Scrolling Headlines:

Experienced Ohio State club too much for UMass hockey in 3-0 loss -

October 22, 2017

Season-high 29 saves from Matt Murray proves lone highlight in UMass hockey’s 3-0 shutout loss to Ohio State -

October 22, 2017

UMass football picks up first win of the season in blowout win over Georgia Southern -

October 21, 2017

Student in critical condition after pedestrian-vehicle accident on Friday -

October 21, 2017

UMass women’s soccer fails to secure spot in A-10 tournament with loss to Saint Louis -

October 21, 2017

Struggles with special teams sinks UMass hockey -

October 21, 2017

UMass hockey drops second of the year in 3-1 loss to Ohio State -

October 20, 2017

Amazon textbook contract ending in December 2018 -

October 19, 2017

UMass field hockey heads into crucial A-10 matchup -

October 19, 2017

2017 Hockey Special Issue -

October 19, 2017

International Relations Club tackles tough issues at ‘Foreign Policy Coffee Hour’ -

October 19, 2017

Sexual assault reports spike on campus -

October 19, 2017

Californian students react to wildfires back home -

October 19, 2017

‘My Little Pony: The Movie’ is a surprising animated treat, whether you’re a fan of the show or not -

October 19, 2017

With a young team, Carvel is preparing the UMass hockey team to thrive -

October 19, 2017

Letter: UMass hockey is great, but where are the students? -

October 19, 2017

Boino’s blast gives UMass men’s soccer sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10 -

October 19, 2017

UMass freshmen look to play physical, make an impact and improve early on -

October 19, 2017

UMass hockey sets out to create new program, identity in 2017-18 -

October 19, 2017

Cale Makar: UMass hockey’s crown jewel -

October 19, 2017

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