Opponent: Maine Black Bears
League: America East Conference
After a stinging defeat to Georgia State two days prior, the Minutemen were back at it, trying to rebound from their first home defeat of the season. Clearly, the squad got the message and responded with a dominating performance thanks in part to a career day from Carl Pierre. The first half was one of the most complete of the year as a lineup change, bringing Luwane Pipkins off the bench, clearly played dividend. The period was highlighted by extremely good ball movement as C.J. Anderson distributed eight assists as the team recorded one of their highest tallies of the year with twenty-two. Additionally, Umass took very good care of the ball as they only committed four turnovers in the half. On the other hand, Maine struggled immensely with just 21.4% shooting from the field and a combined one for fifteen from three. With those type of shooting statistics, it is nearly impossible to stay in games and the Minutemen staying hot from the field surely did not help their cause. To contrast, Umass, shot 61.5 % in the first. The game was stretched open with a twenty-four to six tun beginning with just under fifteen minutes left to nearly the three minute mark to put the Minutemen up eighteen (31-13). UMass had already built up a comfortable lead, but kept the foot on the gas and concluded the half on another nine to two run to go into the break with a 40-15 lead.
The second half was more of the same to begin as the Minutemen stretched the advantage to their largest at 65-31 with twelve minutes remaining. With the game all but decided, Umass got a bit careless, and Maine ultimately outscored them forty-eight to thirty-four in the period. Ultimately the comeback bid fell far short as the result was far out of question thanks to the lead they had built up. The final tally ended in a 74-63 advantage. For the game, C.J. Anderson struggled from the field and did not score, but was arguably the most important player for the Minutemen as he recorded a career-high twelve assists, seven rebounds and provided consistent defensive play all night. Overall, the big men Malik Hines and Rashaan Holloway, were very efficient from the floor as they finished with ten points a piece and Luwane Pipkins was up to his usual antics with sixteen points on four threes. Despite all of this production, the star of the game was Carl Pierre who added a season high 25 points on seven for nine from three as he continues to be the Minutemen’s most consistent shooter. It is fantastic to see this kind of production from Pierre and shows the potential and value, the once thought to be “small time recruit” holds. The team has an eight day break for the holidays and returns to action with their first conference game of the year at St. Bonaventure, December 30th, at 2:30 P.M.
Final Score: 74-63
Team stats: UMass Maine
Field Goals: 27-52 (51.9%) 24-54 (44.4%)
3 Point Field Goals: 13-24 (54.2%) 5-21 (23.8%)
Free Throws: 7-7 (100.0 %) 10-17 (58.8%)
Rebounds: 31 27
Assists: 22 16
Turnovers: 13 12