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Harvard Hands UMass Their First Loss of the Season in Overtime

The Massachusetts Minutemen (2-1, 0-0 A-10) lost their first game of the season to the Harvard Crimson (4-0, 0-0 Ivy League) on Friday night 78-75 in an overtime thriller. The Mullins Center had 3,735 fans and students in attendance for Friday night’s game and was by far the most interactive for the fans so far in the season. The atmosphere these fans were able to provide gave the feeling of a crowd from the Chaz Williams era and got really into the game in the best way needed. “That was a lot of fun. Having fans in there, giving our guys fight and energy,” Coach Frank Martin said about the atmosphere from Friday night. “That’s what we are fighting to build here.”

The Minutemen played a very strong and physical throughout the entirety of the game, it ultimately led to who had the shots go into the hoop. UMass struggled from the free throw line (10-25) and from behind the arc (7-28). If more shots had gone in from both of those areas, then it could have been a winnable game without needing overtime.

UMass had three different players in double-digits in the game, and one of them had a double-double on the night. Matt Cross led the way in scoring with 16 points and also had 16 rebounds on the night. Rahsool Diggins and Josh Cohen point had 13 points apiece to round out the Minutemen’s scorers in double digits. Daniel Hankins-Sanford had 9 points, Keon Thompson, Robert Davis Jr., and Jaylen Curry each had 7 points, and Jayden Ndjigue had 3 points to round out the scoring.

On the plus side, the Minutemen will have the 7-foot-3 freshman, Mathok Majok, available for their next game on Wednesday afternoon. Majok has been out the past three games serving a three-game NCAA suspension. Having him back will give UMass more depth in the backcourt. “I’m going to mess around with some now is playing Matt [Cross], Daniel [Hankins-Sanford], and Josh [Cohen] together to figure out a way to create more physicality at the small forward spot,” Martin said about Majok becoming eligible after the loss to Harvard Friday night.

UMass will play the Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) Blue Devils (1-2, 0-0 NEC) on Wednesday, November 22nd at 2pm in the Mullins Center. This will be the 13th overall meeting between the Minutemen and the Blue Devils, with UMass leading the all-time series history 8-4. The last time these two teams played each other was the season opener for both teams in the 2022-23 season, with the Minutemen coming out with the 94-67 win against the Blue Devils.

Featured Image: Chris Tucci, UMass Athletics

Kaily “KG” Godek is a current student at Western New England University (WNE). She has been a supporter of UMass Athletics for over 15 years. Kaily focuses on both UMass Basketball teams and occasionally on the other Women’s Basketball teams in the conference. While writing for A10 Talk, she works in the athletic department at WNE. When she graduates from WNE she wants to go into Sports Broadcasting and Journalism. You can follow Kaily on X, formerly known as Twitter, @kgumass23.