Sean East

Massachusetts freshman guard Sean East

AMHERST, Mass. — Massachusetts freshman, and former New Albany standout, Sean East tallied 17 points, seven assists and four steals while also hitting a three-quarter-court shot at the end of the first half to spark the Minutemen to an 80-71 win over Northeastern on Tuesday.

The visiting Huskies led UMass 34-33 with six-tenths of a second left in the first half when Samba Diallo in-bounded the basketball to East, who let it bounce twice before picking it up and flinging it from just beyond the opposite free throw line. The high-arching shot — it was No. 1 on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays — ripped through the net on the other end and East, after briefly pausing in front of the scorer’s table, sprinted into the locker room.

The Minutemen carried the momentum from that shot over into the second half, outscoring Northeastern 44-37 en route to the nine-point win.

East finished the game 6 of 9 from the field, including 2 of 2 from 3-point range, and 3 for 5 from the free throw line. He also had one rebound and no turnovers in 34 minutes of action for UMass (3-0), which is off to its best start since 2015.

East, who has started all three games so far, is averaging 14 points for the Minutemen, who host Central Connecticut State at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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