ASSAU, Bahamas - UMass outscored the Commonwealth Bank Giants 52-8 in the second half as they cruised to the fourth consecutive victory of their Bahamas Tour with a 103-42 win on Tuesday night at Loyola Hall. A trio of Minutemen scored 14 points to top the scoresheet: junior Etienne Brower, junior Dante Milligan and senior Brandon Thomas. Senior Rashaun Freeman scored 11 points and had eight rebounds. Sophomore Luke Bonner had his best game with nine points, all in the first half. Guards James Life and Chris Lowe also had nine points apiece. Lowe and freshman Tiki Mayben each handed out six assists.
"I figured we would get off to a slow start, being a late game (9 p.m.) and third game in four days. It was not a pretty first half, not much clicked," said Head Coach Travis Ford. "We were playing a little like playing with our backs were against the wall, but we sure did bounce back in the second half. Our halfcourt traps were very good in the second half which created turnovers and many opportunities for us. That zone has been very good to us throughout the tour. Our second half was as good as we have played on the trip."
"I thought Milligan played very hard and Brower made some good shots, Freeman also provided some strong minutes," Ford added.
The crush continued in the fourth quarter as Mayben and Milligan led the charge each scoring eight points in the final quarter with UMass outscoring the Giants 22-4 in the fourth.
The third quarter saw the Minutemen return to the dominating play they have displayed throughout their tour in the Bahamas. UMass outscored the Giants 30-4 in the stanza, including a run of 21-0 to end the period to lead 81-38 after 30 minutes. Thomas scored nine points in the quarter including s string of seven in a row during the late run. Freeman had seven in the period.
UMass broke open the game late in the second quarter, leading 40-30, the Minutemen went on a 9-0 spurt to lead 49-30 with just minutes left in the half. Bonner showed his skills in the run with a 3-pointer as well as a tip-on on back-to-back plays. UMass led 51-34 at halftime with Bonner topping the scoresheet with nine points.
The Giants played UMass even for most of the first quarter, standing tied at 14-14 on a free throw by Page Adderly. The Minutemen went on a 21-4 run bridging the first and second quarter to open a 35-18 lead early in the second period. Freeman and Bonner each had four points in the run.
The Minutemen finish up their Bahamas Tour as they face the Real Deal Shockers on Wednesday at 8 p.m., at Loyola Hall. Listen again on UMassAthletics.com.
ASSAU, Bahamas -- University of Massachusetts coach Travis Ford watched the Rough-Ryders warm up to face Oregon after the Minutemen's easy win Monday night,
''When do we play them? They look pretty good,'' he asked, only to find out the Rough-Ryders aren't on the UMass schedule.
After three straight blowout wins against overmatched foes, Ford said he wanted a foe to challenge his team. Against a team billed as the best on the island, Ford got his wish for about 1 1/2 quarters Tuesday. But the Minutemen allowed just eight points in the second half and added the Giants to their list of Bahamian rout victims 103-42 at Loyola Hall.
Before the game began, Ford predicted a slow start. His team had spent a large part of the morning in the sun, hanging out in the resort and then jet skiing. The game's 9 p.m. start only increased the likelihood of fatigue. Ford seemed to be hoping for a slow start to see how his team would react to adversity.
UMass never trailed, but the Giants took advantage of poor shooting and a handful of Minuteman turnovers to stay in the game. A Giant alley-oop tied the contest at 14-14 with just under five minutes left in the first quarter.
UMass closed the frame on a 10-2 run to lead 24-16 and gradually stretched the lead to 51/34 at halftime. But Ford wasn't happy with the Minutemen's play. He didn't even go into the locker room with the players.
''You handle this,'' he told them and huddled with his coaches near the bench instead.
Stephane Lasme, Luke Bonner and a few others took care of the halftime talk. They didn't reveal what was said, but it worked.
The Minutemen gave up just four points in the third quarter and finished the period on a 24-0 run, leaving the Giants stunned. The run reached 30-0 over eight minutes, 30 seconds before the Giants finally scored again.
''They barely scored in the second half,'' junior big man Dante Milligan said. ''We got the wake-up call at halftime and raised our level of play. We expected to walk in and for the other team to lie down. It was good to face a little adversity and move on from it.''
''I thought the second half was as good a half as we played,'' Ford said. ''The first half was as bad a half as we played. I can't say I didn't expect it. We had a long day. It was good to have our backs against the wall and respond a little when things didn't go our way. I liked the way we responded at halftime. The guys weren't happy and they knew I wasn't happy and they knew we could play a lot better than that. They came back out and put it together.''
He was proud that his players motivated themselves.
''We have enough guys who know what I want,'' Ford said. ''When you have four seniors, you better have that.''
Etienne Brower, who was a key to the Minutemen's defensive dominance, also had his best offensive game of the trip. He had 14 points, including three 3-pointers, to lead the Minutemen.
The scoring was balanced throughout. None of the team's 10 regulars had fewer than seven points. Dante Milligan (nine rebounds) and Brandon Thomas matched Brower's team-best 14-points. Rashaun Freeman added 11 points and nine rebounds. Tiki Mayben and Chris Lowe each had six assists, while Lasme blocked six shots.
STARTING LINEUP -- Ford went with a new combination of starters: Mayben, Milligan, Lasme, James Life and Gary Forbes.
''I knew we'd be tired, so I wanted a quicker lineup with some scorers to get us going,'' Ford said. ''It didn't work.''
FINAL GAME -- UMass may play an all-star team from the New Providence Basketball League instead of the Shockers in its concluding game tonight at 8 at Loyola Hall.
|Note: Bahamas team rosters are unofficial, and game statistics were done by hand during the game. Every effort was made to record accurate stats, but may not be exact.|
at Loyola Hall
Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas
Commonwealth Bank Giants 42
Horton 0 0-0=0, Adderly 5 1-1=11, Hannah 5 0-1=12, Bayne 2 3-4=7, Miller 2 0-0=5, Knowles 0 0-0=0, Pritchard 0 0-4=0, Edgecombe 1 1-4=3, Johnson 0 0-0=0, Delancy 2 0-0=4. TOTALS 17 5-14=43
Score By Quarter
3-Pointers: UMass - Brower 3, Life 3, Lowe 3, Thomas 2, Mayben 2, Bonner. Giants - Hannah 2, Miller 1.