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UMass men's basketball runs away from Rhode Island

  • Cady Lalanne of the University of Massachusetts dunks against Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Cady Lalanne of the University of Massachusetts dunks against Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.
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  • Sampson Carter of the University of Massachusetts moves the ball against Mike Aamon of Rhode Island, left, Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Sampson Carter of the University of Massachusetts moves the ball against Mike Aamon of Rhode Island, left, Wednesday at the Mullins Center.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Terrell Vinson of the University of Massachusetts, left, draws a foul from Nikola Malesevic of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Terrell Vinson of the University of Massachusetts, left, draws a foul from Nikola Malesevic of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Maxie Esho of the University of Massachusetts, top, shoots against Mike Aaman of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Maxie Esho of the University of Massachusetts, top, shoots against Mike Aaman of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Cady Lalanne of the University of Massachusetts, right, tries to shoot as Mike Aaman of Rhode Island defends on a play that ended in a jump ball Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Cady Lalanne of the University of Massachusetts, right, tries to shoot as Mike Aaman of Rhode Island defends on a play that ended in a jump ball Wednesday at the Mullins Center.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Chaz Williams of the University of Massachsetts, right, shoots against Mike Powell of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Chaz Williams of the University of Massachsetts, right, shoots against Mike Powell of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Trey Davis of the University of Massachusetts, left, drives to the basket ahead of Xavier Munford of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Trey Davis of the University of Massachusetts, left, drives to the basket ahead of Xavier Munford of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Trey Davis of the University of Massachusetts, right, moves the ball against Xavier Munford of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Trey Davis of the University of Massachusetts, right, moves the ball against Xavier Munford of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Freddie Riley of the University of Massachusetts, center, shoots against Xavier Munford of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center. Nikola Malesevic is in the background.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Freddie Riley of the University of Massachusetts, center, shoots against Xavier Munford of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center. Nikola Malesevic is in the background.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Raphiael Putney of the University of Massachusetts, right, rebounds beside teammate Chaz Williams Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Raphiael Putney of the University of Massachusetts, right, rebounds beside teammate Chaz Williams Wednesday at the Mullins Center.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Trey Davis of the University of Massachusetts, left, moves the ball against Mike Aaman of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Trey Davis of the University of Massachusetts, left, moves the ball against Mike Aaman of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Cadt Lalanne of the University of Massachusetts, left, shoots against Mike Aaman of Rhode Island and another defender Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Cadt Lalanne of the University of Massachusetts, left, shoots against Mike Aaman of Rhode Island and another defender Wednesday at the Mullins Center.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Freddie Riley, left, and Cady Lalanne of the University of Massachusetts celebrate a turnover against Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Freddie Riley, left, and Cady Lalanne of the University of Massachusetts celebrate a turnover against Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Cady Lalanne of the University of Massachusetts dunks against Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Sampson Carter of the University of Massachusetts moves the ball against Mike Aamon of Rhode Island, left, Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Terrell Vinson of the University of Massachusetts, left, draws a foul from Nikola Malesevic of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Maxie Esho of the University of Massachusetts, top, shoots against Mike Aaman of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Cady Lalanne of the University of Massachusetts, right, tries to shoot as Mike Aaman of Rhode Island defends on a play that ended in a jump ball Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Chaz Williams of the University of Massachsetts, right, shoots against Mike Powell of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Trey Davis of the University of Massachusetts, left, drives to the basket ahead of Xavier Munford of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Trey Davis of the University of Massachusetts, right, moves the ball against Xavier Munford of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Freddie Riley of the University of Massachusetts, center, shoots against Xavier Munford of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center. Nikola Malesevic is in the background.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Raphiael Putney of the University of Massachusetts, right, rebounds beside teammate Chaz Williams Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Trey Davis of the University of Massachusetts, left, moves the ball against Mike Aaman of Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Cadt Lalanne of the University of Massachusetts, left, shoots against Mike Aaman of Rhode Island and another defender Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Freddie Riley, left, and Cady Lalanne of the University of Massachusetts celebrate a turnover against Rhode Island Wednesday at the Mullins Center.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

It seemed like a potentially big moment in the game. The shot cut the University of Massachusetts’ lead to 10 points and given the Minutemen’s tendency to let big first-half leads disappear and their tendency to play in close games, a three-point swing seemed like it might be significant.

Instead, the Minutemen came out of intermission with the gas pedal down. They scored the first 10 points of the second half and ran their rivals out of the Mullins Center in an 81-53 rout.

“We figured that they had a lot of momentum coming into the second half after (Xavier) Munford made that 3-point shot, so we wanted to just come out with a lot of effort,” UMass senior guard Freddie Riley said. “That was a good effort for us and we were able to build on the lead that we already had. It just worked. It was great. That was something that we talked about in the locker room at halftime, too.”

UMass coach Derek Kellogg hoped it signalled an end to his team’s slow second-half starts.

“It was good to see because I told those guys, ‘If you keep the lead going the right way, you’ll continue to play. You won’t come out.’ Maybe that’s a little incentive for them, to say you come out and play hard and do the right things and you’ll stay in the game,” he said. “I think it was a good team effort and it was great to come out and play well to start the second half. ... I thought that was the best start to a half that we’ve had all year.”

Hurley was impressed by the Minutemen (15-6, 5-3 Atlanta 10) and frustrated with his own team, which fell to 6-15 (1-7 A-10).

“We knew we were in trouble from the start. They were in attack mode and really, really locked in. They took the fight right to us and hit us in the jaw,” he said. “For the first time this year we were not competitive. We got outplayed and got our butts kicked from when we stepped on the court. ... That might be the most talented team physically that we’ve played in the conference.”

Entering the game, the Minutemen hadn’t led by 20 points at any juncture this season, but they cleared that milestone on a Williams three-point play during UMass’ second 10-0 run in the second half with 9:05 remaining. The lead nearly reached 30 when Trey Davis hit a layup with 2:07 left that made it 81-53, but the Minutemen didn’t attempt another shot in the game.

Munford kept Rhode Island in the game in the first half. He had almost half the Rams’ offense with 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting and hit the 3 to make it 41-31 at halftime. But Riley did the lion’s share of defensive work on him in the second half. Munford scored seven to finish with 22, but led by Riley, UMass harassed him into 2-for-10 shooting after intermission.

As Munford slowed down, Williams started to heat up. The junior point guard had 17 of his 27 after the break and finished with eight assists and just two turnovers.

Terrell Vinson added 13 points and five rebounds. Cady Lalanne had 11 points and six boards.

The Minutemen host Saint Joseph’s at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/GazetteUMass. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.

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AMHERST — Rhode Island coach Danny Hurley knows something about point guard play. He was a good one himself at Rutgers. His brother Bobby, who is his assistant coach, was one of the best to ever play the position in college at Duke. So his praise of University of Massachusetts guard Chaz Williams after the junior point guard led the …

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