Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

Scoring inconsistencies hurting Minutemen

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Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

If it wasn’t for the name on the visiting team’s jersey, last night’s game would be oddly familiar to the one the Massachusetts men’s basketball team played less than a week ago.

It goes on a run against a competitive opponent, but eventually shoots itself out of the game. UMass did exactly that in its 87-79 loss to Xavier.

The Minutemen (8-14, 2-6 Atlantic 10) held a 69-68 lead with four minutes, 37 seconds remaining in the second half, but the Musketeers (16-6, 8-1 A-10) came right back with nine straight points. The only offense the Minutemen could produce were two missed 3-pointers by guards Anthony Gurley and Freddie Riley.

It started with two straight 3-pointers by Jordan Crawford, who scored 10 of his 25 points in the final 4:11 to put Xavier up five points.

By the time UMass started hitting baskets on its own, it was too late, as the Musketeers responded right back.

“I thought we played tough and really made plays and shared the basketball,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “That second half, the way we competed and played is kind of the way I hopefully envision our team playing for 40 minutes in the near future.”

The Minutemen had a similar game against Charlotte on Saturday night, and came within one point of taking the lead early in the second half, but the 49ers went on a 15-3 run and kept the Maroon and White out of the game.

UMass didn’t score a single field goal for 8:34, but it was too late as they never got any closer than nine points.

Fouls add up late

The Minutemen and Musketeers were physical throughout the contest, but for UMass, being physical ended up hurting towards the end of the game.

Despite finishing with only two more fouls than Xavier (17), Terrell Vinson, Javorn Farrell, and Sean Carter all fouled out of the game. Wednesday saw the greatest number of UMass players foul out in a single contest this season.

Farrell and Carter didn’t foul out until the final minute, but Kellogg had to divide the minutes pretty regularly with his three starters getting in foul trouble.

The Musketeers only had two players with four fouls. Jason Love finished the game with 32 minutes while Brad Redford picked all of his fouls up in six minutes.

Riley makes first start

Kellogg knew that as soon as he lost sophomore David Gibbs for the season with a broken foot that one of his other guards would have to step up.

Last night, that player was freshman Freddie Riley, who started for the first time in his career at shooting guard while senior Ricky Harris took back the point guard position. Riley finished the game with 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting and came down with five rebounds.

It was a drastic improvement from his game against the 49ers, where he finished with no points on four shot attempts, all from beyond the arc.

“[Kellogg] told [the freshmen] that we need to stop playing like freshmen and we need to assert ourselves a little more on offense and defense,” Riley said.

Despite Riley’s inconsistencies, he has made himself the third leading scorer for UMass, averaging 9.9 points per game. His best game came against La Salle, where he put up 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Six of those field goals were from 3-point range.

Ainge in attendance

Boston Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge was in attendance to scout players on the Xavier squad. The only player from the Musketeers likely to go pro this year is Love, who is the team’s lone starting senior.

The center finished with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting and grabbed five rebounds to go along with a block.

He currently averages 11.1 points per game and 8.5 rebounds.

Adam Miller can be reached at amiller@dailycollegian.com.

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