Scrolling Headlines:

50 Activists attend meeting as UMass Board of Trustees approves motion of divestment from fossil fuel companies -

June 16, 2016

Four former Minutemen depart from UMass hockey program -

June 14, 2016

Boston Calling 2016 delivers rousing farewell to City Hall Plaza -

June 2, 2016

Sufjan Stevens unearths quirk at Boston Calling -

June 2, 2016

The Collegian live tweets Boston Calling -

May 28, 2016

UMass baseball finishes season with sweep over George Mason -

May 22, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse falls in NCAA quarterfinal -

May 22, 2016

‘Green Room’ is a bloody blast of survival horror -

May 21, 2016

DaLuz: Boston Celtics stuck trudging in the mud -

May 18, 2016

Despite tallying double-digit hits, UMass baseball falls to Fairfield Tuesday afternoon -

May 17, 2016

Radiohead returns to the top with gorgeous, illuminating ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ -

May 16, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse advances to quarterfinal of NCAA tournament -

May 16, 2016

UMass baseball outlasts Rhode Island in series finale behind strong pitching of Brandon Walsh -

May 15, 2016

Eileen McDonald’s overtime goal advances UMass women’s lacrosse in NCAA tournament -

May 14, 2016

12 UMass students face possible arrests in connection to an alleged bad LSD trip -

May 14, 2016

UMass baseball falls in first-ever Division I matchup with UMass Lowell 7-3 -

May 11, 2016

UMass baseball gets shut out in nonconference matchup with UConn -

May 10, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse tops Richmond, wins eighth straight Atlantic 10 championship -

May 9, 2016

UMass baseball salvages last game of weekend series with Richmond behind strong eighth inning -

May 9, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse beats St. Joe’s, advance to Atlantic 10 championship game -

May 7, 2016

Minutemen looking to continue momentum against Sacred Heart

Maria Uminski, Collegian Staff

Heading into its second game of the year, the Massachusetts men’s basketball team is still riding high from its win in the season opener.

UMass rallied from a 22-point hole early in the second half to defeat Rider, 77-67. Senior Anthony Gurley led the assault with a career-high 31 points, the most by a Minutemen player in a season debut since Marcus Camby tallied 32 against Kentucky in the 1995-96 opener.

While UMass coach Derek Kellogg wasn’t expecting the comeback, he was impressed with how his players stormed back to earn a hard-fought victory.

“That’s what I’ve been preaching since I’ve been here,” Kellogg said. “Sometimes you’re not going to play your best but you’re going to find a way to win or you’re going to claw your way back into games. That’s the first time we’ve done that and finished it off since I’ve been in the coach here.”

Standing in the way of the Minutemen being 2-0 for the first time since 2007 is opponent Sacred Heart, which will travel to the Mullins Center on Wednesday.

UMass has never faced the Pioneers, who are 0-2 to begin the year, dropping their home opener against Fairfield and their road tilt to Fordham.

The Rams held Sacred Heart to 51 points, which was a season-high for the Pioneers. Fordham shot 55.6 percent from the field in the second half and pulled away on a 13-2 run en route to the 69-51 victory.

Sophomore Shane Bison led Sacred Heart in the loss, scoring 11 points and pulling down five rebounds.

“They’re a young team, they have a senior point guard and a couple guys that are seniors, but they’re a young team that’s going through some growing pains right now,” Kellogg said. “I’m hoping that they’re a little tired, the guys are starting to get worn down a little bit mentally.”

Heading into the matchup with the Pioneers, Kellogg is planning on using the same starting lineup, but mixing in guys who played well in the season opener.

“Well, there were some guys that earned playing time that up until that point, probably weren’t going to play a ton,” Kellogg said. “The one guy is Matt Hill. I thought he came in and gave us a huge boost in the second half.”

Hill was inserted to provide more defense and mobility against Broncs forward Mike Ringgold in the second half, who despite scoring 21 points, did most of his damage in the first half.

Against Sacred Heart and the rest of the teams on its schedule, UMass knows it can’t put itself in a hole like that again by struggling on the defensive end of the court.

Kellogg, however, was pleased to see his players showing signs of improvement in the first game.

“The defense has been better,” Kellogg said. “I thought all-in-all, the guys looked like they know where they’re supposed to be, the intensity is a little better. The rebounding is still isn’t where it needs to be for us to be a big-time college basketball team.”

Last season, the Minutemen ranked 12th out of 14 teams in the Atlantic 10 in scoring defense, allowing 74.9 points per game.

The contest between UMass and Sacred Heart will tipoff at 7 p.m. at the Mullins Center.

Jay Asser can be reached at jasser@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment