BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — Tre Mitchell scored 18 points in his return to Connecticut, helping UMass hold off Fairfield, 62-60 in a nonconference game on Saturday.
Mitchell, the 2019 Gatorade Player of the Year in Connecticut, is one of seven freshmen and nine first-year players on the UMass roster.
Mitchell hit a jumper with just under two minutes left to put the Minutemen up, 60-56, and Sean East II hit a pair of free throws to make it 62-58 with 1:06 left. Landon Taliaferro hit two free throws in the final minute to cut the Fairfield deficit to two, but he missed a 3-point attempt to win the game with a second left.
East, also a freshman, added 14 points and dished seven assists for UMass (2-0).
Taliaferro was 3-of-6 from distance and finished with 15 points for the Stags (0-2). Jesus Cruz added 14 points, five assists and five steals.
The game was the first meeting between the schools since the 1975-76 season, but the series dates back to 1963-64.