AMHERST, Mass. –
Freshman Carl Pierre
dropped in a career-high 25 points while connecting on 7-of-9 from deep as the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team defeated Maine 74-63 on Friday evening at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen (7-6 Overall) secured a winning record in non-conference play for the eighth straight season with the win heading into the conference opener at St. Bonaventure on Dec. 30.
Pierre put in 16 points in the first half to tie his previous career-high on a day where he earned the starting nod for the second time, making six of his first seven attempts from behind the arc that included back-to-back triples to put the Minutemen ahead 15-7 while starting a 15-2 UMass scoring run. The guard went on to score eight straight points later in the half to put UMass ahead 36-15 over the Black Bears (3-11 Overall).
was one assist away from tying the Mullins Center record as the senior finished with a career-high 12 assists and a team-high seven rebounds on the night. Anderson entered the game ranking amongst the best in the Atlantic 10 in assists and is averaging 5.85 per contest through 13 games.
UMass shot 16-of-26 from the field in the first half to go ahead 40-15 heading to the break, shooting a first half season-best 61.5-percent while surrendering a season-low 15 points in the half while holding Maine to six made field goals on 21.4-percent shooting. The 15 points allowed by UMass are the least allowed in a half since allowing 12 in the first against Rhode Island in 2016.
The hot shooting night continued for the Minutemen in the early going of the second half as Pierre connected on three shots from behind the arc as he started the game 9-of-10 to put UMass ahead 54-23 at the 15:08 mark.
added two more in a row from deep as the Minutemen started the second a perfect 5-of-5 from behind the 3-point line to go up 60-27. Pipkins finished with 16 points off the bench to reach double-digits for the sixth game in a row and the 10th
time this season.
Pipkins knocked down another triple moments later to give UMass their largest lead of the game of 34 points at 65-31 with 12:04 left in the game.
Maine followed with a 15-2 run before trimming the lead down to 20 points for the first time since the 3:00 mark in the first half with 5:51 remaining. Ilija Stojiljkovic led Maine with 11 points off the bench and eight points late as the Black Bears went on a 30-7 run to cut the lead to 11 with 1:51 left at 72-61. The Black Bears shot 69.2-percent from the field in the second half while outscoring the Minutemen 48-34 in the final 20 minutes.
and Rashaan Holloway
each dropped in 10 points on 67-percent or better front the field, led by Holloway's 4-of-5 showing. Chris Baldwin
came off the bench to add five rebounds for a UMass team that outrebounded their opponent for the fifth straight game.
The Minutemen will break during the holiday season before starting Atlantic 10 play on Dec. 30 on the road at St. Bonaventure for a 2:30 p.m. tip-off.
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