SUNRISE, Fla. –– The Massachusetts mens basketball team’s streaking start to open the season came to an abrupt halt Saturday afternoon. The Minutemen’s high-flying offense was grounded, as Florida State beat UMass 60-55 in the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic at the BB&T Center.
Chaz Williams had 10 points and three assists in UMass' 60-55 loss to Florida State/Andrew Ivins
With FSU leading by a point in the final minute, a turnover from senior guard Chaz Williams led to a bucket on the other end of the court. The Minutemen had a chance to cut into the lead in the closing seconds, but junior center Cady Lalanne was whistled for basket interference, effectively ending the team’s ten-game win-streak.
“We had our chances, and I didn’t think we executed as good as we have in the past,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “We did some good stuff but we just didn’t put together a full game.”
The Minutemen (10-1) finished with season lows in both points and shooting percentage (30.3 percent) – and struggled to find their offense when it was needed the most.
FSU (8-3) was able to limit a UMass front court that couldn’t rely on it’s outside shooting and tallied 12 blocks.
Williams and forward Sampson Carter combined to go 0-8 from behind the arc, as UMass produced just one 3-pointer while turning the ball over 17 times.
After a first half that endured offensive struggles for both teams, it was FSU who was able to find it’s rhythm and style of basketball out of the break. The Seminoles established a half-court set and leaned on sophomore guard Aaron Thomas, who finished with a game-high 18 points.
UMass had constructed a brief lead with just over eight minuets to play, but couldn’t capitalize on the run.
“There was a seven minute window in the second half where the game was our flavor, but we couldn’t pull away,” Kellogg said. “A couple of plays down the stretch were uncharacteristic. I don’t think it was an offensive display either way.”
Lalanne finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds, and was the Minutemen’s lone bright spot despite the late goaltend. The native of Florida – who had over a dozen family members and friends in the stands – expressed after the game that he didn’t agree with the call.
“I thought it was a foul, I didn't think I held on to the rim,” Lalanne said.
Williams totaled 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting and tied a season-low with three assists. Sophomore guard Derrick Gordon chipped in with a team-high 12 points, but it was senior forward Raphiael Putney who managed just two points.
FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton offered his take on UMass after the game, adding that it was a struggle that could have went either way.
“They’re as good as any team we have played this year,” Hamilton said. “We knew we had to be at our best to pull this game out.”
UMass will have a break for the holidays before returning to the hardwood to host Providence on Dec. 28th.
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