UMass basketball notebook: Minutemen get another shot at George Mason

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

WASHINGTON — After two near misses in overtime during the regular season, UMass will get a third crack at George Mason.

The Minutemen’s 69-67 win over La Salle in the first round earned them another shot at the Patriots at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the second round of the Atlantic 10 Tournament at Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.

George Mason held off a late UMass charge to win 80-72 in Amherst on Jan. 3. The Minutemen nearly upset the Patriots without Luwane Pipkins on Feb. 24. Goanar Mar made three free throws at the end of regulation to force overtime, and Ian Boyd beat the buzzer to give GMU an 78-76 win in Fairfax.

UMass coach Matt McCall was eager to start another game plan.

“It will be a late night for me. Our players will get back. Our staff does an unbelievable job of scouting, so our assistant coaches have already prepared the scout for this game. George Mason didn’t play today, so it’s not like you’re going to watch that game film,” he said. “We’ll get back to the hotel. We’ll show the guys a look of things we did well in the game, things we didn’t do well the last time we played them and both times we’ve played them and where we need to get better, and then our guys will get rest. They will get treatment. We’ll be up watching tape and then tomorrow morning will be a walk-through, no shootaround. We’ll be walking through some stuff in the hotel. Got to go out and play.”

After beating UMass, Mason beat VCU and lost to Richmond to close out the regular season.

MILESTONE CHASING — Pipkins’ 15 points gave him 24 consecutive games

scoring in double figures. Pipkins now has 984 points in his career, bringing him within striking distance of reaching 1,000 on Thursday.

Pipkins would join an elite list of players to reach 1,000 in their first two seasons. Only Jim McCoy (1,195) did it as a freshman and sophomore. Julius Erving (1,370) did it as a sophomore and junior when freshmen were ineligible.

His 647 points this season are No. 6 on UMass’ single season list.

MISCELLANEOUS — UMass is now 3-0 when playing in the A-10’s first round.

With Malik Hines in foul trouble, Khalea Turner-Morris had three points and two rebounds in seven minutes, his most time since Feb. 3.

Tre Wood, the D.C. native, who signed with UMass in November, was in attendance.

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