Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass dominant in blowout win over New Hampshire

Minutemen win by 29 Tuesday
Katherine Mayo

If Tuesday’s win was unconvincing, Friday’s was commanding.

Behind 18 points from Rashaan Holloway, 14 from Luwane Pipkins and some help from up and down the stat sheet, the Massachusetts men’s basketball rolled to a dominant 104-75 win over New Hampshire on Friday.

UMass (2-0) led from the opening bucket and never looked back, taking a 56-29 advantage into the half, and leading UNH (1-1) by as much as 36 on the night with 11 different players chipping in for a blowout win.

“Offensively, we made shots,” said UMass coach Matt McCall. “And I said to our team after the game, we cannot rely on the ball going in the basket like that every single night. We’re going to have to rely on getting stops defensively. But to look down and see we had 24 assists, that shows me that we’re sharing the ball.”

It was another dominant evening from Holloway, who got his 18 on an extremely efficient 9-of-11 from the floor in just 16 minutes. Pipkins, who only played 19 and rested for the final minutes of each half, only needed five shots to get his 14, going 3-of-4 from deep and adding seven assists in the win.

That efficiency was the story of the evening, as the Minutemen shot 66.7 percent from the field and 52.6 percent from deep, as just about everything went down.

“When I was an assistant at Florida, coach [Billy] Donovan used to love to see the hundred up on the board, and that just goes to show you that you’re playing the game the right way,” McCall said. “But again, we made shots. Let’s call it like it is. We made a lot of them, and there were some questionable ones in the first half that went in, we can’t rely on that every single night, we’re going to have to rely on getting stops.”

UMass opened the game on a 29-12 run and opened up a big halftime lead in part thanks to junior Curtis Cobb, who had 11 of his 12 points in the first half. Holloway, Pipkins and Cobb were joined by freshmen Tre Wood and Sy Chatman in double-digits, as the Minutemen spread the wealth throughout the evening.

“It’s definitely more fun just to see everybody happy,” Pipkins said. “If you’ve got a happy team you’ll probably have a positive season. So once everybody’s rolling, everybody’s scoring, we should be a hard team to guard.”

While all the Minutemen got in on the act, nobody was quite as dominant as Holloway. When the big man got the ball down low, he looked as unstoppable as ever, moving defenders with ease and finishing at will. Holloway had three consecutive buckets in his most unstoppable stretch midway through the first half, and opened the second with UMass’ first four points, bullying the Wildcats with every touch.

“When Rashaan is rolling, he’s rolling,” Pipkins said. “He’s just got to do that every game — we try to talk trash to him in practice, get him mad. When he’s made, no one’s going to stop him. So we saw that they couldn’t guard him inside, and we were just feeding him. We kept telling him to eat. We kept coming to him every time down the court, that’s what we did, and he took advantage of it.”

With a huge lead, McCall was able to utilize his entire bench throughout the night, and ran several lineups without the usual suspects — Pierre, Pipkins, Holloway — and getting important minutes for role players. Wood had 24 minutes to run the offense after just four against UMass Lowell, Kieran Hayward played 12 minutes after only seeing just six in the opener, Diallo played 13, Chatman totaled 18, Clergeot notched 16 — McCall’s newfound depth was on full display.

“It’s very valuable, just getting those guys up,” Pipkins said. “Getting their feet wet early in the season, just to see what they can do in crunch-time games, just to show McCall that he can rely on them, so it was a big game for those guys and for our team. We’ve just got to take it into Harvard and do the same thing.”

McCall knows not every night is going to be so dominant — the 29-point margin was greater than any win last season, the 104 points were the most since a 108-99 Valentine’s Day win over Duquesne in 2015 — but he’s got confidence in this lineup that wasn’t there a year ago.

“With the amount of firepower we have out on the floor, there’s going to be nights where we should be able to do that offensively,” McCall said. “There’s so many gifted players — Curtis and Jonathan and Pip and Carl, we know what you can do, and then you feed the big fella [Holloway] down there, he goes for 18. And then you’re bringing offense off the bench and shooting with Clergeot and Kieran Hayward, I mean there’s just so many different weapons out on the floor, that we should have nights like this offensively.”

The win sets up a meeting with Harvard on Tuesday, as the Minutemen host the Crimson in an in-state showdown.

“We’ll be off tomorrow, we’ve got a huge game on Tuesday,” McCall said. “I think after wins like this sometimes you worry about your focus level coming back for practice on Sunday — our guys will be ready to go. Our guys know what’s at stake. You know, Harvard, everyone talks about how they’re the best team in the state, and rightfully so, for what they’ve been able to do. Coach Amaker’s done an unbelievable job.

“Let’s get some fans in Mullins here, let’s get this place rocking on Tuesday night, and let’s try to win a state championship.”

Amin Touri can be reached at [email protected], and followed on Twitter @Amin_Touri.

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    amyNov 10, 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Wow.. one third-rate basketball team beat another third-rate basketball team. So impressive!