MHERST, Mass. – Marcus Collins scored 18 points and grabbed five rebounds as Westfield State fell to Division I UMass, 84-60, in a men's basketball exhibition game at the Mullins Center on Tuesday night.
The Owls did not appear overmatched in the early going, as Westfield led 8-7 at the first media timeout.
Westfield trailed 45-30 at the half. Luwanne Pipkins was the difference maker for UMass with 15 points in the opening stanza. Marcus Collins scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds in the opening 20 minutes.
UMass opened the second half with a decisive 16-4 run, capped by a Curtis Cobb three-pointer that forced an Owls timeout with the Minutemen leading 61-34 with 16:22 to play.
Pipkins, a 5-11 guard from Chicago, scored 21 points to lead five UMass players in double figures.
Westfield State Rich Sutter was pleased with his team's performance.
"I thought our defensive intensity wasn't bad, at times they overpowered us, but overall our transition defense and core defense was pretty good."
"It's an absolute home run," said Sutter of the experience for his team. "I appreciate coach McCall giving us the shot. UMass did a collegial and collaborative thing in playing one of our sister state institutions."
Collins scored 12 of the Owls first 32 points and finished with 8-11 from the floor on the night.
"He [Marcus] looked good, and he's giving us a little dynamic because we can go bigger with Anthony Reynolds and Jauch Green," said Sutter. "He just settles people down, he's been in the battle a lot, and that's what we need more than anything. For a little while there we got a little scratchy and scattered."
"Right now they have come in and done everything we have asked them to do," said Sutter.
Green and Moody Bey each added nine points for the Owls.
Westfield out-rebounded the Minutemen 37-32. The Owls shot 26-59 from the floor (44%) but connected on just 1 of 10 from three point range. UMass forced the Owls into 27 turnovers.
The Minutemen shot 31-16 (49 %) from the floor and were 11-30 from three point range.
Westfield opens its regular season on November 14 with a a game against Lesley University at the Woodward Center.
"These guys really get along, it's all basketball stuff we have to clean up," said Sutter. "They're a good group and they are fun to have in practice and this was a great experience for us."