It has been almost 18 years since UMass played a regular season game at the Curry Hicks Cage. The Cage was home to the UMass basketball program from the mid 1930′s all the way up until December of 1993. The Minutemen transitioned from the small and cozy confines of the Cage to the state of the art 9,493 seat Mullins Center in the middle of the 1993-1994 season.
The Minutemen did not disappoint in their return to the Cage on Saturday afternoon. The Minutemen were able to hold off a late Holy Cross run for a 83-76 victory over the Crusaders. The game started off pretty close, with both teams battling back and forth. The Minutemen eventually went on an 11-0 run with 12 minutes remaining in the first half to take the lead 23-13 and would go into halftime with a 35-29 lead.
The Minutemen were up 70-46 with eight minutes remaining in the second half and the game looked like a lock for the Minutemen. The Crusaders went on a 24-6 run to cut what was a 24 point lead for the Minutemen down to only four. Thankfully the Minutemen were able to hold on and move to 6-0.
The Minutemen were led once again by Anthony Gurley (24 points, 3 assists). Gurley is averaging more than 21 points per game this season and has led the Minutemen in scoring in their first six games of the season.
Freddie Riley and Sean Carter were huge contributors for the Minutemen off the bench. Riley had 17 points in only 17 minutes and went 5 for 9 from behind the arc. He helped to spark a couple of big UMass runs in the first and second halves. Carter had 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks in 21 minutes.
Sampson Carter had a decent game. His shot selection was certainly lacking and he seemed a little over confident at times. He still had 12 points in 26 minutes but only had three rebounds, one of the reasons UMass was out rebounded by Holy Cross. The Minutemen were out rebounded 18-10 in the second half and 35-30 in the game.
Gary Correia, who injured his ankle against TCU, played well for the Minutemen. Correia had eight points and two assists in 32 minutes.
Daryl Traynham sat out this game with a stress “reaction” in his left foot. Javorn Farrell (3 assists) was the back up point guard.
UMass at Quinnipiac
The Minutemen travel to Hamden, CT on Wednesday to take on the Quinnpiac Bobcatsat the TD Banknorth SportsCenter at 7pm. The Bobcats are 3-1 so far this season, with wins over Yale, Hartford and Dartmouth. Last season the Minutemen defeated the Bobcats at the Mullins Center by the score of 62-58.
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Written by Jeremy Frassa