Men’s Basketball Wins 12th Straight, Defeats UMass
DAVIDSON — Luka Brajkovic scored a career-best 25 points, and Davidson caught fire early in the second half to roll by UMass 77-67 and notch its 12th straight win Tuesday night in Belk Arena.
The Wildcats, now 7-0 at home, improved to 13-2, while moving to 3-0 in the Atlantic 10, matching their best-ever start in the league (also 2018-19).
Trailing 32-31 at the half, Davidson hit eight of its first nine second-half shots, including its first four 3-pointers, with two each coming from Brajkovic and Hyunjung Lee.
A 15-2 run, including 12 unanswered points, pushed the Wildcats’ lead to 54-41 following three Foster Loyer free throws with 14:42 to play.
Brajkovic finished 11-of-13 from the field and added 11 rebounds and three blocks while earning his 12th career double-double. His previous high came on Dec. 21 when he scored 22 in the Wildcats’ 79-78 win over No. 10 Alabama.
Lee added 18 points and seven boards against the Minutemen, while Loyer (11 points, 6 assists) and Sam Mennenga (10 points, 4 rebounds) also scored in double figures.
UMass (7-8, 0-3) trimmed it to 57-53 with 10:19 to play, but the Wildcats answered with eight straight points, including four each from Brajkovic and Mennenga. When the Minutemen cut it to 73-67 with 1:34 left, Davidson sealed it with a Loyer jumper and two Michael Jones free throws.
UMass had the upper hand early, scoring 12 straight points to lead 23-11 midway through the first half, but Davidson got back in it with treys from Loyer, Jones and Lee.
T.J. Weeks, Jr., and Noah Fernandes led UMass with 21 and 19 points, respectively.
The Wildcats will play their next three on the road, beginning with Friday’s 9 p.m. contest at Richmond.