Notebook: UMass set for third meeting with La Salle at Atlantic 10 Tournament

  • UMass guard Luwane Pipkins launches a 3-pointer from the top of the key against Duquesne, Saturday at the Mullins Center. AP

Sunday, March 04, 2018

AMHERST — UMass’ first two meetings with La Salle produced a performance that will be long remembered and a loss the Minutemen would rather forget. Round three will end somebody’s season.

UMass’ 85-75 win over Duquesne, Saturday, allowed it to wriggle out of a last-place tie with Fordham to finish 13th. The Minutemen will face the No. 12-seeded Explorers, Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

Behind a school-record 44 points by Luwane Pipkins, UMass won the first meeting 72-69 in overtime in Amherst. La Salle dominated the rematch and pulled away for an 87-72 win in Philadelphia.

CHASING 1,000 — Pipkins will either need another memorable scoring night against La Salle or for the Minutemen to reach the second round to score his 1,000th career point. His 16 points Saturday gave him 969.

He’s averaging 21.1 points per game this season.

DOUBLE DUTY — While most of the Minutemen were scheduled to have Sunday off, junior forward/QB Randall West had spring football practice.

“He’s got to go to football practice tomorrow at 12:15. He’s got to throw on the pads tomorrow and then come back to us on Monday. He’s got an unbelievable attitude. What a high-character kid,” said UMass coach Matt McCall, who threatened to show up at football practice to support West. “I may go over there and dial up some ball plays. I’m a big bootleg guy.”

MISCELLANEOUS – Boston native Rene Castro-Caneddy had 12 points for Duquesne in his return to the Bay State.

UMass graduated tight end Adam Breneman, who has returned to his home in Pennsylvania to prepare for the NFL draft, and basketball legend Carmelo Travieso were both among the 2,953 fans in the crowd.

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