- A late 8-to-0 run in the second half proved the difference maker as the UMass men's basketball team opened the Matt McCall
era with a 74-69 win over UMass Lowell in the season-opener for both squads at the Mullins Center on Friday night. Five different Minutemen (1-0) scored in double-figures led by a double-double from Malik Hines
who had 11 points and 13 rebounds.
The game was nip-and-tuck throughout until UMass took a 66-58 lead with 2:31 remaining after a free throw from Luwane Pipkins
, a three-pointer by Rayshawn Miller
and a layup from Pipkins following a blocked shot on the other end.
The River Hawks put together one last comeback effort in the final minute making it a one-point game, 68-67, with 31 seconds to go on a pair of Shawn Jones free throws.
hit four straight free throws and a steal by Pipkins led to a run out dunk by Unique McLean
to punctuate the win.
Hines was an efficient 4-of-5 from the field and had eight defensive boards to highlight his evening. Pipkins had 11 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. McLean tallied 12 points as did Rashaan Holloway
who played just 16 minutes following foul trouble in his first live action since suffering an injured hand during the preseason. Rayshawn Miller
closed out the high scores with a career-high 10 points.
Lowell was led by 19 points from Matt Harris and 13 points by Josh Gantz. Jones rounded out the top trio with 12 points.
The Minutemen will return to action on Sunday afternoon at Harvard. The game will be televised live on NESN and digitally on the Ivy League Digital Network.
- CJ Anderson, the active team leader, played in his 95th career game for a total of 36 minutes.
- Malik Hines also chipped in a double double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
- Rayshawn Miller posted a career high points per minute, with 10 points in 20 minutes of play, also exceeding time played last year.
- Unique McLean and Carl Pierre made their first appearances for the Minutemen. McLean recorded 12 points and four rebounds in 24 minutes of play. Pierre scored his first points out of five on a 3- pointer and has two rebounds in 18 minutes of play.
- UMass started C.J. Anderson (G), Unique McLean (G), Luwane Pipkins (G), Chris Baldwin (F) and Malik Hines (F).
- Matt McCall is now 3-0 in season openers as head coach; 2015-2016 at Georgia, 2016-2017 at Tennessee, and 2017-2018 at Massachusetts.
For complete coverage of the UMass men's basketball team, follow the program on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @UMassBasketball and online at www.UMassAthletics.com.