Redmen Host Tough NU Five
By Barry Rubenstein, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Assistant Sports Editor, January 29, 1971
After dropping consecutive games to top teams, the UMass basketball team faces another test tomorrow evening at the Cage when it entertains the Huskies of Northeastern at 7:30 p.m. The Redmen will be attempting to get back on the winning track after disappointing losses to Providence and Fordham. For the Huskies, the game will present an opportunity to revenge last year's 90-62 thrashing at the Cage.
Northeastern may well be the surprise team in New England. Relying mainly on Boston area talent, Coach Dick Dukeshire, one of the most successful coaches in the area has put together a well-disciplined, hard-nosed unit which can give any team trouble.
At the time of this writing, the Huskies stand at 10-2 with a school record of ten consecutive victories after opening losses to Boston College and Boston University. Since that time, Northeastern has run roughshod over its opposition and among its accomplishments is the Scranton Holiday Tournament championship.
The main difficulty that Dukeshire faces is the problem of many college basketball teams these days, lack of height. The tallest Husky starter is only 6’4 but this hasn't seemed to bother the team thus far. In its first twelve games, Northeastern holds an unbelievable 456-288 rebound advantage over its opponents. The Huskies also rank filth in the country in team defense, limiting their opposition to only 52 points per game.
In Northeastern’s disciplined style, the Huskies only average 52 shots per game. However, they have converted on 51% of these which is pretty good for any ball club.
Dukeshire emphasizes hustle, team play and aggressiveness and generally employs nine or ten men trying to keep his team fresh and tire out the opposition. This strategy has proven successful over the years for Dukeshire who is in his thirteenth season.
Among the starting five players for the Huskies will probably be captain Kevin Shea, 6'4, Jim Moxley, 6’4, Bill Moore, 6’2, Jack Maheras, 6’2, and Paul McDonough, 6’4. Shea is the floor leader on the team while Moxley is the best shooter. Individually though, the Huskies aren't especially frightening. As a team they can be murder.
Joe Lawler, 6’7, Jack Niven, 6’3, Stu LaFramboise, 6’5, and Mark Jellison, 6’2, will all probably see plenty of action against the Redmen. In fact, every Husky player could get into the game. That's the way Dukeshire likes to play it.
Last night the Huskies battled the No. 6 small college team in the country, Assumption. In case you missed it, Assumption bombed Holy Cross on Saturday. So the next two games are big ones for Northeastern, a team which has the same goals as UMass, namely a No. 1 in NE rating and an NIT bid.
With these things in mind, Saturday evening’s contest shapes up as an important battle for both clubs.
Ailing UMass Dumps NU, 61-47
By Barry Rubenstein, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Assistant Sports Editor, February 1, 1971
With two flu-ridden starters on the bench, the UMass basketball team made a few changes and coach Jack Leaman pulled a few surprises to down a pesky Northeastern five before 4200 fans at the Cage Saturday night in what seemed like a slow motion ball game, 61-47. The Redmen are now up to 12-2 while the Huskies lost their second straight, dropping them to 10-4.
For the average UMass basketball fan, it must have seemed strange seeing the local heroes play an entire contest with both Mike Pagliara and Ken Mathias on the bench. Due to illness neither was able to see any action against the Huskies although the two were dressed and ready if things got too tight.
But thanks mainly to an All-American who has started every game of his varsity career and a sophomore transfer who had never even played a varsity contest before, things never really got out of hand.
Julius Erving, everybody's All-American. silenced a few skeptics and returned to form against the Huskies as he netted 28 points and pulled down 26 rebounds. After suffering through a few poor shooting nights, the junior leaper hit for 10 of 19 attempts from the floor and it seemed like he grabbed every rebound in the first half.
Most people have come to expect this type of heroics from Erving. The man who made the difference in this battle was Tom McLaughlin, a transfer from Tennessee who just became eligible to play on the day prior to the game. With an unbelievable display of poise, class and real talent, McLaughlin played all but one minute of the fray and netted 14 points, ten in the second half, hitting on 7 of twelve attempts, and made about 4000 quick friends in the process. He also put on a great defensive show blocking two shots.
Northeastern played its usual deliberate game on offense, as the score indicates, and its grabbing, scratching, clawing style on defense. For about the first 14 minutes of play, the Redmen had trouble with both.
UMass was only able to net one field goal, an Erving tap-in, in the first seven and a half minutes of play as the Huskies broke, or rather crawled, to a 9-5 lead. After Erving tipped in another, Jim Moxley, the Huskies high scorer with 17 points, netted one. Rick Vogeley. who started in place of Mathias, scored from fifteen feet.
The Redmen kept narrowing the lead behind the shooting of McLaughlin and John Betancourt. Senior guard Bob Dempsey, who has seen only limited action this season, came into the ball game with about nine minutes left in the half and really got the club moving.
McLaughlin scored from ten feet and Betancourt connected with a Dempsey feed as the Redmen finally moved into the lead at the 4:13 mark of the half. They never trailed again. Outscoring the Huskies 16-4 in the last seven minutes, the Redmen took a comfortable 31-22 edge at halftime.
The second half was all Erving and McLaughlin. The duo accounted for 26 of the teams 30 points in the second stanza and simply dominated play. Each time the score got close, McLaughlin would score from outside or Erving would lay one in.
At the 9:01 mark, McLaughlin netted a layup but was called for an offensive foul. Coach Leaman complained too vehemently, according to the official, and was hit with a technical foul. When he continued to argue, the referee hit him with another one. Moxley sunk the two technicals and the foul shot and when captain Kevin Shea hit a jumper, UMass led by only three, 44-41.
However. McLaughlin scored from twelve feet and Erving dropped a layup and a free throw to give the Redmen some breathing room, 49-41, which lasted the rest of the way. The final excitement of the contest came when McLaughlin dribbled downcourt and hit Erving, of course, for an easy layup with a great pass and the co-captain was fouled. Erving completed the three point play and the game was iced with 3 40 to go, 55-45.
McLaughlin received a huge ovation when he left with one minute to play. He could make a big difference for the Redmen the rest of the way, starting Tuesday night at Worcester.
LAYUP LINES - Chris Coffin played a strong floor game with eight rebounds and five assists… Northeastern shot a horrid 29% in the game with Jack Maheras and Shea the leading culprits at 2 for 11 and 4 for 14, respectively.