PITTSBURGH -- C.J. Anderson scored 17 points, Zach Lewis added 14 and Massachusetts held off a late rally from St. Joseph's for a 70-63 victory in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament on Wednesday night.
No. 12 seed UMass (15-17) snapped a three-game skid and plays fifth-seeded St. Bonaventure in a Thursday quarterfinal. No. 13 seed St. Joseph's (11-20) lost ten of its last 11.
"This has been humbling, for all of us," St. Joe's head coach Phil Martelli said. "I don't think you can get better as a player until you're humbled. So you know, we'll start again. They go home for a week next week and then we'll start. And those that are humbled will get better."
Luwane Pipkins' 3-pointer stretched the Minutemen's lead to its largest of the game, 58-39, with about eight minutes left. But the Hawks rallied with a 24-6 run to pull to 66-63 with 14 seconds left. Lewis made a pair of free throws and forced a turnover, and Anderson sealed it with a dunk.
"They made some threes that we didn't anticipate and we had to change up our defensive look," Martelli said. "Then we got it tight, you know, our bugaboo all year has been foul shooting. We were 2 for 6 in a tight stretch at the end, could have made it a one-possession game a little earlier than we did."
"That's what we've been about all year, just battling, playing, segment by segment, just trying to grind," senior forward Brendan Casper said. "We got ourselves in a hole. We got ourselves out, but it wasn't enough."
Lewis surpassed 1,000 career points and Pipkins finished with 13.
James Demery scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead St. Joseph's.