Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Georgia State’s buries UMass men’s basketball by shooting 64 percent from three

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(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

As of late the Massachusetts men’s basketball team has been unstoppable from beyond the 3-point line. But Wednesday night against Georgia State, the fire that has been blazing from the Minutemen’s hands was slightly tamed.

In many cases, especially given the defense UMass played, 63 points would be enough to eek out a win. But against Georgia State on this particular night, the Minutemen were doomed.

In the second half alone, the Panthers made 11-of-15 three-pointers, burying the Minutemen late in the game to secure a 71-63 win.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever been a part of a game where you give up 11 threes in a half,” UMass coach Matt McCall said. “If you take the 3-point line out of the game and look down at the stat sheet, you would have thought we won the game. We had 19 assists, we had our turnovers corrected there, we turned the ball over way too much in the first half.”

UMass held a lead for most of the game. The margin was never much, it floated around 2-4 points, while getting as high as six points in the second half. For almost every shot UMass made, the Panthers answered with a score of their own.

“We went up eight or six with three minutes to go [in the first] and bang they hit a three, those are back breaking momentum changing plays,” McCall said. “To me the second half, when you’re up six under eight, ok now we have to get a stop, we have to sit down and guard and get a stop. We didn’t do that and they went on a run and they couldn’t be stopped.”

Up until there was four minutes and six seconds remaining in the game, the largest lead GSU had held was two (coming in the opening seconds).

However, a D’Marcus Simonds three with a little more than four minutes remaining put the Panthers up 58-57, and the lead rapidly increased from there. In the final four minutes, GSU was a perfect 4-4 from the perimeter.

In that span, the Minutemen were only 1-6 from 3-point range.

“They made some really great shots, I think they made 11 in the second half, that’s crazy,” senior guard C.J. Anderson said. “But honestly we weren’t alert. You can tell, guys were just kind of lagging off, dozing off until the ball gets thrown at them and then they wake back up. I mean, it’s all learning a lesson.”

Georgia State’s 64 shooting percentage from 3-point range is by far the best an opponent has shot vs. UMass all year.

“We have to really look at this film because our 3-point defense was something we were hanging our hat on and to give up that many,” McCall said. “They went five guards there and really spaced us out.”

Philip Sanzo can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Philip_Sanzo.

About the Writer
Philip Sanzo, Sports Editor
A six-run fourth inning gives UMass victory over Northeastern at Fenway Park.
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