From the UMass Basketball 1992-93 Media Guide, published by UMass Athletics
Duquesne entered the game as the highest scoring team in the A-10, averaging 81.4 per contest, but was only able to manage 68 points, 29 in the second half, against a consistently swarming UMass defense. The Minutemen matched their season-high winning streak of five (four-straight in the A-10) while holding their opponent to 68 points or less for the third consecutive contest.
UMass increased its 44-39 halftime advantage throughout the second half as the final buzzer sounded the hosts' biggest lead. Jim McCoy and Harper Williams each scored a team high 15. It was a career night for three players who started the season on the UMass bench. Mike Williams started his third consecutive contest and responded with a career-high 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting while handing out five assists in 21 minutes. Kennard Robinson, also in his third consecutive start, scored a career-high seven in seven minutes. Lou Roe came off the bench to match his career-high rebounding total of ten.
UMass scuffles, but works it out
By Mark Blaudschun, Boston Globe Staff, 1/26/1992
AMHERST – No one has to tell John Calipari's team the value of hard work. The University of Massachusetts coach believes in the work ethic as a cure for any ailment his team is suffering from.
Last night at Curry Hicks Cage, it was that, more than almost anything else, that proved to be the difference in an 87-68 Atlantic 10 victory over a Duquesne team that worked almost as hard but didn't have the overall talent of UMass.
“We knew that we just had to wear them down, wear them down,” said center Harper Williams, who had 15 points and was one of four Minutemen in double figures. “Finally, we got them.”
For the most part, the Minutemen have gotten almost everyone this season. Last night's victory raised their overall record to 16-3, the second-best start in school history. More importantly, it improved them to 4-2 in the Atlantic 10 and gave them a big boost going into Tuesday night's game at Temple, a team that has compiled a 20-0 record against UMass.
“We've got 10 games left,” said Calipari, who seems to have his team playing in sync again after an 0-2 start in the league. “And we're going to try to win as many as we can and see what happens at the end.”
“The end” is the NCAA tournament, the goal the Minutemen are pointing at.
Last night's game proved that they can struggle and make mistakes, then find their game quickly enough and long enough to pull away to what looks like a relatively easy win.
The Minutemen used two quick bursts to gain their edge. In the first half, a Williams dunk was the catalyst for a spurt that gave the Minutemen the breathing room for a 44-39 halftime lead.
In the second half, it was another dunk by Williams and two quick baskets by Jim McCoy that turned a 50-46 lead with 14:49 left into a 66-50 advantage with 9:13 remaining.
Duquesne (8-8, 3-5), which has more stamina and aggressiveness than talent, tried to make a comeback behind senior guard James Hargrove, who led all scorers with 26 points.
But Hargrove – who made 10 of 18 shots, picked up five assists and had two blocked shots before fouling out – could not make up for the overall depth and tenacity of the Minutemen.
Part of the recent success of UMass has been the added depth gained by the use of 6-foot-10-inch Kennard Robinson and 6-2 guard Mike Williams as starters instead of Anton Brown and Willie Herndon.
“I think I'm going to stick with it for a while,” said Calipari, who now feels he has a nine-man rotation, which will be beneficial during the season's crunch time and the tournament. “We just wore them down using eight and nine guys shuffling in and out.”
Calipari used a bit of superstition as well when he switched his team to all-black shoes.
“If we had played poorly, I was going to switch back to white,” said Calipari, laughing.
He can afford to laugh. He feels he has the Minutemen back on course toward not only an Atlantic 10 title, but also an NCAA bid.
Even the spectre of Temple does not faze him.
“If we lose, we're still 16-4,” said Calipari. “I told our team it's just another game.”
And, perhaps, just another win.