AMHERST, Mass. (ESPN.com news services) -- Stephane Lasme scored a team-high 23 points and Massachusetts withstood a couple determined George Washington comebacks for a 91-84 victory on Wednesday night.
Lasme, who also had 15 rebounds and 11 blocks, became the 23rd player in NCAA history to record two triple-doubles in the same season. The list of previous players to post two triple-doubles in the same season includes Shaquille O'Neal (1990 and '92 at LSU), Jason Kidd (1994 at Cal) and David Robinson (1986 at Navy).Lasme's other triple-double was against St. Francis on Nov. 22, when he had 19 points, 10 rebounds and 11 blocks."I'm happy with the way I played," Lasme said. "I've just tried to focus on not getting stupid fouls and turnovers. I'm proud of the way I played. Coach [Travis] Ford has given me a lot of confidence in my game and I'm just happy with where I'm at and that I can help the team win a couple games."The Minutemen (12-4, 2-0 Atlantic 10) never trailed.George Washington (10-4, 1-1 A10) was behind by as many as 17 points in the second half but twice rallied to within one point of pulling even.The last time, at 72-71, came on a basket by Carl Elliott with 4:23 to play.Freeman ended with 21 points and Gary Forbes 16 for UMass."The type of team we have, we're going to win a lot of games and this type of game gives us confidence going into the Atlantic 10 schedule because I think the whole rest of the A10 was looking at this game to see who would win it," Freeman said. "[George Washington] has held down this league for a few years now so this was a quality win."Maureece Rice nailed a game-high 30 points for GW, which also got a 19-point performance from Elliott.UMass led throughout the first half and by as many as 14 points (41-27) with less than four minutes to play on a basket by Lasme. After closing the gap to seven (41-34), GW still couldn't make a serious run. UMass still led 45-36 at the half despite a tip-in at the buzzer by Regis Roundjia.The Minutemen were 56.7 (17-for-30) from the field in the first half, with Freeman getting 13 points. Rice had 12 for GW before the break."I take my hat off to UMass," GW coach Karl Hobbs said. "They had veteran guys that played like veteran guys do. Whenever the game was on the line, the two big guys [Freeman and Lasme] made the plays and they converted and scored."Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.