AMHERST, Mass. -- Anthony Gurley scored 18 points and Sampson Carter added a career-high 17 as Massachusetts defeated Sacred Heart 73-65 Wednesday night to start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2007-08.
The Minutemen led 34-27 at the half, but the Pioneers (0-3) used an 8-0 spurt to open the second half and take a 35-34 advantage with 17:31 left.
UMass quickly regained the lead on a Matt Hill jumper and the Minutemen used an increased tempo and ball movement to build a 15-point margin with 4:29 to go.
The Pioneers made a late run, cutting the deficit to four at 69-65 with 26 seconds to go, but Gurley and Daryl Traynham each hit a pair of free throws to seal the win.
Traynham added 11 points for the Minutemen, who scored 21 points off 20 Sacred Heart turnovers.
Shane Gibson had 14 points to lead the Pioneers, who won the rebounding battle 39-35.