Scrolling Headlines:

Environmental journalists face challenges under Trump administration -

March 25, 2017

An open letter to the students of UMass -

March 24, 2017

Pat Kelsey informs UMass AD Ryan Bamford of change of heart just 35 minutes before scheduled press conference -

March 23, 2017

Past and present UMass football players participate in 2017 Pro Day Thursday -

March 23, 2017

Pat Kelsey reportedly backs down from UMass men’s basketball coaching position -

March 23, 2017

Students react to new fence around Townehouses -

March 23, 2017

‘Do You Have The Right To Do Drugs?’ debate held in Bowker Auditorium -

March 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to build on three-game winning streak against Brown -

March 23, 2017

UMass softball riding five-game win streak into first Atlantic 10 showdown -

March 23, 2017

Sanzo: Inability to win close games has hurt UMass baseball -

March 23, 2017

Hannah Murphy scores 100th career goal in UMass women’s lacrosse 16-9 win over Harvard -

March 23, 2017

Old age does no harm to indie rock legends The Feelies -

March 23, 2017

A track-by-track breakdown of Drake’s new project -

March 23, 2017

When a president lies -

March 23, 2017

Let them eat steak, and other gender norms I hate -

March 23, 2017

Dissecting Science: Episode Two -

March 22, 2017

Holy Cross 10-run eighth inning sinks UMass baseball -

March 22, 2017

UMass students react to Spring Concert lineup -

March 22, 2017

Letter: Vote yes for Amherst -

March 22, 2017

You don’t have to walk alone -

March 22, 2017

UMass men’s basketball wins Charleston Classic

Courtesy Daniel Malone/MassLive.com

Many writers with votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll have a decision to make regarding the Massachusetts men’s basketball team Monday morning.

On Sunday night, in the championship game of the Charleston Classic, UMass did its best to make that decision an easy call.

The Minutemen (6-0) barely defeated Clemson, 62-56, building an early lead and ultimately holding off a pesky Tigers comeback. The performance punctuated a successful three games in four nights stretch for UMass, which knocked off No. 19 New Mexico and Nebraska to reach the title game.

“It’s tiresome looking at the wall and not seeing any new [trophies] other than the ones from when I played,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said on bringing hardware back to Amherst. “I mean, I’m tired of those things. I want to throw them in the garbage and start our trophies as a coach and team. So, that feels great.”

Clemson cut the deficit to 59-56 with just 56.4 seconds remaining. But a Raphiael Putney putback layup off a Chaz Williams miss bumped the lead to 61-56, allowing the Minutemen to hang on.

The Tigers launched a comeback in the second half squared primarily on the shoulders of forward Devin Coleman, who scored 10 points in just eight minutes of play. But a helter-skelter final two minutes filled with turnovers and missed shots eventually fell UMass’ way.

The Minutemen relied heavily on junior center Cady Lalanne, who’s off to a remarkably consistent start to the season and won Charleston Classic Most Valuable Player. Lalanne dominated in the paint, leading all scorers with 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds on his way to his fourth double-double of the season. He provided a dependable low-post presence, which the Minutemen went to in bulk in the half-court offense.

“It felt pretty good,” Lalanne said. “I felt like we put in the work over the summer to get to this level, to this point. So, it felt pretty good that we won the tournament, and I’m honored to be MVP.”

UMass won without a typical performance from Williams, who scored just four points on 1-of-12 shooting from the field. Williams struggled to get shots off around the basket and deferred to a role of facilitator, accounting for a team-high six assists.

Instead, the team turned to role players such as Derrick Gordon and Putney. Gordon finished with 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting while adding five rebounds. Putney was tasked with guarding Tigers star forward K.J. McDaniels, who entered the game as Clemson’s leading scorer. McDaniels finished with 14 points, but missed 10 shots in the process.

“I’ve been trying to say it all year, but our team is full of guys that just want to win and want to play,” Williams said. “So, these guys are taking the opportunity that’s given and just going out there and performing. For us to go out there and do what we did tonight, it’s pretty good.”

Now, conversation will turn to UMass’ fixture in the national college basketball landscape. The Minutemen haven’t been nationally ranked since 1998 and have as strong a case as any to find their way back into the rankings after winning six games in a row to start the season.

“People are gonna think what they think,” Williams said. “It’s just best to play our game, so that’s what we’re gonna go out there and do. I know we’re probably gonna have a number at the end of [our team name], but it still doesn’t change the way we play. We’ve just got to stick to our basketball.”

Mark Chiarelli can be reached at mchiarel@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Mark_Chiarelli.

Comments
One Response to “UMass men’s basketball wins Charleston Classic”
  1. alumer says:

    If the polls weren’t so corrupted with boosterism and favoritism our ranking would be higher. Notice that UMass didn’t even break the top 25 on the most corrupt poll – the coaches poll. Our boys need to keep scrapping and believing to get respect. Fans need to show some loyalty and pride.

    Go UMass!

Leave A Comment