Given another chance in the top spot, UMass was in better position Thursday, both in competition and locale. The Minutemen turned on their defense and long-range shooting in the second half to make Rutgers their 37th consecutive Amherst victim, 85-68, in an Atlantic 10 game.
"I feel they're a legitimate No. 1," Rutgers Coach Bob Wenzel said. "We played pretty well. They just didn't let us do anything."
Actually, the Scarlett Knights (4-7, 0-2 in the Atlantic 10) were in good shape at halftime, trailing, 36-33. Then UMass (10-1, 3-0) sank three three-point baskets in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the second half after making only one of eight in the first.
"I don't think we played like the top team in the country," said Lou Roe, who led Massachusetts with 17 points despite playing inconsistently. "We need a couple of days of practice."
And maybe some rest. It was the fifth game in 10 days for the Minutemen.
No. 17 Missouri 64, Notre Dame 56--The Tigers (11-2) went 13 for 19 from the free-throw line in the last 10 minutes, fortunate for them because they did not have a field goal in the final 9:59 in winning at Columbia, Mo.
Missouri was led by Paul O'Liney's 20 points but shot only 33% against the Irish (9-5), who had 20 turnovers and were tired after having to bus to the game, more than 300 miles from Chicago, because of fog at O'Hare Airport.
LaZelle Durden scored 25 points to lead Cincinnati (11-5, 2-0) to a 91-64 Great Midwest Conference victory over Marquette (8-4, 0-1). . . . Shea Seals scored 22 of his 28 points in the first half as Tulsa (7-3, 4-0) cruised to a 79-52 victory at Wichita State (9-3, 3-2) in a Missouri Valley Conference game. . . . Erick Strickland scored 12 of his 18 points in the first half as Nebraska (13-3, 1-1) cruised to a 78-56 Big Eight victory over Kansas State (10-4, 1-1). . . . Reggie Townsend scored 20 points in leading St. Joseph's (7-3, 3-1) to a 79-65 victory over George Washington (9-6, 2-1) in an Atlantic 10 game. . . . Reserve Shane Knight scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half and sparked Brigham Young (13-3, 4-0) to a 66-57 Western Athletic Conference victory over San Diego State (6-7, 1-4). . . . Canaan Chatman's 25 points led Portland (10-3, 1-0) to an 81-79 victory over San Francisco (6-9, 0-2) in a West Coast Conference game. . . . Brian Bruso scored seven of his 12 points during a 17-4 run midway through the second half as San Diego (6-6, 2-0) rallied for an 80-70 victory over Gonzaga (11-2, 0-1) in a WCC game.