim and landed out of bounds with one second left.
But Seymore fouled Tony Gaffney before the ball was inbounded. Gaffney hit the first free throw and missed the second. Brower tipped the ball in as the buzzer sounded to put the Minutemen up 34-33.
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