UMass held off a late charge from Nebraska to improve to 4-0 on the season and earn a spot in the Charleston Classic winner's bracket where it will face No. 19/20 New Mexico on Friday at 2:30 p.m.
Fans unable to attend the game can watch on ESPN2, online at ESPN3/the Watch ESPN app, or listen to the radio call on the UMass Sports Network.
UMass has averaged 89.8 points and scored at least 85 points in all four contests this season. The Minutemen have averaged 49.3 ppg in the second half and gone over 50 points three times. UMass is averaging 13.3 offensive rebounds and 15.7 second-chance points per game, compared to just 10.3 second-chance points for its opponents. All five starters are averaging double-figures in scoring for UMass, with the fifth-highest at 11.3 ppg. UMass has handed each of its last three opponents their first loss of the season
SERIES HISTORY WITH NEW MEXICO & MOUNTAIN WEST UMass and New Mexico will be meeting for the first time in men's hoops on Friday. The Minutemen have faced five current Mountain West members, compiling a 2-4 record against Air Force (0-1), Colorado State (0-1), Fresno State (0-2), Hawaii (1-0) and Wyoming (1-0). Ironically though, none of those meetings have come since the league broke away from the WAC in the late 1990s. The Minutemen's only two games against an active MWC member at the time of the contest were a 69-53 loss to Utah in the 2002 Maui Invitational and a 67-48 win over TCU in the title game of the 2010 Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Springfield.
AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS UMass is 31-76 all-time vs. AP Top-25 teams with five wins since 2004. The Minutemen went 0-2 against ranked foes last season - losing to No. 6/6 NC State in the Puerto Rico Tip Off and No. 25/22 VCU in the Atlantic 10 Championship semifinals. Their last win over a ranked team came against No. 21 Temple in the 2012 A-10 quarterfinals. Derek Kellogg is 2-10 against Top 25 teams (wins over No. 25 Kansas in Kansas City on 12/25/09 and No. 21 Temple in Atlantic City on 3/9/12).
UMASS LEFTOVERS FROM THE NEBRASKA GAME UMass improved to 4-0 on the season for the third time in the last four years (2010-11 & 2011-12). UMass has opened the season scoring at least 80 points in each of it's first four games for the first time in school history. Massachusetts scored on 20 of its first 26 possessions of the second half en route to shooting 58.6 percent after halftime. The Minutemen had 40-plus rebounds for the fourth-straight game and had the edge on the glass for the third time. They also turned 17 offensive boards into 17 second-chance points. UMass set season highs in free throws made, attempted and pct. - 33-of-43 for .767. UMass has handed each of its last three opponents their first loss of the season. Nebraska allowed a season-high 96 points and trailed for much of the game. UN entered with a 53.0 scoring defense and had only trailed for 62 seconds all season. UMass recorded an opponent team high for Nebraska in every offensive stats except 3-pointers made, attempted and percentage. Six players scored in double figures for the first time since seven did so at Jacksonville State on Nov. 25, 2006. Sophomore G Derrick Gordon had a team-high 22 points - 15 after halftime - after opening his UMass career with 7, 8 & 9-point outings. This is his second time at the Charleston Classic after he totaled 19 points, 19 rebounds and eight assists two years ago in three losses as a freshman at Western Kentucky. Gordon also drew his third charge of the season - all coming in the past three games. Junior C Cady Lalanne finished with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting and 9 boards in 31 minutes before fouling out for the second time this season. Senior F Sampson Carter continued his strong play this season with 16 points to post his career-best fourth-consecutive double-figure scoring game. He is averaging 16.0 points and 6.3 rebounds after entering with career averages of 6.1 and 4.0. Junior F Maxie Esho had a season-high 13 points to go along with six boards off the bench. The Minutemen had 40-plus rebounds for the fourth-straight game and had the edge on the glass for the third time. They also turned 17 offensive boards into 17 second-chance points