PRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Massachusetts had an unbeatable combination, hitting 3-pointers like they were layups and blocking more shots than West Virginia made.
The fourth-ranked Minutemen (6-1) cruised to a 95-65 victory Tuesday night, setting an Atlantic-10 record with 20 blocks and missing by one its school record of 13 3-pointers.
"In the past we had teams that people said couldn't shoot," said Lou Roe, who had 13 points in 15 minutes for Massachusetts. "Adding that shooting just puts us up to another level."
The blocked shots ruined what slim hopes the Mountaineers (4-4) had for a comeback after trailing 58-29 at halftime. They ended the game with just 18 field goals on 74 attempts.
"We've always played with 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-6 centers," Massachusetts coach John Calipari said. "Now all of a sudden people are playing the same way and driving into guys who are 7-footers who can jump."
Marcus Camby, who is 6-11, led Massachusetts with five blocks, 6-8 Inus Norville and 6-6 Donta Bright had four each and 7-2 Jeff Meyer had three.
The 20 blocked shots were one off the NCAA record set by Georgetown in a 108-55 victory over Southern of New Orleans on Dec. 1, 1993. The previous conference record of 16 was set in 1992 by Rutgers against St. Bonaventure.
"They're the best team we've played so far and they've got better depth than they've ever had," West Virginia coach Gale Catlett said. "On the other hand, we played very poorly both offensively and defensively."
Massachusetts was led by guards Edgar Padilla with 17 points and Carmelo Travieso with 15. An ankle injury sidelined Mike Williams, the Minutemen's top-scoring guard.
West Virginia was paced by Seldon Jefferson with 20 points and Damian Owens with 11. Its top scorer, Zain Shaw, had three points in 20 minutes.
The Minutemen made 10 of 15 3-pointers in the first half, while West Virginia made only eight of 29 field goal attempts of any kind.
Hitting 3-pointers "takes the air out of the other teams' sails," Calipari said. "It's nice to let the other teams know if they can stop us one way, they can't stop us the other way. We can always hit from the outside as well as from the inside."
The Mountaineers struggled just to get shots against a relentless defense.
It was the first meaningful game in 17 days for the Minutemen, who played three exhibition games last week in France against European pro teams and lost them all.
West Virginia lost for the third time in four games in the conference opener for both teams. It trailed by 26 to 38 points throughout the second half.
Massachusetts' lead never fell below 11 points after it went ahead 23-12 9:24 into the game.
Massachusetts had used 3-pointers sparingly, making more than 10 just once in 35 games last season and its first six this season. But in the first half, Travieso went 5-for-5 and Padilla was 3-for-4.
The Minutemen used substitutes for most of the second half and finished 12-for-29 on 3-pointers.
"It's a staggering statistic when you see that only one (actually two) of UMass' starters played more than 20 minutes," Catlett said.
West Virginia stayed close for just the first eight minutes, trailing 15-10.
Then Massachusetts went on a 24-6 run over 5:15 to take a 39-16 lead with 6:46 left in the half. Fifteen of those points came on 3-pointers. Travieso, whose career-high was 12 points, hit three 3-pointers in 1:28 span during the spurt.
The lead was 40-22 when the Minutemen scored the next 12 points, eight by Padilla. His 3-pointers started and ended the run as Massachusetts stretched its margin to 52-22 with 2:23 remaining in the half.
After Jefferson made two free throws, Travieso hit his fifth 3-pointer of the game, giving the Minutemen their biggest lead, 55-24. Appropriately, the half ended with Padilla's 3-pointer at the buzzer.
|West Virginia Mountaineers||65|
|Massachusetts Minutemen (#4)||95|
|Abdow's Holiday Classic|
at the Springfield Civic Center
MASSACHUSETTS (95) -- Dana Dingle 1-5 0-0 2, Donta Bright 1-5 2-2 4, Jason Germain 0-4 0-0 0, Andre Burks 1-3 0-0 3, Edgar Padilla 6-8 2-2 17, Derek Kellogg 2-5 0-0 6, Louis Roe 4-7 4-6 13, Marcus Camby 3-6 0-1 6, Carmelo Travieso 5-10 0-0 15, Jeff Meyer 1-1 1-3 3, Tyrone Weeks 5-6 0-0 10, Ted Cottrell 2-3 0-2 4, Rigoberto Nunez 2-5 2-2 6, Inus Norville 3-9 0-2 6. TOTALS: 36-77 (46.8%) 11-20 (55.0%) 95.
HALFTIME: Massachusetts 58, West Virginia 29. 3-POINTERS: Massachusetts 12-29 (Travieso 5-9, Padilla 3-5, Kellogg 2-5, Roe 1-1, Burks 1-2, Dingle 0-1, Bright 0-1, Nunez 0-1, Germain 0-4), West Virginia 4-15 (Jefferson 3-4, West 1-4, Jones 0-1, Owens 0-1, Shaw 0-2, Liguori 0-3). REBOUNDS: Massachusetts 59 (Norville 11), West Virginia 47 (Owens, Agnew 8). ASSISTS: Massachusetts 26 (Kellogg 6), West Virginia 9 (4 with 2). FOULED OUT: None. TECHNICAL FOULS: Meyer. TOTAL FOULS: Massachusetts 25, West Virginia 16. ATTENDANCE: 8,590. RECORDS: Massachusetts 1-0/6-1, West Virginia 0-1/4-4.
West Virginia 29 36 -- 65 Massachusetts 58 37 -- 95