Updated: Saturday, 13 Nov 2010, 12:28 AM EST
Published : Saturday, 13 Nov 2010, 12:28 AM EST
AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - The UMass basketball team had its largest comeback since the 2008 NIT Quarterfinals as the Minutemen rallied from down by 22 with 16:24 left in the game to post a 77-67 win over Rider in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic at the Mullins Center. Senior Anthony Gurley (career-high 31 points) and sophomore Freddie Riley (career-high 28 points) and were the forces behind the comeback which featured a 34-point swing in the second half alone, spanning just over 13 minutes.
Gurley scored the 1,000th point of his career on a lay-up with 2:38 left in the game to continue an amazing night. He now has 1001 in his career with 199 in his freshman season at Wake Forest and 802 at UMass.
Riley scored 23 of his points in the second half while Gurley had 19 of his points in the final 20 minutes. The Minutemen used an amazing 40-9 run spanning 12 minutes through the second half.
While Gurley and Riley were scoring the points players such as junior Matt Hill and freshman Daryl Traynham were contributors with rebounding, defense and assists that don't show in the scoring column.
With UMass down just 20-17 after a Gurley 3-pointer with 9:15 left in the first half, Rider scored the next 12 points and went on a 23-4 run over 5:14 to build an advantage of 43-21, its largest lead of the game at 22 points.
UMass fell behind by 11, trailing 17-6 with 11:58 left in the first half. The Minutemen rallied to as close as three on a Gurley 3-pointer with 9:15 left in the first half to make is 20-17. Rider continued to mount an attack taking a 32-17 lead with 6:12 left in the first half.
The last time UMass rallied from as large a margin was on March 28, 2008 in the NIT Quarterfinals as the Minutemen came back from a 54-32 with 14:37 left in the second half to post an 81-77 victory on the way to the NIT Finals.
The Minutemen will be back in action on Wednesday as Sacred Heart comes to the Mullins Center for a 7 p.m. tip-off.