AMHERST, Mass. – Using a 32-point scoring edge, the second-largest winning margin of the year, the UMass men’s basketball team defeated Central Connecticut State on Friday evening, 97-65, improving to 7-0 at home this season. Five different Minutemen reached double-digit scoring, as Raphiael Putney and Chaz Williams paced UMass with 18 each.
The Minutemen have now won five straight contests, finishing the non-conference portion of their schedule with an 11-3 record. Freddie Riley (14 points), Cady Lalanne (12 points), and Terrell Vinson (10 points) combined for 36 of UMass’ 97 point effort. The Minutemen’s bench continued to dominate its opponent, scoring 37 points among the non-starters compared to CCSU’s 16.
On the boards, UMass controlled the Blue Devils, 48-25. Cady Lalanne and Putney eached raked in eight rebounds for the Minutemen, while Sean Carter grabbed seven. Lalanne tied his career-high scoring with 12 points, last accomplished against the College of Charleston on Nov. 26.
The Minutemen got off to a quick 18-6 lead 6:07 into the first half. Williams propelled the 47 point first half effort by tallying 12 points, en route to his seventh straight game in double-figure scoring. The redshirt sophomore also dished out four assists.
Following a 12-3 run beginning at 17:15 in the second frame, the Minutemen never looked back. Putney highlighted the latter 20 minutes with 13 points and four rebounds, ending the game with a career-high 18 points. UMass ended the stanza on a 20-3 run commencing with 10:20 remaining in regulation.
Leading the way for CCSU was Robby Ptacek with 21 points. UMass was able to hold the nation’s third best scorer, Ken Horton, to just 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Horton came into the game averaging 22.5 points per game.
The Minutemen outshot CCSU .543 (38-70) to .349 (22-63) from the field. Andrew McCarthy added a career high six points for the Minutemen in as many minutes on the court.
UMass opens A-10 play on Jan. 5 against Northeast rival Fordham at 7 p.m. at the Mullins Center.