Minutemen Downed By No. 2 Michigan State, 106-68
Nov. 28, 2009
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - UMass played a No. 2-ranked team for the fourth time in school history and the Minutemen took it hard as second-ranked Michigan State picked up a 106-68 victory in the Legends Classic Semifinal at Boardwalk Hall. The Spartans, who play a rematch of the 2009 NCAA Championship game with North Carolina on Tuesday night, used a 30-3 run in the first half to put the game out of hand.
Guards Anthony Gurley (24) and Ricky Harris (15) led UMass, which fell to 2-4 overall. For Gurley it tied a career-high. The Spartans (5-1) had five players score in double-figures: Chris Allen (18), Raymar Morgan (17), Kalin Lucas (16), Korie Lucious (13) and Delvon Roe (11).
It was the first time UMass allowed 100 points to an opponent since the epic 107-100 win at Syracuse in 2007, two years ago to the day. The last time the Minutemen gave up 100 in a loss was back on Dec. 10, 1996 in a 102-81 loss to Fresno State. Michigan State's point total was the most since Penn State scored 107 in 1989. It equals the 11th most points allowed by UMass all-time.
UMass tried to change things up with a starting line-up adjustment as Gurley and Hashim Bailey started for the first time this season and Harris started at point guard for the first time in his career. It worked early on as the Minutemen took an 8-2 lead out of the gates in the first 2:30 as Gurley made two lay-ups and Harris canned an NBA-length 3-pointer. The Spartans answered with a 16-0 run to take an 18-8 lead with 14 minutes left in the first half. Lucas and Allen each hit two 3-pointers in the burst.
Michigan State expanded the lead to 18 at 29-11 on a bank-shot 3-pointer by Lucious and a Morgan trey with 8:16 left in the first half. That continued to balloon the Spartans' 27-3 run. Michigan State scored three more points on a layup-and free throw for a 30-3 run and a 32-11 lead.
UMass stopped the bleeding with a 9-0 run of its own on capped by a Harris 3-pointer with 6:23 left in the first half. The Minutemen cut the margin to 11 on two different occasions, but could get no closer.
The rest of first half was a track meet up and down the court as the Minutemen trailed 55-38 at intermission. Gurley had 18 at halftime and Harris had 13. Michigan State shot 57 from the floor and 53 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes.
Michigan State poured it on in the second half as they took a lead of 35 on a steal and dunk by Draymond Green followed by consecutive Allen 3-pointers with 12:30 left. That gave Michigan State an 80-45 lead.
The Spartans took a 39-point lead on a lay-up by Lucas with 7:36 left, for a 93-54 advantage. Tom Herzog's lay-up wit 3:46 left made the lead 41 points and put Michigan State over the 100-point plateau at 101-60.
UMass returns to action on Wednesday as the Minutemen host Quinnipiac at 7 p.m., at the Mullins Center. Michigan State heads to North Carolina for a rematch of the 2009 NCAA Championship game in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
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