Massachusetts Hangs 99 on the Hometown Colonials in a High-Scoring Atlantic Ten Second Round Game
By: Ethan Hennessy
UMass came out of the gate roaring. Their coach Matt McCall was already informed prior to the Atlantic Ten Tournament that he will be let go by the university following the season, so it was obvious his players wanted to play hard for their coach. McCall said after the game “For our seniors the last thing you want to do is have regret because you didn’t leave it all out there, so we said we’re going to leave it all out there.” After being down 25-11 in the first half GW started to get hot. The colonials even went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficite to only five, but UMass countered with a run of their own. The rest of the half featured Massachusets just scoring at will. The Minutemen put up 56 points in the first half which was more than either George Mason or Fordham scored in the entire game earlier in the day.
George Washington kept fighting but just could not close the gap in the second half. Noah Fernandes scored a career high 29 points, seven assists, and seven steals for the minutemen. George Washington was scrapping the entire second half, but the margin was just too large to overcome as they lost 99-88.
George Washington’s season ends in DC a few blocks from their campus. UMass advances to face the #2 seed Dayton Flyers in the quarterfinals. McCall said after the game “I haven’t had a ton of time to process what’s next. Just try to pour into these guys each and every day… The message to these guys has been let’s enjoy each and every day.” Jamion Christian when I asked about the fan support here in their city said: “I’m always appreciative of our fan support. I was hoping we would have a few more days here, but I’m always appreciative of their support”.