Hoopsters at Home vs. Improved UNH
From The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, December 11, 1970
After completing its first winning season in eight years, the rapidly improving New Hampshire basketball team visits UMass Saturday evening to meet the Redmen in a contest in the Cage scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Wildcat Coach Gerry Friel, formerly an assistant under Bob Cousy at Boston College, is developing a fine basketball program at the Durham school and the rewards are already being realized. Coming off of a fine 12-11 year in 1969-70, the Wildcats appear to be even better this season.
Leading the way is 6'5 junior Dave Pemberton who averaged 17.4 points per game last season. He is not only the team's big scorer but maybe the squad's top rebounder as well.
Among the other returning veterans to watch for are 6'2 junior guard Dwight Peters and senior backcourt man Brian Peters. The former Peters managed 13.3 points per contest last season while the latter hit for 9.6.
The main problem that Coach Friel is faced with is the same as most other smaller college team's must meet, the lack of a good big man. The biggest of the Wildcats is 6'6 center Frank Davis who sat on the bench all of last season. This will likely be the major weakness of the revamped Wildcats.
The schedule for New Hampshire is far superior to that played by previous Wildcat units. Such opponents as Dartmouth, Boston University and the usual Yankee Conference foes make the 1970-71 New Hampshire schedule a very competitive one.
However, building a good basketball team is a slow process and though the Wildcats can more than hold their own against all of their competition, they may still be a few years away from being a major basketball power in New England.
Hoopsters Take UNH In Stride, 89-53
By Fred Rosenthal, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Staff Reporter, December 14, 1970
After struggling through two consecutive overtime victories, the UMass basketball team was finally able to breeze to a win Saturday night as it easily downed New Hampshire at the Cage, 89-53, before 4200 snow-covered fans. The Redmen remained undefeated at 4-0 while the Wildcats dipped to 1-4.
The game was close for about the first ten minutes of play. However, paced by the outstanding play of forward Chris Coffin and the hot hand of John Betancourt, UMass was able to build up a 17-point halftime bulge and then put it away early in the second half.
UMass opened the scoring on a Coffin six-footer at 19:45 and Frank Davis, the Wildcat center, came right back with a short hook to tie the score. Julius Erving, who had another fine night with 28 points and 18 rebounds, sunk a free throw, but then the Wildcats ran off five straight points to put the slow starting Redmen behind by four, 7-3. Scoring for New Hampshire in this spurt were Dwight Peters and Dave Pemberton on jump shots and Davis on a charity toss.
Coffin, author of eight rebounds and six points in the first half, brought the Redmen back to life on a rebound hoop and Erving and Betancourt began to connect as UMass closed the gap to one, 14-13, at the 11:26 mark.
UMass then proceeded to run off seven points and actually didn't look back for the rest of the way. The burst began on a pretty hoop by Erving after a nifty pass by, you guessed it, Coffin, and then Ken Mathias connected on a Betancourt feed. The junior guard then got into the scoring act himself as he hit on one of his many hoops from the corner. Mike Pagliara ended the skein as he sunk a pretty fall away jumper from the corner, too, and UMass found itself on top, 21-14, with 9:21 to go.
Although the Wildcats kept trying, they were simply outclassed by the Redmen who started to open up. Betancourt netted three more long jumpers and a lay up to pace UMass to a 37-21 halftime bulge, and for all intents and purposes, that was the ball game.
Whatever doubt there was about the outcome was ended early in the second stanza as the Redmen outscored New Hampshire 12-4 in the opening minutes. Doing the scoring in this span for UMass were Pagliara with three points, Rick Vogeley with four, Coffin with three and Erving with a couple. With 15:21 to go, the Redmen led, 49-27.
Coach Jack Leaman then began substituting freely as the UMass lead fluctuated between 18 and the final margin of 36 points. The entire Redman unit saw action which should prove helpful in some of the more difficult contests that UMass must face. Especially impressive in this group were Charlie Peters, who grabbed eight rebounds in only five minutes of action, and guard Chris Nichols, who scored four points and picked up a couple of assists in spot duty.
The prettiest play of the night occurred with just under ten minutes to go as the Redmen broke downcourt led by Erving. The fantastic forward hit Nichols with a pass underneath the hoop and the quick-thinking junior returned the favor as he passed to Erving all alone for an easy two points.
The final score was 89-53 which was certainly indicative of the play.
LAY-UP LINES— UMass shot an excellent 58% from the floor while its opponent could only connect on 34.5%… The Redmen outrebounded New Hampshire by the unbelievable margin of 56-18. In other words, Erving collected as many caroms as the entire Wildcat squad. Coffin, playing an aggressive game throughout, collected 13 rebounds himself in only 31 minutes of play… UMass is now 3-0 in the Yankee Conference and faces a tough battle Tuesday night at Storrs against Connecticut.