Scrolling Headlines:

Early season challenge awaits for UMass hockey in weekend set with Ohio State -

October 18, 2017

UMass Professor Barbara Krauthamer receives award from Association of Black Women Historians -

October 18, 2017

The 2017-18 women’s soccer team differs from others Matz has coached at UMass -

October 18, 2017

Hockey East Notebook: OT Goal caps BC comeback over Providence -

October 18, 2017

I’m a millennial conservative. Will the Republican Party leave me behind? -

October 18, 2017

Low-Income Housing Error at Presidential Apartments -

October 18, 2017

Kelela’s debut ‘Take Me Apart’ is a captivating, deeply personal exposition on heartache. -

October 18, 2017

People’s Market hosts a fundraiser for Puerto Rico -

October 18, 2017

UMass does not meet the needs of its disabled students -

October 18, 2017

Do we really need Summer NSO? -

October 18, 2017

A picture is worth a thousand words, but those words are better off written -

October 18, 2017

Tom Petty: A Retrospective -

October 18, 2017

Panel held to discuss the future of public policy and the Universal Basic Income -

October 17, 2017

Reconsidering Hillary Clinton -

October 17, 2017

Trump’s Twitter has unprecedented influence on society -

October 17, 2017

Author and professor at the University of Oregon discusses the push of a corporate agenda through state governments -

October 17, 2017

Letter: Join the movement against student debt -

October 17, 2017

Northampton City Council votes to oppose local charter school expansion -

October 17, 2017

UMass men’s soccer takes on Rhode Island with top conference spot on the line -

October 17, 2017

Fulton, Smith leading the way for UMass Soccer offensively -

October 17, 2017

UMass men’s basketball pulls away from Eastern Michigan

It wasn’t pretty, but it did the job.

Evan Sahagian/Flickr

Playing its first game as a ranked team in 15 years, the No. 21 Massachusetts men’s basketball team beat Eastern Michigan with a big second half on the road Tuesday night.

Trailing by four going into halftime, the Minutemen (7-0) outscored the Eagles (5-2) by a 38-22 margin en route to a 69-57 win.

“I thought we came out a little sluggish,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said in a radio interview following the game. “That was somewhat anticipated after the long layoff. It was nine days and they didn’t really touch a basketball for two or three days in there, so I figured we’d have a little sluggishness and we did in the first half, but I thought our guys responded defensively in the second half.”

On a night when the offense was struggling to find any sort of rhythm, UMass was in desperate need of a spark. With time winding down in the first half, Trey Davis hit Raphiael Putney with a pass in the right corner. Putney nailed a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the first half to give the Minutemen the boost they needed.

“I thought one of the big plays of the game was Putney making the three at the end of the half to cut the deficit from seven to four,” Kellogg said. “We didn’t have much momentum going. We weren’t playing very well and I thought that at least kept it close.”

Putney led the way for the Minutemen with 15 points, while four others – Davis, Cady Lalanne, Chaz Williams and Derrick Gordon – all registered double digits.

After trailing for much of the first half, UMass went on a 12-5 run early in the second half to regain the lead, which it wouldn’t relinquish over the final 13 minutes, 27 seconds.

The Minutemen entered the game averaging 83.7 points per game, but were held to well below their season average, being slowed down for long stretches of time due to the Eagles zone defense.

“Obviously, we gotta improve a little bit against the zone, but really I thought it was just finishing plays in transition and getting to the free throw line a little bit in the second half,” Kellogg said.

Until UMass got into a rhythm offensively, Eastern Michigan’s poor shooting from the free throw line kept the Minutemen in the game. The Eagles shot only 7-for-19 from the charity stripe.

While it may seem like just another win, this was UMass’ first true road game of the season. This was also its first game as a nationally ranked team since 1998.

“Just being ranked for that whole week, just keeping our mindset, being ‘hungry and humble,’” Putney said. “Even though we got that number behind our name, we still gotta be aggressive playing other teams. And now we’re just a target with a number behind our name. So we just have to play even harder. The pressure’s on us now.”

The win pushes the undefeated start for UMass to 7-0, matching the same mark the 2010-11 team opened up with that season.

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

Comments
One Response to “UMass men’s basketball pulls away from Eastern Michigan”
  1. Jay Fraga says:

    Here’s a question: how in the hell do you Collegian Editors justify UCONN leading the sports page of the Massachusetts Daily Collegian when OUR actual top 25 UMASS team played a game last night on the road and won??!?!? Please tell me that the front page is somehow auto-populated and that this wasn’t by choice.

Leave A Comment