Seton Hall reaches triple digits in win over UMass

By Jay Asser

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

The Massachusetts men’s basketball team could do nothing to stop Seton Hall as it surrendered over 100 points for the first time this season and suffered a loss at the Mullins Center on Saturday night.

The Minutemen (7-3) kept up with the Pirates (4-4) for most of the contest, hanging around long enough to make a run. UMass was never able to get over the hump, however, as Seton Hall seemed to have an answer to every Minutemen run.

The 104-79 result marks the highest total allowed by UMass in a game since Michigan State scored 106 points early last season and the highest at the Mullins Center since the Minutemen scored 102 on Feb. 28, 2007.

“You can’t give up 60 percent against a Big East team and have an expectation level that you’re going to win,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said.

Even without last season’s leading scorer Jeremy Hazell, who is suffering from a wrist injury, the Pirates cruised to a victory on a strong shooting performance. Seton Hall blistered the nets en route to shooting 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point land. The Minutemen, meanwhile, while improving from their abysmal offensive performance in the loss to Maine, still struggled to connect from the field, shooting just under 35 percent.

Point guard Jordan Theodore led the Pirates with 17 points and eight assists in 23 minutes of play. Jordan had little trouble adjusting to the defensive pressure guards Gary Correia and Daryl Traynham applied.

“He dominated the game I think, I thought he was fantastic,” Kellogg said of Theodore. “At the end I tried to double team him and trap him some to get the ball out, but he’s good.”

Forward Herb Pope took advantage of UMass’ lack of a true center in the starting lineup and dominated in the paint. Pope finished with a game-high 13 rebounds and five blocks, along with 11 points to spur Seton Hall.

“We don’t go against guys every day in practice like them,” Kellogg said of Seton Hall’s size. “It’s a little bit different now when you’re driving at Pope and the big kid [Patrik] Auda and a few of the other guys that are in there.”

For the Minutemen, leading scorer Anthony Gurley had the best outing of any UMass player. The senior forward had nearly a third of his team’s output, scoring 26 points on 11-of-20 shooting. Gurley also chipped in five rebounds and three steals.

“I think he’s starting to feel like he’s doing too much on his own,” Kellogg said of Gurley. “So we have to get some guys to help him.”

Traynham, who has provided a spark all season off the bench, failed to get into a rhythm in the contest after picking up four fouls in 12 minutes of play. The freshman also picked up a technical foul as he seemed to say something to Theodore after forcing a turnover.

After scoring 48 points in the first half, the Pirates upped their play in the second period, shooting 19-of-26 from the field and 5-of-7 from beyond the arc to score 56 points.

With the game out of reach late in the second half, Kellogg inserted forward Trey Lang and walk-on Jordan Couture as both players saw their first minutes of the season.

Now on a three-game losing streak, the Minutemen will have 11 days until their next game against Central Florida at home on Dec. 22.

“I think the 11 days off and giving these guys some time will give us a good indication of where we’re at,” Kellogg said.

Jay Asser can be reached at [email protected]