Coverage from:
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The Springfield Union-News - notebook
The Boston Herald
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The Daily Hampshire Gazette
The Daily Hampshire Gazette - notebook


UMass: Minutemen hang tough for half
By Ron Chimelis, The Springfield Union-News, 12/30/2000

CHARLOTTE, N.C. The first 17 minutes represented much of what the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team hopes it can be.

Photo
Bruiser and company couldn't carry over a strong first-half performance into the second.
But the second half of last night's 91-60 Tournament of Champions semifinal loss to North Carolina, the worst defeat in Bruiser Flint's five-year career, represented what it has been.

It left Flint sitting dejectedly in a corner of the locker room by himself, after his reeling team had bolted out of the Charlotte Coliseum with fast-break speed.

"We got into foul trouble and they wore us down," Flint said. "We missed some shots and some foul shots that would have kept (the deficit) at a certain number.

"But you know what?" Flint said. "That's the way we've played all year."

In the second half, 14th-ranked North Carolina was dealing and dunking, blocking shots and eradicating hopes that this game might provide UMass with some hope, even in defeat.

It was 33-33 with three minutes left in the first half. But North Carolina (8-2), which won its fifth straight, ended the half on a 7-0 run for a 40-33 lead, then shot 59.4 percent in the second half.

In Flint's previous 137 games, his worst loss was last year's 75-48 defeat to Temple.

UMass (2-8) will meet Richmond (7-2) in tonight's 7 o'clock consolation game. North Carolina, going for its ninth Tournament of Champions title in 11 tries, will play College of Charleston (9-1) in the 9:15 title game.

Richmond received 16 points and eight rebounds from forward Greg Stevenson in its 52-48 semifinal loss to Charleston. The Cougars ended the game on a 22-8 run in the final 13:48, when Richmond managed only two field goals.

Four Richmond starters played at least 35 minutes each, and the fifth, former Williston Northampton center Tim Faulconer, played 27.

Joseph Forte's 16 points led North Carolina, which had six players in double figures. With UMass center Kit Rhymer limited to 15 minutes by foul trouble, Tar Heels' 7-footer Brendan Haywood had 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.

UMass had some first-half effectiveness with a zone defense it used for the first extended time this year. Offensively, Monty Mack scored 20 points but missed 17 of 23 shots, then became ill with an apparent upset stomach on the sidelines after coming out in the final minutes.

Micah Brand had 10 points on 5-for-5 first-half shooting, but went scoreless in the second half. The Minutemen shot 23.5 percent from the floor in the second half and 30 percent overall, and also missed 14 of 27 free throws.

"We picked up our defensive intensity in the second half," North Carolina coach Matt Doherty said. "We also shot to many 3-pointers in the first half, when we settled for jumpers. But in the second half, we pretty much took what we want."

The Tar Heels tried 18 shots from 3-point range in the first half, but only three after the break.

"We tried to stay in front of their big guys, but every once in a while, we got caught behind them," Brand said. "That's when we got in trouble and picked up fouls. We didn't make foul shots, had too many turnovers and allowed them too many second-chance points."

The Minutemen haven't started 2-8 since 1980-81, when they finished 3-24.


Spiders appear early
UMass notebook
By Ron Chimelis, The Springfield Union-News, 12/30/2000

CHARLOTTE, N.C. The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team will get a sneak preview of Richmond, which will join the Atlantic 10 Conference next season.

The Spiders, who play UMass in tonight's 7 o'clock Tournament of Champions consolation game, already belong in football. Joining the A-10 as a full member does more than restore the league's presence in Virginia, after the departure of Virginia Tech to the Big East this year.

It also adds a quality men's basketball team that is 7-2 after last night's 52-48 semifinal loss to College of Charleston at the Charlotte Coliseum. The Spiders saw a 40-30 second-half lead dissolve.

A Colonial Athletic Association member, Richmond was 18-12 last season, lost nine games by four points or less and came within one game of reaching the NCAA tournament. With an automatic berth on the line, the Spiders lost 57-47 to North Carolina-Wilmington in the CAA tournament final.

Tim Faulconer, a four-year letterman at Williston Northampton School, is Richmond's starting center. The 6-foot-11 junior grew up in Santa Clarita, Calif., and is averaging 7.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game.

Faulconer, sophomore guard Reggie Brown (17.6 ppg.) junior guard Scott Ungerer (5.4 assists per game), sophomore center Eric Zwayer and freshman forward Mike Skrocki will still be around when Richmond joins the A-10. Tony Dobbins, a former A-10 player at Virginia Tech, is sitting out after transferring, but will return in 2001-2002 with three years of eligibility left.

Leading scorer Greg Stevenson (19 ppg.), Kinte Smith and Rick Houston, all forwards, are seniors who will be gone.

Richmond's inclusion will restore the A-10 to a 12-team, two-division league. The A-10 is playing this season as an 11-team, one-division league.

THE SERIES:

UMass fans will never forget the Minutemen's 91-86 overtime win over North Carolina at Madison Square Garden in New York, but the 1993 Preseason NIT final is not the most recent meeting.

The Tar Heels won 83-69 Nov. 20, 1996 in the Jimmy V Classic at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. It was Bruiser Flint's ninth game as coach.

North Carolina entered last night's game with a 3-1 series lead. The 1993 UMass win came when the Tar Heels were ranked No. 1 in the country, and featured Lou Roe's 28 points and 14 rebounds.

The first meeting March 20, 1971 was Julius Erving's last college game. Erving, a junior, had 13 points and nine rebounds in a 90-49 first-round NIT loss at Madison Square Garden, then jumped to the American Basketball Association the following year.

In 1973, the teams met in the NIT second round, with North Carolina winning 73-63 behind 15-points from current Milwaukee Bucks coach George Karl. Boston Celtics coach Rick Pitino scored eight points for UMass.

CHARLOTTE MEMORIES:

Not only did Jack Leaman coach UMass in the 1971 and 1973 NIT games against North Carolina, he also finished his playing career in Charlotte.

In 1959, Leaman's Boston University club lost an 86-82 NCAA East Regional final to West Virginia and Jerry West. Leaman is now a UMass broadcaster.


Heels' center has future
UMass notebook
By Ron Chimelis, The Springfield Union-News, 12/31/2000

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Neil Fingleton may not wear North Carolina blue this season, but his coach thinks the 7-foot-5 freshman center from Holy Name of Worcester has a bright basketball future.

"I recruited him for Notre Dame when I was still there," first-year North Carolina coach Matt Doherty said. "He's done well for us (in practice), but his back has been acting up in the past week."

A recurrence of back problems was one reason Fingleton was not dressed for the Tar Heels' 91-60 Tournament of Champions semifinal win over the University of Massachusetts Friday night. The lopsided score at the Charlotte Coliseum suggested a healthy Fingleton could have played, although the Tar Heels still used 15 players.

But on the other hand, the moment Fingleton enters a game, he loses his choice to redshirt this season, unless North Carolina files for a medical exemption.

North Carolina freshmen are not allowed to talk to the media, but Doherty said that redshirting might be Fingleton's path, since he hasn't played yet and could preserve his full four years of eligibility.

"He might be leaning in that direction," Doherty said. "But whatever happens, I think his best days are ahead of him."

BLOWOUT:

Friday night's 31-point loss was the worst for UMass since Feb. 18, 1989, when the Minutemen of first-year coach John Calipari bowed 105-74 at Duquesne. Two nights early, UMass had lost 88-55 at West Virginia, which was ranked 14th at the time, as North Carolina is now.

UMass broadcaster and former coach Jack Leaman tried to find humor in Friday night's lopsided loss.

"I told Naismith (Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball) to make this an 18-minute game," Leaman said after watching the Minutemen battle North Carolina to a 33-33 tie with less than three minutes left in the first half, only to come unglued after halftime.

BOARD MEETING:

UMass grabbed a season-high 25 offensive rebounds and actually outrebounded North Carolina 49-46 Friday night. It was the fourth straight game in which the Minutemen had won the battle of the boards, after losing that category in their first six games.

UMass has outrebounded both ranked teams it has faced, Connecticut and North Carolina.

Friday night's total might have been significant in that UMass did well on the boards despite playing quite a bit of zone defense. UMass coach Bruiser Flint has generally disliked zone, in part because he fears it weakens rebounding strength.

PUGH PRODUCTION:

In only 17 minutes this season 14 of which came against either UConn or North Carolina UMass freshman guard Jameel Pugh has 10 points and nine rebounds.

REMEMBER HIM?:

Jody Lumpkin, the College of Charleston center who scored 22 points with seven rebounds against Lari Ketner two years ago, had 16 points with 10 rebounds and four blocked shots in Friday's 52-48 win over Richmond. That win placed the Cougars in last night's Tournament of Champions title game against North Carolina.

Lumpkin is an interesting footnote to recent UMass history. After Charleston's 77-75 win over UMass in 1998, Flint criticized Ketner largely by questioning how the UMass center could let a player of Lumpkin's caliber dominate him, which led to days of discussion over

Ketner's role with the Minutemen.


Tar Heels trip up UMass
By Mark Murphy, The Boston Herald, 12/30/2000

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The idea was to keep the big guys out of foul trouble. Instead, UMass coach Bruiser Flint needed a turnstile with so many big people rotating off the bench.

Photo
Ronald Curry tries to pick Jonathan DePina's pocket.
The idea also was to take care of the ball. Once UMass lost control, the result was last night's second-half runaway - a thumping that turned into a 91-60 celebration by No. 14 North Carolina.

The Minutemen (2-8) will play Richmond tonight in the consolation game of the Tournament of Champions.

The Minutemen, as always, live and die with Monty Mack. The senior guard got off to his best start of the year, scoring 16 points over the first 15 minutes of the first half. But he chilled just as quickly. He missed 8-of-9 shots over a 16:35 stretch and finished with 20 points.

The Minutemen, despite their first-half valor, were stuffed inside a smoker with 12 minutes left to play.

North Carolina, which had been protecting a 10-point lead, lost hold with 11:42 left when Julius Peppers hit a pair of free throws. Two subsequent UMass turnovers triggered two Joseph Forte hoops, including a dunk off the break for a 58-43 edge with 10:26 left.

UMass, caught in another impossible game of catch-up, couldn't chase the clock this time. A pair of Jason Capel plays - a 3-pointer and two free throws - gave the Tar Heels a 69-49 lead that would jump to 71-49 with 6:37 left.

The Minutemen had taken a hard shot when the Tar Heels closed out the first half with a 7-0 run for a 40-33 halftime lead. And though they opened the second half well enough, the Minutemen were about to take another shot.

Starting with a Kris Lang hook, leading to a three-point play, North Carolina outscored UMass, 7-2, over a 2:32 stretch for a 47-37 edge.

Lang gave the Tar Heels another 10-point lead, 50-40, with 13:02 left on another three-point play that saddled center Kitwana Rhymer with his third foul.

Rhymer picked up his fourth in short order, with 12:18 left and the Minutemen now trailing, 52-42.

Just as bad as the score, UMass' foul trouble continued to rise.

With 10:48 left, and the Tar Heels leading, 56-43, thanks to a Forte leaner, Micah Brand was on the bench with four fouls, and Jackie Rogers and Rhymer were both on the floor with four.

Though Flint promised to use a heavy measure of zone defense last night - mainly to keep Rhymer out of foul trouble - he opened with the usual man-to-man attack.

But there was a difference. This time the Minutemen attacked - on both ends - from the start.

Their reward was an early 7-1 lead four minutes into the game.

This was notable for the simple fact that Mack, after so much trouble with his shot this season, hit his first two shots - a 3-pointer and a short baseline pull-up. He finished with 16 points in the first half.

But the problem that followed was a familiar one.

Though the Minutemen started switching in and out of a zone, it wasn't enough to protect Rhymer.

The senior picked up his first foul 2:11 into the game, and his second 6:44 in. Rogers picked up his second with 11:49 left in the half, enabling Haywood to hit a free throw for a 12-12 tie.

The Minutemen were running almost solely on Mack power at this point. He scored 10 points over the first 8:46 and pushed the UMass lead to 15-12 with his third 3-pointer of the half.


Tar Heels respond to Doherty, crush UMass 91-60
By Ben Sherman, UNCbasketball.com, 12/30/2000

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - With a seven point lead at halftime, Coach Doherty was upset with the Tar Heels' play -- and he let the team know about it in the locker room.

Photo
Tar Heel coach Matt Doherty had to tell his kids to use their melons in the first half.
No one would say exactly what Doherty did to fire the team up, but the first-year head coach gave a hint.

"I might have to pay for a chair," he said. "I think some days you just start in a little bit of a funk; you need to just shake your head and get the cobwebs out and I think we did that at halftime."

UNC led 40-33 at the break, but was playing unimpressive, and uninspired basketball. That changed after Doherty's halftime talk.

"He got on us a little bit," Joseph Forte said. "In the second half we came out more physical and with more energy and I think it payed off -- we played better defense."

In particular, Forte was able to shut down UMass' Monty Mack, who scored 16 first-half points, but finished with 20.

Doherty said: "Joe's defense in the second half on Mack was very good. He did a really good job chasing him and contesting his shots."

With Mack held in check, the Tar Heels began to click on both sides of the ball and ran away with the game in the second half, widening the lead from nine points to 31 points in the final 12 minutes.

Forte led the Heels with 16 points (6-13 FG, 1-5 3pt). The entire starting five reached double-digits in scoring. Most notable were Jason Capel with 11 points and seven rebounds, and Ronald Curry, who provided an offensive punch with 10 points (4-6 FG, 2-4 3pt) to go with four assists against five turnovers. Max Owens contributed 11 points off the bench in 12 minutes of playing time.

The bench players came in for the final four minutes, highlighted by Orlando Melendez's dunk and three-pointer (five points) and the active play of Brian Bersticker (four points, 2-6 FG, one block).

Bersticker was expected to see more playing time this year, but has spent much of the season as a rarely used substitute. The Tar Heel crowd was calling for him on Friday night.

"Some of us don't get to play as much, but we try to do what we can when we're in there," he said. "Our major role in practice is to get the team prepared. I'd like to think our performance in practice helps them."

On what he's working on to increase his playing time, Bersticker added: "It's always been a focus to be physically stronger and I think that's what Coach Doherty is looking for."


Doherty wakes up Tar Heels
After a lethargic first half of playing down to Massachusetts, UNC asserts its inside strength and gradually dominates the Minutemen in the second half.
By Barry Svrluga, The Raleigh News & Observer Staff Writer, 12/30/2000

CHARLOTTE - The evidence was there, apparently. Glance over the North Carolina locker room Friday night at the Charlotte Coliseum, when the players all sat neatly at their lockers, and you might not have been able to tell.

Photo
Jason Capel takes it right at Kit Rhymer.
"Come on, man," UNC forward Jason Capel said. "Look around this place."

Oh, yeah. That's a tipped-over chair, right over there. Maybe that was the one.

The Tar Heels walked out of the Coliseum with a 91-60 win over Massachusetts in the dubiously named Tournament of Champions.

The win, in front of an announced crowd of 13,224, might look just fine on paper, which shows that six Tar Heels scored in double figures and UNC (8-2) allowed the woeful Minutemen (2-8) to shoot just 30 percent from the floor. Because of all that, Carolina will play the College of Charleston -- which beat UNC in this very event two years ago -- tonight at about 9:15.

But the final score, the accompanying stats and even the spot in the title game showed nothing of the nastiness of this victory. And UNC coach Matt Doherty -- a little, shall we say, perturbed with his team at halftime -- let the Heels know about it.

"I might have to pay for a chair," Doherty said, smiling sheepishly.

But the reasons were obvious. Not only were the fans hassling the Heels for their apparent lack of hustle -- "Haywood, get a heart!" yelled one particularly angry sort at center Brendan Haywood -- but UNC was too content to settle for whatever shot seemed to present itself. Eighteen times in the first half, the Heels launched 3-pointers, this from a team that hadn't shot that many from behind the arc in its previous four games.

Doherty realized the 7-foot Haywood and 6-11 Kris Lang should have been the Heels' main source of offense against the Minutemen. Yet that pair combined for just five points and seven rebounds before the half.

So Doherty had his little run-in with the chair.

"We played with a lack of energy," Doherty said. "I do believe in biorhythms. I think some days, you're in a little bit of a funk. You need to shake your head and get the cobwebs out. And I think we did that at halftime."

Uh, Matt, maybe that was just you.

"It was pretty good," guard Joseph Forte said of Doherty's performance.

No one embodied UNC's struggles from outside better than Forte, the Heels' best deep threat. He led Carolina with 12 first-half points, but hit just one of five from 3-point range. That continued his outside shooting slump that has encompassed the previous six games. Forte, who led UNC with 16 points, has now hit just eight of his last 32 3-pointers.

"I think I'm thinking too much about it," Forte said. "But I'm still going to get my points regardless."

The Heels closed the opening half on a 7-0 run to lead 40-33, despite UMass guard Monty Mack jacking up 15 of his 23 shots and scoring 16 of 20 points before the break. But the little run merely covered up UNC's sins of the opening 17 minutes. UMass, a team that came into the game with two wins in nine outings -- including a loss to Holy Cross -- wasn't going to out-skill the Heels, so it merely tried to out-ugly them.

"It definitely felt like a physical game," UNC forward Jason Capel said. "They're a physical team, and they always had a physical style of play. We just had to match that."

Doherty emphasized that he didn't want a repeat of Carolina's launch-pad performance in the second half, so the Heels went inside.

"He told all the big men to get more aggressive," said Lang, who scored all 12 of his points after the break. "So we were."

But the aggression also started on the defensive end, on the perimeter. During one second-half stretch, point guard Ronald Curry (season-high 10 points) took a charge, then Forte had a steal that turned into a dunk. Julius Peppers, in his second game of the year after returning from the football team, blocked a shot, and then Curry, who also had two steals, took another charge.

"I think Ronald set the tone for our defense," Capel said. "He was up on their point guard the whole game. He's the anchor of our defense."

With the defense as the anchor, the Heels went on a 19-6 run that extended the lead to 71-49 with 6:36 left. That was it. All the players got to play, 12 scored, and -- despite the ugliness and any broken furniture that might have come with it -- it was enough to provide a win, regardless of what it looked like.

"The only thing that matters is that you win," Haywood said. "If you win the national championship, and it's ugly, do they take it away?"


Tar Heels feel the heat
Doherty's tirade ignites N. Carolina
By Ron Green Jr., The Charlotte Observer, 12/30/2000

North Carolina basketball coach Matt Doherty wanted to make a point to his team at halftime of its deceptive 91-60 victory over Massachusetts Friday night in the first round of the Tournament of Champions at the Charlotte Coliseum.

Photo
Beefy Chris Lang takes it strong over the thinner Micah Brand.
The 14th-ranked Tar Heels had a seven-point halftime lead, an advantage they had scratched out in the last three minutes before the break, but Doherty's concerns reached beyond the scoreboard.

Too many three-point shots and too little aggressiveness were a bad combination.

So Doherty grabbed a chair in the locker room, introduced it to a wall and immediately had his team's attention.

"I might have to pay for a chair," Doherty said, flashing a mischievous grin.

But Doherty got results.

The Tar Heels (8-2) responded with a sharper, more effective second half and turned what had been an ugly, disjointed performance into a blowout victory that landed them a spot in tonight's championship game against the College of Charleston at approximately 9:15.

"Coach told us we needed to get aggressive in the second half, plain and simple," Kris Lang said.

"You could say he used a little aggression."

It was North Carolina's fifth straight victory and included six players who scored in double figures.

Joseph Forte led the Tar Heels with 16 points despite making 1-of-5 three-point attempts. Lang had 12 while Jason Capel and Max Owens had 11 points apiece. Center Brendan Haywood and point guard Ronald Curry had 10 points apiece.

Doherty was frustrated at halftime after seeing his team attempt 18 three-pointers - more than they had attempted in any of their four previous games and in six of their nine games this season.

They settled for perimeter shots against the Minutemen's sagging zone, were out-rebounded and didn't show the fire Doherty expected.

It didn't help that North Carolina's defense allowed Massachusetts (2-8) scoring machine Monty Mack to get 16 of his 20 points before the break.

The difference from one half to the next was dramatic.

North Carolina outscored Massachusetts 51-27 in the second half, shot 59 percent and held the struggling Minutemen to 23 percent shooting after the break. The Tar Heels, intent on getting the ball inside, shot three three-pointers in the second half.

Curry helped set the tone defensively, drawing two charges that seemed to trigger the Tar Heels.

Lang, the most valuable player in this event last year, produced a pair of three-point plays underneath to help the Tar Heels keep their lead near double digits early in the second half.

Midway through the second half, North Carolina finally broke away from the Minutemen, stretching its lead to 60-45 with 10 minutes remaining. From there, the lead ballooned over 20 points in a hurry.

"The big men were more aggressive in the post in the second half," Lang said. "We just focused on working hard and getting open."

Haywood continued to struggle from the line. After going 0-for-6 from the line at UCLA, he made 2-of-8 free throws Friday.

"It's something I work on every day. It's just mental right now," Haywood said. "It's right on line but it's short or it's long. It's not like I'm hitting the backboard. It's just a mental thing I have to work through.''


Carolina pulls away from UMass
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 12/30/2000

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - In the first half Friday, the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team showed why there was optimism surrounding it before the season as the Minutemen stayed with No. 14 North Carolina. But in the second half the Minutemen showed why they're 2-8 as the Tar Heels pulled away to hand Bruiser Flint the worst loss of his coaching career, 91-60, at Charlotte Coliseum in the opening game of the four-team Hardee's Tournament of Champions.

The Minutemen fell to 2-8 for the first time since 1980-81 when they finished 3-24.

With the loss the Minutemen will get a sneak peak at Richmond at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Spiders, who fell to College of Charleston, 52-48, in the tournament's first game, will become a full member of the Atlantic 10 for the 2001-02 season. UNC will play Charleston at 9:15 p.m. Saturday in the championship game.

Foul trouble tied the Minutemen's hands Friday. The loss of Micah Brand 5:32 into the second half hurt the Minutemen. After playing a strong first half, he was forced to sit with four fouls. Center Kitwana Rhymer picked up his fourth foul 2:10 later. Then power forward Jackie Rogers was tagged with his fourth foul just 36 seconds later,p leaving UMass thin up front against Carolina's sizable interior players.

"Once Micah got four and Kit got four in the beginning of the second half, that was it," Flint said. "It hurt because those guys can score some points for us. So the all of a sudden everybody was on top of Monty (Mack). That crushed us."

A 7-2 run to start the half stretched the Carolina lead to 10 points at 47-37 with 15:09 left.

Sophomore Joe Forte led the six Tar Heels in double figures with 16 points. Kris Lang had 12, Max Owens and Jason Capel each had 11 and Brendan Haywood and Ron Curry added 10 apiece.

Mack seemed to snap out of his shooting slump somewhat, making the first shot he took, a 3-pointer from the right shoulder 2:47 into the game. He finished with 20 points. Brand added 10.

The Minutemen avoided their familiar early-game misery and delivered perhaps their best first half of the season with Mack (16 of his points) and Brand (all 10) doing the bulk of the scoring.

A late 10-2 run by the Tar Heels turned a 31-30 UMass lead into a 40-33 advantage for Carolina at halftime.

"We were in the game," Flint said. "We had some bad turnovers and gave them that little cushion."

Fouls and free throw shooting provided the first half difference. Both teams had 13 field goals including five 3-pointers, but Carolina got to the line 15 times and sank nine, while UMass made two of four.


UMass to play future A-10 foe
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 12/30/2000

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A year from now, games between the University of Massachusetts and Richmond will come after New Year's Day as the Spiders will officially join the Atlantic 10 in 2000-01. Saturday at 7 p.m. the Minutemen will get an early introduction to their future rivals as the two schools will meet in the consolation game of the Hardee's Tournament of Champions.

The Minutemen will have the difficult task of putting Friday's 91-60 loss to North Carolina behind them.

"We can't be too demoralized or we'll be 0-2," Flint said. "Richmond is a good team. They shoot a lot of threes and can really spread you out."

Richmond checks in at 7-2 following a 52-48 loss to College of Charleston Friday. The Spiders are led by senior forward Greg Stevenson who entered the tournament averaging 19 points per game and had 16 against the Cougars. Richmond will likely be without forward Kinte Smith, who is nursing a sprained foot.

"If he's not 100 percent, we're not going to play him," coach John Beilein said. "The season is a marathon, not a sprint, and we can't afford not to have him down the road."

The Spiders have a player who is familiar to some western Massachusetts hoop fans. Starting center Tim Faulconer, a junior, played his high school ball at The Williston Northampton School. He came into Friday's action averaging 7.3 points per game.

* * *

Friday's game marked the fifth meeting ever between the Minutemen and Tar Heels. The first game between the two schools came in the 1971 National Invitation Tournament, when UNC coached by Dean Smith drubbed the then-Redmen, 90-49. It marked the final game in Julius Erving's UMass career. He had 13 points and nine rebounds for the Redmen. Erving left UMass after his junior year and was drafted by the ABA's Virginia Squires. Milwaukee Bucks coach George Karl scored five points for North Carolina.

When the teams met in 1973, again in the NIT, Carolina won 73-63. Karl had 15 points, while fellow NBA coach Rick Pitino had eight for UMass.

The Minutemen won the third meeting in the 1993 Preseason NIT, when UMass upset then-No. 1 North Carolina, 91-86 in overtime, behind 28 points and 14 rebounds by Lou Roe.

Carolina won the last meeting 83-69 in the Jimmy V Classic at the Meadowlands during Flint's first season in 1996.


Massachusetts Minutemen 60
North Carolina Tar Heels (#14) 91
Tournament of Champions - First Round
at the Charlotte Coliseum

MASSACHUSETTS (60)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Smith           27   1-5   2-2   5-6  1  4    4
Brand           24   5-8   0-4   1-6  1  4   10
Rhymer          15   2-4   2-3   2-6  0  4    6
Mack            33  6-23   4-4   2-5  1  2   20
Crooks          27   3-9   0-0   1-3  3  5    6
Depina          22   1-4   1-2   1-1  4  2    4
Rogers          16   0-2   1-2   2-5  1  4    1
Blizzard         8   0-2   0-0   0-0  0  2    0
Jenkins          5   1-4   1-2   1-2  0  0    3
Williams        17   1-6   1-4   3-5  1  1    3
Pugh             6   1-3   1-4   4-5  0  1    3
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 21-70 13-27 22-44 12 29   60
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.300, FT-.481. 3-Point Goals:
5-22, .227 (Mack 4-12, Depina 1-4, Blizzard 0-1,
Jenkins 0-2, Williams 0-1, Pugh 0-2). Team
rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 2 (Brand, Rhymer).
Turnovers: 19 (Crooks 4, Mack 4, Depina 3, Smith
2, Blizzard, Brand, Jenkins, Rhymer, Rogers,
Williams). Steals: 7 (Crooks 3, Brand, Mack,
Pugh, Williams).

NORTH CAROLINA (91)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Capel           25   4-7   2-3   4-7  3  2   11
Lang            25   5-9   2-2   1-4  1  3   12
Haywood         27   4-6   2-8   1-7  1  3   10
Curry           23   4-6   0-2   1-4  4  3   10
Forte           27  6-13   3-4   1-3  2  0   16
Morrison        12   1-3   1-2   0-1  1  3    4
Brooker          4   0-0   0-0   1-1  0  1    0
Holmes           3   0-0   2-2   1-2  1  1    2
Owens           12   3-6   4-4   1-3  2  0   11
Melendez         3   2-2   0-0   0-0  1  0    5
Everett          1   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
Johnson          9   0-2   2-2   1-1  2  0    2
Peppers         11   1-3   2-5   1-3  0  2    4
Bersticker       4   2-6   0-0   1-1  0  2    4
Boone           14   0-1   0-0   0-2  2  1    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 32-64 20-34 14-40 20 21   91
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.500, FT-.588. 3-Point Goals:
7-21, .333 (Capel 1-3, Curry 2-4, Forte 1-5,
Morrison 1-2, Owens 1-2, Melendez 1-1, Johnson
0-2, Bersticker 0-1, Boone 0-1). Team rebounds:
6. Blocked shots: 9 (Haywood 4, Lang, Forte,
Boone, Peppers, Bersticker). Turnovers: 12 (Curry
5, Capel 2, Boone, Haywood, Holmes, Lang,
Melendez). Steals: 14 (Forte 4, Capel 3, Curry 2,
Boone, Brooker, Johnson, Melendez, Owens).
__________________________________
Massachusetts      33   27  -   60
North Carolina     40   51  -   91
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 13,224. Officials:
Larry Rose, Duke Edsall, Bryan Kersey.

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