Redmen Are Best In Hall Of Fame, Upping Mark To 10-0
UMass Nabs Holiday Tourney
By John Sullivan, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Sports Editor, 1/27/1971 (first publication after winter break)
DEC. 30 – UMASS vs. COLGATE (Championship Game): Behind a couple of excellent performances by its co-captains Erving and Mathias, UMass beat Colgate, 79-67, to win this first Hall of Fame tournament.
Erving and Mathias were the game's two best scorers, with 31 and 24 points respectively, and the game's two best rebounders, with 20 and 18. The two Redmen tallied 32 of UMass' 38 first-half points or the equal of the whole Colgate team, which trailed at the half 38-32.
The Red Raiders were the tourney's sleepers and sliced the thin six-point halftime edge thinner during second-half action. The Redmen were not out of the woods until the very end.
Betancourt, who had not had a very good tourney and who had a lousy first half against Colgate, helped lift UMass past the Red Raiders in the second half. His basket with about ten and a half minutes left in the affair gave the Redmen but a one-point, 54-53 advantage.
However he accounted for eight of the next 13 UMass points, as the Redmen streaked out ahead, 67-58, with about six minutes remaining. A little later on it was a Betancourt steal that produced a key hoop for the eventual winners, who went on to take the whole shebang in decent style.
Betancourt scored the great majority of his 14 points in the second half. UMass outrebounded its opponent 59-37. Along with Betancourt both Erving and Mathias scored in double figures in the second half, sinking 13 and ten points respectively.
In two consolation affairs, LIU topped St. Mike's, 87-81, for third place in the final tourney standings, and Springfield nipped Valparaiso, 54-49, for fifth place.
HOOP NOTES - The tournament director was Lee Williams, who is also the Executive Director of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in Springfield, into which Bob Cousy, Bob Petit, and Abe Saperstein were recently inducted … Persons who had tickets to the first round of the tourney were allowed to tour the Hall of Fame free of charge … Two of the outstanding highlights of the Hall of Fame are “Pistol Pete's saggy socks”, both of them … Each game the Redmen appeared in was a sellout (2600 is capacity) as a lot of people from the Springfield area came to get a look at Mr. Erving … He didn't let them down … This tournament was originally created with the hopes of having it held in Springfield's new civic center, but that place is still under construction and won't even be ready in time for next year's Hall of Fame affair … That tourney will be held in AIC's place, Butova Memorial Gymnasium, and the field will comprise AIC, Springfield College, Ball State, Bucknell, Morris Harvey, Assumption College, Boston University, and St. Peter's College … It was strange to realize that UMass was playing a team, Colgate, in the finals that trailed an AIC team for most of its first round game, eventually winning the game by only two points, 88-86, and that was in overtime … Recall that the Redmen have already defeated AIC this year, by an unbelievable 93-40 margin … George Groom, a 6'2 junior forward, was St. Mike's best player against UMass, scoring 15 points, 14 in the first half … Colgate is a class aggregate, one which entered the tourney at 3-2, left at 5-3, and proved its mettle, especially in its semi-final victory at the hands of talented LIU squad … Three players come to mind when one talks about Colgate, they are Les Bingham, a 6'1 senior guard, Ward, a 6'4 senior forward and Nick Scaccia, a 6'6 senior forward … These three scored 16, 18, and 17 points respectively in the title game with the Redmen … The tournament championship was UMass' second holiday crown in as many years, the Redmen having nabbed first place in last year's Gem City Tournament in Erie, Pennsylvania.