The Minutemen took on instate rival Boston College on Saturday night at the TD Garden as part of the Boston Tip-Off Classic. The Minutemen were originally scheduled to play Boston College at the Mullins Center this year, but they forfeited their home court in order to play at the Garden. A vast majority of the crowd was made up of UMass fans and it felt like an away game for the Boston College, whose campus is only seven miles away from the Garden. The Eagles were able to put the hostile crowd behind them and hand the Minutemen their first loss of the season 76-71.
The Minutemen struggled in the first half. The Eagles hit back to back three pointers and the Minutemen were quickly down 6-0. The Minutemen were able to keep it close and eventually pulled to with one point 20-19 with 7:45 remaining in the first half. The Eagles pulled away and led at half time 35-24.
The Minutemen could not close the gap until about halfway through the second half. The final 10 minutes of the game was truly a battle. The Minutemen pulled within two points on four separate occasions but they were not able to get over the hump. Every time the Minutemen pulled within two points, the Eagles upperclassmen stepped up and hit some key shots to seal the Eagles victory.
The Minutemen were led by Anthony Gurley’s 22 points, 20 of which came in the second half. Gurley also recorded five rebounds and two assists and played all 20 minutes of the second half. The Eagles were led by Junior guard Reggie Jackson’s 17 points and six rebounds.
Daryl Traynham was a huge spark off the bench in UMass’ second half run. He was able to disrupt the Eagle’s offense and give Boston College guard Reggie Jackson some trouble. He was one of the only players who could keep up
with Jackson. Traynham showed his potential by making some good passes and good ball control, he only had two turn overs.
Four Minutemen scored eight points or more, Daryl Traynham (9 points) , Freddie Riley (9 points), Javorn Farrell (8 points) and Terrell Vinson (8 points).
Sean Carter led the Minutemen with 11 rebounds.
Boston College Senior center Josh Southern was a beast in the paint. He was 7-7 from the floor and 2-2 from the free throw line. The Minutemen did not have an answer for the 6’10 263 pound big man.
The Minutemen will look to get back on track against the Maine Black Bears on Wednesday night at the Mullins Center.
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Written by Jeremy Frassa