BOSTON (WWLP) - Despite a huge second half from Boston native Anthony Gurley, in which he scored 20 of his game-high 22 points, UMass was held off by Boston College, 76-71, in the Boston Tip-Off Classic at the TD Garden on Saturday night. The loss was the Minutemen's first of the season, dropping them to 7-1, while the Eagles moved to 6-2.
After freshman point guard Daryl Traynham drew his third offensive foul of the game's closing minutes, Freddie Riley scored in the lane to pull UMass, who trailed by 11 at halftime, within three, 67-70 with 1:12 remaining, but a Josh Southern layup with 55 seconds left and a Joe Trapani (17 points) dunk with 35 seconds on the clock put the Eagles up seven, 74-67.
Gurley was the lone Minuteman in double-figures as Traynham and Riley each scored nine points, and Javorn Farrell and Terrell Vinson each added eight.
For the game, UMass shot 45.5 percent, including 3-for-16 from 3-point range. Boston College shot 50 percent from the floor and was 7-for-17 from behind the arc. The Minutemen held a slight edge on the glass, 34-33, and forced 22 Eagles turnovers.
The Minutemen pulled within two points of the Eagles on four different occasions inside nine minutes remaining in the game, but could not draw even. On two of those occasions, Reggie Jackson (17 points) hit 3-pointers to BC ahead by five.
Gurley began to heat up early in the second half, scoring 13 of the Minutemen's first 26 points of the second period as they chipped away at their 11-point halftime deficit. The senior's layup off a Traynham pass on the break made it a four-point game, 52-48 with 10:46 to go as UMass shot 10-for-15 in the first 10 minutes of the half.
Boston College outscored UMass, 15-5 over the last 6:09 of the first half to take a 35-24 lead at halftime. The Eagles were 13-of-15 at the free throw line in the opening 20 minutes, including 11-of-12 in the final six minutes.
UMass shot 30 percent in the first half with nine players scoring but none more than five points (Riley), while BC shot 42.9 percent, led by Joe Trapani's 10. Both teams struggled with turnovers as the Eagles committed 12 and UMass 10.
After BC's first-half lead reached 10, 20-10 on Joe Trapani's 3-point play with 9:33 to go, UMass scored nine-straight points, led by five from Riley to force a BC timeout and pull within one, 20-19 with 7:41 left in the half, but the Eagles struck back after the timeout, going on an 8-0 run to take a 28-19 and force a UMass timeout with 5:11 left in the half.