Early lead evaporates as UMass falls to Richmond on senior night

  • Tyrn Flowers, center left, of UMass, reaches for a rebound against Richmond defenders Nick Sherod, center right, and De'monte Buckingham, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. Brison Gresham, left, and Malik Hines look on. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg shouts instructions during his team's loss to Richmond, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg shouts instructions during his team's loss to Richmond, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg shouts instructions during his team's loss to Richmond, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg shouts instructions during his team's loss to Richmond, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg shouts instructions during his team's loss to Richmond, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Brison Gresham, left, of UMass, dunks beside T.J. Cline, of Richmond, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Luwane Pipkins, right, of UMass, moves the ball against Shawndre' Jones, of Richmond, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • C.J. Anderson, center, of UMass, shoots amid Richmond defenders T.J. Cline, from left, Nick Sherod, and Shawndre' Jones, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zach Lewis, left, of UMass, splits Richmond defenders Shawndre’ Jones, center, and Julius Johnson, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. UMass lost 75-64. Visit gazettenet.com for more photos. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Donte Clark, right, of UMass, passes between Richmond defenders T.J. Cline, left, and De'monte Buckingham, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • C.J. Anderson, right, of UMass, moves the ball against Shawndre' Jones, of Richmond, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg shouts instructions during his team's loss to Richmond, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • UMass Head Coach Derek Kellogg shouts instructions during his team's loss to Richmond, Wednesday at the Mullins Center. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

@MattVautourDHG
Published: 3/1/2017 10:43:01 PM

AMHERST — Richmond hit 3-pointers at an almost historic rate and UMass couldn’t keep up.

The Spiders erased an early Minuteman lead and pulled away for a 75-64 win, Wednesday at the Mullins Center.

Richmond entered the game as a bottom-of-the-pack 3-point shooting team (32.9 percent) and UMass allowed opponents to hit 33.8 percent from deep.

But the 3-2 zone, which helped the Minutemen beat La Salle and controlled the Spiders early, gave them some good looks from 3-point range and they took advantage. Even after UMass switched to man-to-man, Richmond was already in rhythm. It made 15-for-26 (57.7 percent) from outside, including 7-for-9 (77.8) in the second half to pull away.

“You don’t want to just settle for 3s, but we obviously shot the ball well,” Richmond coach Chris Mooney said.

Added UMass coach Derek Kellogg, “The 3’s were coming from everywhere. We need to do a better job of guarding the 3.”

Like they did on Sunday, the Minutemen (14-16, 4-13 Atlantic 10) started their second unit and for the first 14 minutes of the game, every thing seemed to click. UMass moved the ball crisply and defended effectively.

Recognizing Richmond’s prior success defending the perimeter, the Minutemen attacked the middle effectively and built a 30-19 lead on a tip-in by Rashaan Holloway with 6:04 left.

But Richmond (18-11, 12-5) switched to a matchup zone that limited UMass’ ability to get the ball inside and the Spiders offense came to life. They had three 3-pointers in a 12-2 run that cut UMass’ advantage to 32-31 at halftime.

“On the matchup I thought we might be able to make them take a little more time,” Mooney said. “They were aggressive early. They have good young players, but when they see a different defense for the first time, it’s hard to make the adjustment.”

Intermission did nothing to cool off Richmond. The Spiders scored the first 10 points of the second half and the Minutemen couldn’t recover.

Luwane Pipkins, who had 19 points, tried to resuscitate the Minutemen. For just under 7 minutes he was the only UMass player to score as his 12 points in that stretch was all the kept his team alive.

“The first one went in and then the second one,” Pipkins said. “I was in my groove after that.”

But he didn’t get enough help as Richmond pulled away.

T.J. Cline, the Spiders’ conference player of the year candidate, had just nine points and three rebounds, but directed their modified Princeton offense from the middle and finished with seven assists.

“He didn’t score like he usually does, but his passing, it was hitting his hands and then the ball was in the right spot to the right guy before we could even rotate,” Kellogg said. “His IQ for the game is phenomenal. He played an MVP-type game without dominating the stat sheet.”

ShawnDre Jones led all scorers with 26 points for Richmond.

Brison Gresham added 12 points and eight rebounds, while Holloway added 15 for UMass.

The Minutemen lost despite controlling the boards and shooting well. It outrebounded the Spiders 28-18 and allowed just one offensive rebound. The Minutemen shot 50 percent (28-for-58), although they hit just 3 of 17 3-pointers.

UMass will close its regular season at St. Bonaventure Saturday at 4 p.m.

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




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