UMass Overtakes Oakland, 65-56, In First Round Of Colonial Classic.
Nov. 17, 2006
PITTSBURGH - Senior forward Stephane Lasme (Libreville, Gabon) posted his ninth career double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds and three others scored in double-figures as UMass (2-0) defeated Oakland (2-1), 65-56, in the first game of the First Commonwealth Colonial Athletic Association Basketball Classic at the Petersen Events Center. Junior Gary Forbes (Brooklyn, N.Y.) tallied 15 in his second game at UMass. Senior guard James Life (Fort Myers, Fla.) scored all 15 of his points in the first half. Senior center Rashaun Freeman (Schenectady, N.Y.) notched 11 points.
UMass' defense was solid all game as the Minutemen held Oakland's top two scorers, who came in averaging a combined 34 points per game to just seven combined points. Guard Erik Kangas, who came in at 19.5 points per game was limited to just five and forward Vova Severovas (14.0 ppg) had only two points. Also, Nick Billings who came in at 12.0 points per game was held to two.
Life was the story of the first half as he hit all six of his shots (15 points) to help the Minutemen build a commanding 40-24 lead at intermission. UMass shot a blazing 68 percent in the first half making 15-of-22 shots including 6-of-8 from 3-point range. The Minutemen converted 10 of their first 11 shots of the contest.
The Minutemen jumped out to a 23-8 lead in the first 8:50 of the game as they hit nine of their first 10 shots from the floor. That finished with a 14-0 run as UMass made four 3-pointers in a row, two by Gary Forbes, one by Brandon Thomas (San Antonio, Texas) and another by Life with 11:10 left in the first half.
UMass continues action at the Colonial Classic on Saturday as the Minutemen take on host No. 4/5 Pittsburgh at 5 p.m. The game will air on ESPN Regional (Fox Sports Pittsburgh, SportsNet New York and Mid-Atlantic Sports Network). It can be heard on the UMass Sports Network (100.9 FM, 830 AM, 95.9 FM) and UMassAthletics.com.
James Life reached double figures in the first 10:23 of the game and scored all 15 points in the first half. It is his 15th career double-figure game at UMass and second in as many games this season.
Stephane Lasme had his ninth career double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds. It was his 21st career double-figure scoring game and 12th career game with 10 or more rebounds.
Gary Forbes scored in double-figures for the second game in a row with 15. It was his 26th career game with 10 or more points.
Rashaun Freeman had his second double-figure game of the year and 66th in 87 career games.
UMass hit 10 of their first 11 shots of the game in the first 10 minutes. That included 5-of-6 from the 3-point line.