Minutemen Go To 3-0 After Beating NJIT, 79-58
Nov. 17, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. - Four double-figure scoring efforts, including a double-double from Terrell Vinson, led UMass men's basketball to a 79-58 victory over NJIT (1-2) at the Mullins Center on Thursday night and closed out the Minutemen's season-opening homestand at 3-0. Vinson scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Javorn Farrell (17), Chaz Williams (15) and Raphiael Putney (12) all reached double digits in points.
Freshman center Cady Lalanne grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds to go with six points in 15 minutes, while Williams dished out a game-high nine assists.
After a Chris Flores basket cut the UMass lead to 11 with 9:05 left, the Minutemen ran off 11-straight points, finished off with a Freddie Riley jumper that gave UMass a 21-point lead, 63-41 with 6:53 left in the game and allowed the home team to cruise to victory.
After the Minutemen put up 44 points in the first half and led by 16, both teams started the second half cold as UMass recorded just two field goals in the first nine minutes while NJIT had three.
The game started back and forth with the clubs trading leads seven times and tying twice in the first half, but a Putney 3-pointer with 4:16 left in the opening half gave the Minutemen the lead for good, 29-26, and began an 18-2 run to close the half and give UMass its largest lead of the night, 44-28.
All of UMass' points in the 18-2 run came in threes, five 3-pointers, three by Putney, and a Vinson traditional 3-point play.
Putney led all scorers in the half with 12 points on 4-of-5 3-point shooting and Williams dished out eight assists. As a team, the Minutemen were 9-of-22 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes.
UMass tallied 10 steals compared to NJIT's five. The Highlanders turned the ball over 15 times, leading to 16 points for the Minutemen. In the paint, UMass won the battle, tallying 32 points, compared to NJIT's 16.
Redshirt freshman center Andrew McCarthy, whose brother Sean is a 6-10 junior center for NJIT, played the final 1:01 for the Minutemen, while his older brother played the final 44 seconds. They guarded each other on each possession.
The Minutemen hit the road for the first time on Monday when they face Boston College in a 7 p.m. tip at Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass.