The Massachusetts Minutemen found themselves down 10-1 after just over three minutes of play. What looked to be a continuation of the second half of the Notre Dame game quickly changed.
UMass would claw their way back to briefly take a 23-21 lead with eight minutes left. The Florida State Seminoles would take a one point lead into halftime.
The bench play, which has been shaky at best, really came alive for the Minutemen and provided a much needed lift to the team. The bench was led by Donte Clark and Jabarie Hinds, both of whom had 15 points which were a team high. Both players finally looked like they were comfortable on the court and it showed. Clark provided two of UMass' four three pointers and Hinds added 50 percent shooting from the floor.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes was the only Florida St starter who really showed up. He managed to score a game high 22 points despite his four fouls. His six missed free throws were his only blemish. He was helped by Boris Bojanovsky off the bench who had 16 points and five rebounds.
The second half was a back and forth match between the teams which neither one was able to maintain their small leads. That changed with 10:10 left in the second half after a Cady Lalanne jumper. That basket gave UMass a 53-51 lead and UMass would hold on to it all the way until the final whistle. Clark was key to holding that lead scoring the next six for UMass.
Cady Lalanne regained some of his mojo that he had lost against Norte Dame. He was just one rebound shy of a double figures to go along with 14 points. He also had two blocks and was deterrent around the rim. His frontcourt partner Maxie Esho struggled with fouls but still managed eight points and five rebounds. Tyler Bergantino had his best game of the year with two points and three rebounds a steal. He didn't light up the stat sheet but he was aggressive on both sides of the ball.
Derrick Gordon had another good all-around game with eight points, five assists, and three steals. His assist numbers are beginning to become a pattern as he continues to be UMass' best drive and kick man, which is how UMass seems to run their half court offense. Trey Davis on the other hand struggled to shoot the ball again. He had just eight points on 3-12 shooting, including 0-6 from deep. He did add six rebounds but just two assists.
Zach Coleman and C.J. Anderson also played some good minutes and look like they can be counted on when Kellogg calls their number. Especially Anderson, who nailed his only three point attempt.
This was a good turnaround for the Minutemen after yesterday's disheartening loss. While it is still early in the season the recent struggle of Trey Davis is a concern but isn't too alarming. The offense is still trying to figure out how to flow with so many creators and ball handlers on the floor at the same time. Also Cady Lalanne will need to get fed the ball more. We've seen glimpses of his frustration that can lead to bad fouls which UMass cannot have.
UMass moves to 4-1 on the season as the Seminole drop to 1-3.
UMass will get a few much needed days off as they head back to Amherst to prepare for the Northeastern Huskies. They will visit the Mullins Center on Wednesday at 7PM.