UMass basketball opens with win over Boston College
BOSTON -- They may look the same, but the stat sheet after the University of Massachusetts' season-opening win against Boston College shows that looks can be deceiving.
The Minutemen pounded the ball inside against BC for 40 minutes, and pulled away in the second half in an 86-73 victory Sunday afternoon in the middle game of the Coaches vs. Cancer tripleheader at TD Garden. UMass came back from a four-point halftime deficit and trailed by as many as nine in the second half before pulling away.
The Minutemen did it by going inside. UMass outscored BC 52-26 in the paint and 30-11 on second-chance points. UMass outrebounded Boston College 44-27 and had a 21-9 advantage on the offensive glass.
"We made a commitment to get the ball inside more this year," UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. "Whether it's off the glass or driving to the rim, whether it's posting it -- I think we posted the ball more tonight than we did in the last two years combined.
"I think that's our most effective way to play."
If that's the "most effective" game plan, then Cady Lalanne was the most effective player on the court. The UMass center had a career-high 27 points and added 12 rebounds for the Minutemen. The junior was 12 of 15 from the floor and also blocked three shots.
Lalanne scored UMass' first four points of the second half while the Eagles extended their 36-32 halftime lead to 45-36. At that point, Sampson Carter took control of the game for the Minutemen.
The senior forward outscored BC 7-0 in a span of nearly two minutes, as he finished with 12 points and eight boards. He got inside the Eagles defense, and that helped bring UMass close. Then Chaz Williams took over.
Williams, who had 15 of his 20 points in the second half, hit a 3-point basket with 11:13 left, giving the Minutemen a 54-51 lead they would not relinquish.
"I was just shooting with confidence," said Williams, 5 for 5 from outside the arc. "It's been a long offseason just working out and working on my jump shot. Guys did a great job in finding me."
Boston College coach Steve Donahue now has an 0-2 team, after the Eagles lost in overtime Friday to Providence.
"In the second half, they came out and decided that they would make the game very simple," said Donahue. "They were going to drive the ball, put it up there and go get it and put it in the basket. That's what they did."
Ryan Anderson led BC with 22 points, but had only seven in the second half. Olivier Hanlan had 19 and Patrick Heckmann added 11 for the Eagles.
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