Men's Basketball Defeats Central Connecticut
Dec. 15, 2001
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) - Massachusetts opened the second half with a 20-3 run to break open a tight game and coasted to a 64-49 win over Central Connecticut State University at the Mohegan Sun Arena Saturday night.
UMass (5-3) was clinging to a 25-21 lead at the break, but the Minutemen held CCSU (7-3) without a field goal for the first seven minutes of the half to blow the game open. UMass took a 40-22 lead with about 13 minutes to play.
A Jon Popofski jumper with 12:51 remaining was the first basket of the half for CCSU. The Minutemen led by as much as 21 on a layup by Micah Brand with 11:58 to play.
Central cut the lead to 13 with 5:02 to go but couldn't get any closer as UMass shot 63 percent from the field in the second half. Central was led by Damien Battles who had 13 points as the Blue Devils shot 33 percent from the field for the game.
The Minuteman outrebounded Central 41-26 and controlled the paint area with Rhymer and Brand.
UMass struggled offensively in the first half - going nearly seven minutes without scoring - but Central couldn't capitalize. UMass broke the spell by getting the ball to Rhymer who scored six straight points. UMass ended the half on a 9-2 run with Shannon Crooks hitting a foul line jumper just before halftime.