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Minutemen Dominate Albany 92-71

by Kevin McCaskill Jr.

11/9/23 * 7:30 PM

(AMHERST, MA) - The Minutemen hosted the University of Albany* Great Danes on Tuesday night at The Mullins Center, on the campus of UMass-Amherst. The matchup was the 1st game of the season for the Danes and the Minutemen.

In the Minutemen’s last official game, they were blown out 71-38 by Richmond in the 1st Round of the A10 Championship Tournament. That loss dropped UMass to 15-16 and ended an up-and-down season.

A couple weeks after the embarrassing exit [to a team they beat in the regular season], several players decided to transfer to other schools, notably RJ Luis, Dyondre Dominguez and Wildens Leveque.

UMass regrouped by adding Josh Cohen from St. Francis (PA), Daniel Hankins- Sanford from South Carolina and 6 incoming Freshman**.

Three players from last season decided to stay in Amherst: Matt Cross, Rahsool Diggins and Keon Thompson.

Tuesday night was the team’s first test.

The Minutemen started Keon Thompson, Rahsool Diggins, Jayden Ndjigue, Josh Cohen and Matt Cross.

They came out and set the tone for the game. The Minutemen were aggressive on defense, creating turnovers and getting steals. The turnovers led to easy baskets on the other end. They jumped out to a 12-0 lead on the Danes. Albany HC Dwayne Killings was forced to call a timeout.

After the timeout, URI transfer Sebastian Thomas, now playing PG for the Danes, began to show why he was highly recruited out of HS. He made two threes that pulled Albany closer, 14-8. Thomas is a good ball-handler and makes good decisions. Killings said he thinks Thomas “is the best PG in our league”. “He can really ‘play-make’, he can really score, he shares it, he is one of our team captains; he is a winner”.

The Danes closed the scoring gap; they were only down by two, 17-15.

The Minutemen went on another run, this time an 18-2 run over 6 minutes. They led 35-17 @ the 6 minute mark in the 1st half. The Minutemen exploited their front-court size advantage and had their way in the paint. UMass Guards were also able to get into the lane at will on Tuesday.

And if you are superstitious, Tarique Foster and Hankins-Sanford banked in threes in the 1st half 🍀🤞🏾.

UMass led comfortably @ halftime 46-26.

In second half, the Minutemen led by as many as 30 points. The Danes had no answer for the Minutemen’s offense on Tuesday.

UMass beat Albany easily 92-71.

Josh Cohen scored a game high 22 points. He also registered 8 rebounds and 3 steals. Diggins and Hankins-Sanford scored 14 points each.

Thomas scored a team-high 19 points for Albany. He made 3/4 3FGs.

After the game, Cohen said, “We honestly play for each other. That’s a really tough thing to find in college basketball”.

HC Frank Martin said his players “play for each other”.

The Minutemen’s next home game is on Monday @ 11/13. The game tips off @ 7 PM, on ESPN+.


*University of Albany was formerly known as SUNY Albany

**Jaylen Curry, Robert Davis Jr., Marqui Worthy, Tarique Foster, Jayden Ndjigue and Mathok Majok


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