THENS, Greece -- The UMass basketball team trailed only once en route to its first Greek tour victory, a 73-68 win over Team Hellas, here Friday night.
Team Hellas scored the game's first points, but UMass sophomore guard Anthony Anderson responded with a trey to give the Minutemen a lead they would never relinquish. UMass extended its advantage to 12-3 midway through the first quarter, and held a 25-21 lead at the end of the period.
In the second period, UMass got back to back threes from sophomore forward Willie Jenkins and senior forward Ronell Blizzard to take a 31-24 lead with 8:05 left. The lead grew to nine at the 3:00 mark on a trey by sophomore guard Jameel Pugh, and the Minutemen enjoyed a six-point lead at halftime, 42-36.
Team Hellas opened the second half with a 10-6 run to pull within 48-46 with 4:22 to go, but UMass responded with a 6-0 run to push the lead to eight at 1:33 on a pair of free throws from senior forward Jackie Rogers. Junior forward Micah Brand hit a jumper with 21 seconds left to push the lead to nine at 56-47.
In the fourth quarter, Team Hellas closed to within six at 59-53 with 8:16 left, but a 8-2 run by the Minutemen, capped off by Anderson's second triple of the game with 6:09 left put the lead into double-digits for the first time at 65-54, and all but sealed the win for UMass.
Crooks had a game-high 15 points to lead Massachusetts, while Pugh added 13, and Williams and Anderson each netted 12. Williams was in double figures for the third straight game.
"I thought we played great as a team," UMass coach Steve Lappas said. "We were able to sustain it for 40 minutes tonight.
"We were in control the whole game," he added. "When they made a run, we made some plays. Defensively, we made some great adjustments."
Anderson had three assists and just one turnover against Team Hellas, while Crooks had five assists and two steals.
"He (Anderson) was tremendous," Lappas said. "He controlled the whole game. When he and Shannon play good, we will have a chance.
"The difference tonight was that we got a third perimeter player into the mix in Jameel," Lappas added. "He played great." UMass, now 1-2 on its Greek tour, plays the Greek National Team on Sunday at 7 p.m. (Noon, EDT).
Score by Quarters: UMass 25 17 15 16 -- 73 Team Hellas 21 15 12 15 -- 63UMass Scoring: Crooks 15; Pugh 13; Anderson 12; Williams 12; Brand 6; Rogers 6; Jenkins 5; Blizzard 3; Rhymer 1; Killings 0; Lamb DNP.
UMass Three-Pointers: Anderson (2); Pugh (2);
Blizzard (1); Jenkins (1).
UMass Rebounding Leaders: Williams (8).
UMass Assist Leaders: Crooks (5), Anderson (3), Williams (3).
UMass Steal Leaders: Pugh (3).
UMass Blocked Shot Leaders: Rhymer (3).