Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s soccer drops season opener to Utah Valley in overtime -

Friday, August 28, 2015

UMass football notebook: Jackson Porter moves to WR, UMass schedules 2016 game with South Carolina -

Friday, August 28, 2015

Former UMass student who accused four men of rape in 2012 testifies during trial Friday -

Friday, August 28, 2015

REPORT: UMass football’s Da’Sean Downey faces two assault charges in connection with February fight -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football Media Day: Catching up with Joe Colton -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Creating turnovers, forcing mistakes the focus for linebacking corps -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jurors hear police interview, read text messages by defendants in third UMass rape trial -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

‘Living at UMass’ app aims to make move-in weekend a breeze -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass rape trial halts abruptly, opening statements delivered Tuesday -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Jamal Wilson returns from injury with confidence he is ‘main guy’ at running back -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Freshmen Sekai Lindsay, Andy Isabella impressing at running back -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass ranked in top 25 for LGBTQ students -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass football fall camp day five: Rodney Mills looks to continue bringing versatility to tight end position -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Route 9 Diner to reopen under new ownership -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rising UMass sophomore dies unexpectedly -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

UMass football fall camp day four: Veteran offensive line boasts chemistry, looks to improve run blocking -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A colorful UMass homecoming -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Potential nighttime and weekend parking fee at UMass tabled -

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

UMass football fall camp day three: Ex-quarterbacks A.J. Doyle, Andrew Verboys continue transitions to new positions -

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

UMass football fall camp day two: Defensive secondary hopes experience, added depth brings greater consistency -

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

UMass basketball pulls out close victory over VCU

Taylor C. Snow/Daily Collegian

Taylor C. Snow/Daily Collegian

Friday night’s game between the Massachusetts men’s basketball team and Virginia Commonwealth was everything it was built up to be, and then some.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock in UMass’ 80-75 win over VCU, all 9,493 fans of the Mullins Center sellout crowd stood and applauded as the Minutemen (21-5, 8-4 Atlantic 10) scratched out a hard-fought victory over the Rams (20-7, 8-4 A-10) and their “Havoc” defense.

It was a much different reception from the last time UMass played at home, when it lost to George Mason 91-80.

“The crowd gave us that extra energy, that extra boost,” senior Chaz Williams said. “We felt like we let (George Mason) come into our home… and do whatever they wanted, so we didn’t want to let that happen again and we tried to limit that from happening and we just came out tonight and made a statement.”

Trailing by five points after the opening 20 minutes, UMass surged in the second half and outscored VCU 46-36 in the final 20 minutes. It was led by Williams, who scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the final half.

The difference at the end came down to clutch free throw shooting by the Minutemen, who made their last six attempts from the charity stripe in the final 36 seconds while the Rams struggled to convert their attempts. VCU went 10-of-22 from the line, the major difference between a road win and its seventh loss of the season.

“I tell our guys, ‘free throws will win or lose you a game,’” VCU coach Shaka Smart said. “Tonight, you feel pretty good if you change that percentage to 70 or 75. It doesn’t guarantee you a win… but it’s tough in a tight game, a one-possession game, especially front ends of one-and-one’s and coming up dry on a two-shot foul.”

UMass managed to withstand the Rams’ “Havoc” defense, winning the turnover battle. The Minutemen forced 17 turnovers while surrendering just 14.

Winning that battle helped to counteract poor 3-point shooting from the Minutemen. They went 0-for-8 from deep, the first time a UMass team has not hit a 3-point shot in a game since 2006. The poor shooting from outside forced UMass coach Derek Kellogg to stop allowing his players from taking outside shots.


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“The floor was open, Kellogg said. It was one of those deals of, ‘why settle?’” “We’re not a good 3-point shooting team at times anyway, so why settle for that? I thought we could get to the rim and use our slashing ability of (Derrick Gordon), (Trey Davis) and (Williams) to make plays.”

Runs by both teams controlled much of the first half and early parts of the second half. The Rams used a 13-4 run over a five-minute span to open up an eight-point lead before halftime.

The Minutemen took a six-point lead midway through the second half thanks to a 12-3 run. From that point forward, both teams jostled back-and-forth for position. The close-knit battle and similar styles of play led to four ties and 12 lead changes throughout the 40 minutes.

“I thought it was a well-played basketball game both ways, as far as intensity and it kind of felt like an NCAA Tournament game,” Kellogg said.
Treveon Graham’s 19 points and eight rebounds led the Rams, while Juvonte Reddic chipped in with 13 points and nine boards.

For the Minutemen, aside from Williams’ 20 points, they got strong offensive production from Gordon and Davis, who each recorded 16 and 13 points respectively. Davis’ scoring touch, including his clutch, pull-up jumper to give UMass a 74-71 lead with one minute, 30 seconds left had Smart praising the sophomore’s improvement from last year.

“He’s one of the most improved players in our league,” he said. “That’s not the same guy we played against last year. He’s a high-level, A-10 player now and that’s what you want out of a player.”

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

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