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UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

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Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

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May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Minutemen third, Minutewomen finish fifth in Atlantic 10 Championships for UMass track and field -

May 8, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse wins A-10 title for ninth straight season -

May 8, 2017

Dayton takes two from UMass softball in weekend series -

May 8, 2017

Towson stonewalls UMass men’s lacrosse in CAA Championship; Minutemen season ends after 9-4 loss -

May 6, 2017

Zach Coleman to join former coach Derek Kellogg at LIU Brooklyn -

May 5, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse advances to CAA finals courtesy of Dan Muller’s heroics -

May 4, 2017

On campus: The liberal assault on free speech -

May 4, 2017

UMass upsets No. 19 New Mexico, 81-65

The Massachusetts men’s basketball team entered Friday’s Charleston Classic semifinal undefeated. Its wins were notable, but it was still looking for that one marquee win that would grab the nation’s attention.

Nicole Evangelista/ Daily Collegian

On Friday, it got that win.

With seven minutes, 56 seconds left in the game, the Minutemen and No. 19 New Mexico were tied 61-61. Then UMass went on 16-0 run over the next six minutes to pull away from the Lobos and earn a trip to the Charleston Classic championship game on Sunday night, with an 81-65 victory.

The Minutemen will play Clemson for the championship at 9 p.m. Sunday.

It was the program’s first win against a nationally-ranked opponent since the 2012 Atlantic 10 Tournament when it beat No. 21 Temple and the second time in four seasons it has started a season 5-0.

“I think it just shows the maturation of our team and program,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said in his postgame press conference. “You have to be ready for those games; you have to be in the right place at the right time to take advantage of those. We’ve had some opportunities in years past and we’ve won a few, but not as many as we’d like.”

The Minutemen (5-0) broke the game open quickly, using tenacious defense and clutch shooting down the stretch. By the time New Mexico (3-1) answered with a basket of its own, it was too little too late.

Senior forward Raphiael Putney got the run started with a thunderous dunk off a nice feed from Chaz Williams. Putney was only getting started with that dunk. He added seven more points, including a 3-pointer. He capped off the run with one more high-flying dunk for good measure.

UMass ended the game on a 20-4 run, with the quick turnaround from Thursday’s double-overtime game taking its toll on the Lobos.

“I didn’t anticipate a 20-4 run, but we were hoping that they would get tired,” Kellogg said.

New Mexico went cold at the wrong time, going 0-for-7 from the field during the six minute, 21 second stretch between baskets, including 0-for-4 on 3-pointers during that span.

The 16-0 run was the largest one for either side in a game that was full of momentum swings.

The Lobos took a 27-22 lead on a 7-0 run in the first half, but the Minutemen answered with a 14-0 run of their own to regain a 33-27 advantage.

After taking a 38-33 lead into halftime, UMass came out fast, eventually extending its lead to seven. But New Mexico stormed back, using a 9-3 run to close the deficit to a single point.

Entering the game, all the talk surrounded New Mexico’s two Naismith Award candidates, Kendall Williams and Alex Kirk. While Williams was held in check for much of the afternoon, Kirk was dominant on both ends of the floor. He scored a game-high 32 points and added 11 rebounds and five blocks, causing a lot of trouble for the UMass shooters around the basket and giving junior Cady Lalanne all he could handle down low.

Lalanne finished the game with 16 points and 14 rebounds, including 10 offensive boards. Williams led the Minutemen in scoring with 19 points, while Putney was right behind him with 18 points.

Patrick Strohecker can be reached at pstrohec@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @P_Strohecker.

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