Gazette: Carter Stands Tall In Key Match Up - UMass Athletics

Gazette: Carter Stands Tall In Key Match Up

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Check out the Daily Hampshire Gazette's sidebar after the La Salle win on junior center Sean Carter.

"We got a great performance tonight from Sean Carter," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "He looked like a man in the paint finishing balls around the rim... I've been waiting for Sean to break out because he's practiced very hard as of late. "

Carter had a season-high 15 points to go with nine rebounds and two blocked shots while limiting Murray to 12 points and eight rebounds, both below his averages.

Carter stands tall in key matchup for UMass

Photo: Carter stands tall in key matchup
KEVIN GUTTING
UMass junior center Sean Carter, center, battles for an offensive rebound with Jerrell Williams of La Salle in the second half of the Minutemen's 74-71 win over the Explorers on Saturday at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

AMHERST - Sean Carter was a popular media interview at Friday's University of Massachusetts men's basketball practice. The theme was how he planned to deal with La Salle's highly-touted sophomore center Aaric Murray.

But in UMass' 74-71 win over the Explorers, Carter turned the tables making Murray deal with him. Carter, outplaying his higher profile opponent helping to lead the Minutemen to their second league win.

"We got a great performance tonight from Sean Carter," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "He looked like a man in the paint finishing balls around the rim... I've been waiting for Sean to break out because he's practiced very hard as of late. "

Carter had a season-high 15 points to go with nine rebounds and two blocked shots while limiting Murray to 12 points and eight rebounds, both below his averages.

"I had a good game," Carter said. "They want me to be more aggressive in the post and put more pressure on the other team's bigs the way they put pressure on us."

Kellogg hoped it was a sign of things to come.

"He has to be one of the men on this team. He has to become one of the guys who is a mature leader on this team," Kellogg said. "He made a nice jump forward today. Hopefully he can continue that and give us some sort of paint presence."

VINSON LOVES SPRINGFIELD - The MassMutual Center has been a good spot for Terrell Vinson. The sophomore forward had 11 points, just his second double figure scoring game of the year. In fact, his top three scoring totals this season have all come in the birthplace of basketball.

Vinson said his play has improved with his health.

"I've been able to spend a lot of extra time in the gym lately," said Vinson who has battled leg injuries most of the year. "I'm getting my legs and lift back."

Kellogg was encouraged.

"He had a little more bounce in his step tonight. He was able to get around the rim and get some finishes," Kellogg said. "He was tougher on the defensive end of the floor. He has to be a guy that the other team has to be aware that he's out there. Tonight, he did some very good things."

Vinson wasn't the only one to play better in Kellogg's home town. Saturday's win left the Minutemen 3-0 at the MassMutual Center including their wins over New Mexico State and Texas Christian. Kellogg hoped to keep an annual game in the building.

"I got a nice message from the mayor (Springfield's Dominic Sarno) last night," Kellogg said. "It's been a good thing for us and a good thing for the city. I'm hoping we can at least play one game a year here."

CORREIA STARTS - Senior point guard Gary Correia had been coming off the bench since returning from stomach issues, but returned to the starting lineup Saturday. He had a career high seven assists and two turnovers to go with his two points.

"Correia did a nice job and played the most minutes on the team (34) and really ran the team," Kellogg said. "He showed some senior leadership out there."

MISCELLANEOUS - The Minutemen dominated points in the paint 54-38 despite getting outrebounded 40-29. The attendance with 2,532. Anthony Gurley's 20 points gave him 1,083 in his UMass career moving him up to No. 32 on UMass' career list.


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