From the UMass Basketball 1992-93 Media Guide, published by UMass Athletics
Anton Brown's 22 points, 17 in the second half, led five Minutemen in double figures to offset Rhode Island's Jeff Kent's 35-point effort.
UMass called a timeout with 14:32 remaining in the second half after falling behind 52-51. A 43-38 halftime advantage had disappeared. In the ensuing minutes, the Minutemen went on a 14-0 run, keyed by Brown's seven consecutive points, and never looked back.
UMass shot 65 percent from the field in the second half while holding Rhode Island to just 39 percent.
UMass pulls rank on URI
No. 25 Minutemen tops Rams
By Joe Burris, Boston Globe Staff, 3/5/1992
AMHERST – They told John Calipari not to even bother showing up.
After the Massachusetts basketball coach vowed Monday to walk off the floor before last night's game if any fan made references to the current gambling allegations levied at Rhode Island, some people told coach Cal not to leave home, because college kids wouldn't resist painting at least one off-color sign.
But Calipari showed up, spoke to UMass fans over the public address system before the game and stuck around after no taunting was heard. The Minutemen were fortunate that he did stay; 25th-ranked UMass struggled with its scrappy Atlantic 10 foe for most of the first half and trailed by 1 point with 14:37 left. Calipari called time out and delivered a tongue-lashing, and his team responded with a 14-0 run, then held on for a 96-88 win.
The victory in the regular-season finale improved UMass' record to 25-4 overall, 13-3 in the league. The win total eclipses by two the previous school record, set by the Julius Erving-led 1970-71 team. Having won the Atlantic 10 regular-season title, UMass will be the top seed in this weekend's league tournament. UMass will play Sunday against the winner of Saturday's St. Bonaventure-Rutgers game.
Rhode Island, which has played well in the wake of the allegations, fell to 19-8 and 9-7. The Rams are seeded fourth in the tournament and will meet George Washington in the first round.
Calipari praised the effort of the Rams, who hardly looked like the team blown out by UMass in January. Trailing, 43-38, they outscored UMass, 13-7, to start the second half and took a 51-50 lead with 14:37 left.
“For URI coach Al Skinner to get his team to play as they have shows he has done an outstanding job,” said Calipari, “and that should get him coach of the year honors.”
Skinner, a UMass grad, said he was appreciative that Calipari “put himself on the line” with his pregame remarks and added, “With this being my alma mater, I would have been disappointed if the fans acted negatively toward my club for any reason. Fans up here have always cheered for the home team, never against the opposition.”
UMass looked too much like it did the last time it cracked the Top 25 poll – Jan. 6. That was a first for the school, but the Minutemen lost their next game to West Virginia two days later at home.
“That kept flashing back in my mind,” said senior guard Anton Brown, who took matters into his own hands after Calipari called the timeout. Brown dished out an assist to junior center Harper Williams (who scored on a fast- break layup) to get the run going, then scored 7 consecutive points to put UMass up, 59-51, with 12:55 left. Senior forward Will Herndon and freshman guard Jerome Malloy capped the run with a bucket apiece, putting UMass up, 64-51, with 11:44 to go.
“The difference between this game and the West Virginia game is that no one stepped up against West Virginia,” said Calipari. “In the first half, Jim McCoy and Will carried us. In the second half, Anton and Harper carried us, and that shows our depth.”
URI cut the lead to 5 in the last three minutes, but the Minutemen hit 10 of their last 13 free throws to seal the win. Brown led UMass with 22 points. URI center Jeff Kent led all scorers with a career-high 35.
Skinner said he was pleased that his team has continued to play well in the wake of the allegations of an on-campus gambling ring. “We have been resilient, when you consider the youth on this ball club,” he said. “We didn't win but we continued to come at them.”
Calipari said he had no doubt he would be in the gym to coach his team. “People say you can't tell college kids what to do, but I say that's wrong,” he said. “If I don't say anything, I'm not doing my job, and should be fired.”
|Fast break points||18|
|Points off turnovers||21|
|Second chance points||21|
|Points in the paint||43|
|Fast break points||43|
|Points off turnovers||18|
|Second chance points||16|
|Points in the paint||54|
|Score by Periods||1st||2nd||OT1||OT2||OT3||Final|
|Officials||David Dodge, Rich San Fillipo, Rich Sortino|