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Trio of second period goals leads Maine to 3-1 win over UMass hockey -

January 16, 2018

Small-ball lineup sparks UMass men’s basketball comeback over Saint Joseph’s -

January 14, 2018

UMass men’s basketball tops St. Joe’s in wild comeback -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s track and field have record day at Beantown Challenge -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s basketball blows halftime lead to Saint Joseph’s, fall to the Hawks 84-79. -

January 14, 2018

UMass hockey beats Vermont 6-3 in courageous win -

January 13, 2018

Makar, Leonard score but UMass can only muster 2-2 tie with Vermont -

January 13, 2018

Pipkins breaks UMass single game scoring record in comeback win over La Salle -

January 10, 2018

Conservative student activism group sues UMass over free speech policy -

January 10, 2018

Report: Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team -

January 10, 2018

Prince Hall flood over winter break -

January 10, 2018

Minutemen look to avoid three straight losses with pair against Vermont -

January 10, 2018

Men’s and women’s track and field open seasons at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2018

Turnovers and poor shooting hurt UMass women’s basketball in another conference loss at St. Bonaventure -

January 8, 2018

Shorthanded, UMass men’s basketball shocks Dayton with 62-60 win -

January 7, 2018

Northampton City Council elects Ryan O’Donnell as new council president -

January 7, 2018

UMass power play stays hot but Minutemen lose 8-3 to UMass Lowell -

January 7, 2018

UMass hockey falls to UMass Lowell in 8-3 blowout -

January 7, 2018

UMass hockey falls short against Yale in 5-3 loss Friday -

January 5, 2018

Otis Livingston II, George Mason drop UMass men’s basketball 80-72 -

January 3, 2018

Baldwin’s floor-spacing sparks UMass men’s basketball against Georgia

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

With five different players notching double-digit point totals on Saturday, it’s tough to choose the most impressive contributor to the Massachusetts men’s basketball team’s 72-62 win over Georgia.

Chris Baldwin, however, was certainly the least expected.

Stuck in a dismal stretch of games in which he had just six points across four games, Baldwin came out firing on Saturday, going 3-5 from three-point range to the tune of 11 points, helping space the floor for his teammates and adding a new dimension to the UMass offense.

“I knew Chris Baldwin was going to have a good day,” said UMass coach Matt McCall. “I knew he was going to have a good day based on shoot around, based on how his energy level was in warm-ups, and that’s back-to-back games where he’s had the right focus and we got to build on that for him, and he’s got to continue to be that way going forward.”

Baldwin’s impressive day from downtown was part of a team-wide assault from beyond the arc, as the Minutemen went 12-22 for 54.5 percent shooting.

Long-distance shooting has become the forte of guards like Luwane Pipkins and Carl Pierre, who had 17 and 15 points respectively on Saturday, but a 6-foot-8 forward like Baldwin stepping back and hitting threes is a different weapon entirely. Baldwin never hit from deep last season—going 0-3 on the year—but he’s added the range to his game this year, hitting 37 percent of his triples this season.

“It’s done a lot [for my game],” Baldwin said. “Obviously I’ve taken a lot more threes this year than I did previously, so I think it’s expanding my game.”

Baldwin is the third forward on this team, often behind Rashaan Holloway and Malik Hines in the minutes rotation, but he brings an element that his partners in the paint can’t, and McCall has trusted him in that floor-spacing role—as long as his shot selection stays sharp.

“When he can do that—we’ve been on him about taking good [threes],” said McCall. “Not early in the clock, but when the floor turns over and we can get some movement and he gets his feet set. Listen, he works at it. Once the floor turns over and we’ve gotten some movement, I’m okay with him shooting as long as he’s shooting with confidence.”

Baldwin had plenty of confidence on Wednesday, and his impressive shooting is only part of the package. Along with his abilities as a rebounder and his catalogue of emphatic blocks on the defensive end—he batted back two shots against Georgia—Baldwin flashed an inside game on Saturday, hitting a little jump hook in the post between his attempts from the outside.

McCall is glad to have Baldwin back on his game after that paltry stretch of games to begin the month, as he and his coaching staff have been trying to get the most out of their most versatile big man.

“No question [he’s responded],” McCall said. “I think it’s been just his mindset, and in practice and getting better, and I’ve been proud of him now. We’ll continue to stay on him, he can’t relax for a single second, because when he does and he’s not into it, he’s just okay. He’s being more coachable, and that’s important for us.”

Amin Touri can be reached at atouri@umass.edu and on Twitter @Amin_Touri.

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