- A 19-to-4 run to close out the first half was the difference maker as No. 14 Minnesota handed the UMass men's basketball team a 69-51 loss on Friday afternoon in the 2017 Barclays Center Classic which was played at LIU Brooklyn's Steinberg Wellness Center. The Minutemen (3-2) were able to stay close to the Gophers (6-0) in the opening nine minutes of play, but the closing run at the end of the first half proved too much to overcome for UMass.
The Minutemen will return to action on Saturday afternoon in the final game of the tournament facing BYU at the Barclays Center. The game is set for a 2:30 PM tip-off and will be streamed on Facebook LIVE by Stadium.
led UMass in scoring with a game-high 18 points, while Chris Baldwin
added eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds. In his first game back in his hometown, Brooklyn native Unique McLean
added seven points to go with three rebounds, three steals and an assist.
The Gophers received 16 points and nine rebounds from Jordan Murphy along with 10 points from Amir Coffey.
Overall, Minnesota shot just under 43 percent for the game hitting 27-of-63 field goal attempts including 7-of-17 from the three point line. UMass shot 32 percent hitting 21-of-65 and struggled from deep going 5-of-25. Second chance points were tilted in the Gophers' favor 14-to-7 thanks in part to Murphy and Reggie Lynch (9 pts, 5 reb).
Minnesota took an early 6-0 lead in the first three minutes of play, but UMass tied the game on a jumper by Baldwin at the 12:53 mark. The Gophers then scored nine straight points to open up the game, 15-6, with 10:04 left in the first half. The Minutemen cut the lead back to four on two occasions and trailed 18-14 following a Pipkins free throw with 9:01 remaining.
From there, the Gophers took advantage of deep shooting and capitalized on a few UMass turnovers and missed shots to spark the 19-to-4 run giving Minnesota a 40-21 lead at halftime.
After the break, Minnesota scored the first seven points of the second half stretching the lead to 26 points as the Minutemen continued to fight but unable to cut the deficit by any sizeable margin.
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.