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Frank Martin earns 300th career win in UMass men’s basketball comeback win

Frank Martin earns 300th career win in UMass men’s basketball comeback win

AMHERST – After trailing for most of the night, the UMass men’s basketball team used the steady shooting of RJ Lewis to pull off a hard-fought win over Richmond, 85-76, on Wednesday at the Mullins Center. When the final buzzer sounded, UMass went on a 12โ€“0 run to end the game and snap their losing streak.

The win gave UMass coach Frank Martin his 300th career win. Of those 300, 12 have come in Martin’s first season with the Minutemen.

“I’m one of the luckiest people on earth,” Martin said. “Where I came from, who I was as an athlete, to be able to have people who trust me and give me the responsibility to run the program and then be with me and then the staff, the coaches “

With less than two minutes remaining in the game, and the score tied at 76โ€“76, Deondre Dominguez and Wildens LeVeque breathed life into the Mullins Center. Dominguez passed the ball to LeVeque, who finished the play with an Eli-Oop. After falling behind by seven points during the first half, the Minutemen built up and held the lead for the rest of the game.

“I was drawn to it,” LeVeque said of the game-changing play. “If you could see me, I was pointing for Dre to throw me up, so I was just waiting for it and I got it and it gave us more energy to win the game.”

Louis echoes LeVeque’s sentiments.

“He was just, wow, (LeVeque) was trying to be flashy because of the tight play. I thought he’d dunk it with two hands, but he dunked it with one,” Lewis said. “It gave us a lot of momentum.”

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Lewis followed it up with a jumper to give UMass a four-point lead with under a minute remaining. He finished the night with a game-high 23 points, including 9-for-10 shooting from the free-throw line. Lewis set a new career-high in points and minutes played with 35 minutes on the court.

UMass used the 6-foot-7 frame of both Matt Cross and Issac Kante, as well as LeVeque’s 6-foot-10 frame, to their advantage in the second half, throwing the ball over the heads of Richmond defenders and forwards. Worked to find out. Deep in the paint.

Without injured star guards Noah Fernandes and TJ Weeks Jr., Cross has consistently stepped up for UMass. The Louisville transfer finished the game with 18 points and eight rebounds.

“Matt Cross just got physically beaten up,” Martin said. โ€œHe is accepting the responsibility of being a leading player for the first time in his college career. With that comes an incredible physical rush and mental stress and he is trying to manage that and I am really proud of him. The courage he has shown in trying to play.

On the other side of the court, Richmond also used their height in the paint with 7-foot center Neil Quinn scoring a team-high 20 points for the Spiders in the loss.

With seconds winding down in the first half, Richmond’s Tyler Burton went for a deep 2-pointer and as the buzzer sounded, the ball fell into the net to give the Spiders a 37โ€“32 lead. In a fluctuating half for the Minutemen, they now had a five-point deficit to break out to start the second half.

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Lewis led the effort in the opening 20 minutes, finishing the first half with 11 points, but it was poor overall shooting that led to an offensive breakdown for the Minutemen. UMass shot 35.5 percent from the field in the first frame and 30.8 percent from three.

The second half featured a marked offensive improvement, beginning with Rahsoul Diggins hitting a 3-pointer in the frame. LeVeque then hit a 3-pointer of his own to give UMass a temporary one-point lead. Richmond went ahead by four points in the second half before the Minutemen went on their 12-point run to end the game.

“I’ve been begging for his leadership through tough times and I felt like today was the first time in a whole year that things didn’t go our way and we really stepped up to help each other out,” Martin said. Returns.” โ€œAnd instead of breaking down and doing hero stuff, we played through what we tried to prepare for as a team team. And we are rewarded for it.

The Minutemen are back at the Mullins Center on Saturday at 4 p.m. against Duquesne.

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