Spiders leave Minutemen in dust

For The Recorder
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. — The University of Massachusetts men’s basketball team rallied back from down 10 points in the early moments of Wednesday night’s contest against Richmond before the Spiders put together a pair of scoring runs to lead them to a 90-65 Atlantic-10 win over the Minutemen.

C.J. Anderson led UMass (11-19 overall, 4-13 A-10) in scoring with 22 points on 4-for-4 from behind the arc, narrowly missing out on a new career-high for scoring by one point while recording his fourth 20-point game of the season.

Richmond (10-19 overall, 8-9 A-10) jumped out to a 10-0 lead on 5-of-6 shooting from the field in the early moments of the game on its way to finishing the half by outshooting the Minutemen 58 percent to 41 percent.

Anderson quickly brought UMass back, connecting on three shots on as many attempts from behind the arc to pull the Minutemen within three at 12-9. Luwane Pipkins followed with back-to-back triples off the bench as UMass opened the contest 5-for-7 from 3, with their first five made field goals coming from deep before Malik Hines eventually tied the game for the first time since the opening tip at 19-19 halfway through the first. Pipkins finished as one of three Minutemen to reach double-figures with 14 points.

Anderson and Pipkins both reached double figures in the first half with 18 and 10. Anderson’s final made field goal of the opening half put the senior at 7-for-8 from the field and 4-for-4 from deep as the Minutemen pulled within one at 31-30 with 4:53 left in the half.

Richmond answered Anderson’s eight straight points with four consecutive shots made of their own, using a quick 5-0 scoring run to take a 40-32 lead into halftime while UMass ended the half on a two-minute scoring drought. Grant Golden scored 18 points of his game-high 26 points the first half to lead four double-digit scorers for Richmond. The Spiders used a 9-0 run early in the second half to push their lead to 20 points for the first time at 58-38 with 15:51 left in the game. Richmond shot 7-of-9 from the field early on their way to finishing the half and the game at 57 percent from the field.

Carl Pierre scored all 11 of his points in the second half, finishing the night with a trio of 3-poiners while Malik Hines added 8 points on 4-for-4 shooting from the field. Randall West came off the bench to grab a team-high 6 rebounds for a team that was outrebounded by one on the night with a 9-6 advantage on the offensive glass.

UMass returns home for the Mullins Center finale on Saturday against Duquesne for Senior Night at 8 p.m.