Seniors Freddie Riley, Terrell Vinson close careers at UMass



Last modified: Wednesday, May 01, 2013

AMHERST — Senior guard Freddie Riley was proud of reaching the 1,000-point club at the University of Massachusetts, but said he would have traded the milestone for a win and a chance to keep playing and extend his career.

Stony Brook ended UMass’ season with a 71-58 victory in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament Wednesday at the Mullins Center.

Riley finished his career with 1,016 points.

“Yeah, it’s nice to say. I would have rather us win than me scoring my 1,000th point, honestly, but I’m fortunate enough to be in the 1,000-point club and that’s a good thing,” Riley said. “But you know, I’m still upset that the season is over with.”

NIT rules that limit the host team’s home-court advantage prohibited UMass from announcing Riley’s milestone. His 231 career 3-pointers are fifth in program history.

Senior Terrell Vinson gave the Minutemen a spark as they tried to come back early in the fourth quarter. But he fouled out in his final game and finished with 11 points and five rebounds.

He leaves with 1,276 points, which ranks him 18th on UMass’ career scoring list. Vinson is the program’s career leader in games started with 127.

“They took a leap of faith to come here. Really, they came here because of me or somebody on my staff. They didn’t really know UMass from anywhere else, really, and to have those guys take that leap of faith, they really paved the way. And I told them it wasn’t going to be easy,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “They were coming in as young kids. We had to kind of revamp the foundation. ... I thought these guys took their lumps. They fought through. And they stayed, because a lot of kids in their shoes would have transferred. It was kind of rough and tough and they stuck it through and we wound up winning 25 games (in 2011-12) and then 21 games this year. I appreciate everything these guys have done for me personally, for my family and also the program.

“The good thing is those kids can go on and be (successful) in life. They can go play professionally, hopefully, overseas somewhere,” Kellogg said. “They’re going to graduate on time.”

Riley expected good things for the Minutemen down the road.

“I think the program is going up. I think next year, they have a pretty good team. I think they have a chance to make the tournament next year and I’m looking forward to watching the team,” Riley said. “The recruits coming in are good and the returning players are good, also. I know they’re going to work hard over the summer to get stronger and to work on their game and make this program what it used to be in the ’90s when he (motioning toward Kellogg) was playing and just keep moving forward so we can get to the (NCAA) tournament.”

MILESTONES — Despite a shoulder sprain that limited him to 16 minutes, Chaz Williams’ six assists gave him 242 in the season, the second best single-season total in program history. He’ll head into his senior season needing 205 to become UMass’ career leader despite only playing three years.

CROWD — With students gone for spring break, the crowd of 2,173 was the smallest of the year at the Mullins Center.

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


 


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