Minutemen Roll Over Ark.-Fort Smith, 94-68
Nov. 21, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - Behind a quintet of double-digit scorers, led by Anthony Gurley's 21 points, the UMass men's basketball team picked up its first win of the season, cruising 94-68 over Arkansas-Fort Smith on Saturday afternoon at the Mullins Center. Ricky Harris netted 18 points, while Freddie Riley (17), Terrell Vinson (14), and Sean Carter (13) gave the Minutemen their first game with five in double-figures in the Derek Kellogg era. UMass improved to 1-2 on the season, while Arkansas-Fort Smith drops to 1-1.
With his 18 points, Harris moved up to 11th on the UMass career scoring list with 1,406 points. UMass' assist to turnover ratio was 24-16, with David Gibbs leading the way with six helpers. The Minutemen also controlled the glass, pulling down 42 boards, including 14 offensive rebounds.
The Minutemen jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead, but the Lions battled back as the UMass shooters looked for their touch, taking a 15-11 lead with 11:32 left in the half.
UAFS led by one with eight and a half minutes remaining in the first half when UMass went on a 13-2 run over 2:05 to take a 30-20 lead with 6:13 left. After the Lions went on a small 6-1 run, the Minutemen, led by seven-straight points from Gurley, closed the half on a 12-2 run over the final 2:58 to take a commanding 43-28 lead into the locker room.
Gurley finished the first half with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting, while Harris netted 10, including the last two buckets of the half. 34 of UMass' 43 points in the half came in the paint, while 20 points came off the bench.
The UMass lead was trimmed to 12 with 16 minutes left in the game, but that was as close as the Lions would get. The Minutemen then scored nine-straight points, six of which came from Riley, as the freshmen guard caught fire and UMass extended its lead to 21 with 13:40 to go. He scored 11 points in a span of 3:09 midway through the second half.
The Minutemen continued to roll down the stretch, building the lead to its highest on the last points of the night when senior Lex Mongo found Sampson Carter under the hoop for a 3-point play with 26 seconds left, making it a 94-68 game.
The Minutemen return to action on Tuesday when they host St. Francis (N.Y.) at the Mullins Center for a 7 p.m. tip.
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