UMass Athletics:

March 2012 Archives

The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team hit the Big Apple Tuesday night, and their loyal fans were not about to miss it.

The National Invitation Tournament semifinal game against Stanford was a competition, but the trip to New York was also a culmination - a celebration of a better season than anticipated.

Even a season-ending 74-64 loss to Stanford could not dampen the enthusiasm in UMass basketball this season has regenerated.

Typical of its season, UMass went down battling. The Minutemen overcame an early 12-point deficit to lead briefly in the second half, but a late Stanford run settled the issue.

"This team has just been so much fun to watch,'' said Mike Levine, a 1987 UMass graduate who was on hand at Madison Square Garden.

Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican has a piece looking towards the 2012-13 basketball season and how UMass can use its successes this year to springboard ahead.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a piece on the excitement generated by UMass' NIT Semifinal run and the success in several other sports along with the transition of the football program to the Mid-American Conference.


"When you have the success that basketball has had and you see what the lacrosse programs are doing and some of our other teams combined with the momentum of our football transition, it's very positive," McCutcheon said. "You walk around (Madison Square Garden) and hear the things people are saying and it's gratifying."
Wednesday was a day of celebration out at the UMass Softball Complex. After a one-day delay, the 2012 home opener went off without a hitch as the Minutewomen defeated Quinnipiac 1-0. Senior pitcher Sara Plourde established herself as the strikeout queen of UMass softball by becoming the school's career strikeout leader, surpassing Danielle Henderson's mark of 1,343 strikeouts. Oh, and SP also tossed her fourth no-hitter of the season in the process. Just a reminder that UMass hosts Dayton this weekend with single games on Friday at 3 pm and Saturday at Noon.

Daily Collegian Season Previews - Baseball

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The Daily Collegian's annual Baseball/Softball Preview issue hit newsstands on Monday and here are the baseball articles compiled by writers Chris Corso and Scott Cournoyer.

Daily Collegian Season Previews - Softball

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The Daily Collegian's annual Baseball/Softball Preview issue hit newsstands on Monday and here are the softball articles compiled by writers Nick Canelas, Stephen Hewitt and David Martin.


Vote for UMass SAAC Anti-Bullying Video Contest

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The Atlantic 10 Conference SAAC "Anti-Bullying" Video Competition is under way with eleven institutions entering videos in this year's competition. This is the second year that the A-10 SAAC has conducted this "friendly" video competition, where the winner is determined by a combination of an online fan vote, as well as a vote conducted by each institution's campus SAAC organization. This fall, a unanimous vote by the A-10 SAAC led to the "anti-bullying" campaign as the theme of the 2011-12 video competition.

The guidelines for the competition are intentionally broad to provide maximum flexibility in the video submissions. Campus SAAC organizations that entered this year's competition have taken advantage of the incredible opportunity to raise awareness of bullying, through their creative and powerful messages.

The online vote will be open and conducted Friday, March 23 through Sunday, April 1. The campus SAAC votes will also be due on the final day of the online voting (Sunday, April 1), with the winner being announced on Tuesday, April 3.

The inaugural competition, which took place during 2010-11 academic year, involved the creation of videos that promoted an NCAA or institutional core value (e.g., sportsmanship, sense of community, commitment to service, academic and athletic excellence), or an ideal that student-athletes are especially proud of or passionate about. There were a total of seven institutional entries for this first-ever competition. The competition generated over 3,100 online votes, with roughly 40 percent of those votes going to the University of Dayton (1,204), which sealed their victory in the first-ever competition and they also finished second in the campus SAAC vote.


http://www.atlantic10.com/saac/atl10-saac-videos-12.html
After much anticipation, game day is finally here as UMass and Stanford will meet tonight at 7 PM in the NIT Semifinals in Madison Square Garden. Lots of great previews and features on the Minutemen who have been in the media spotlight due to the program's history with Madison Square Garden and a certain point guard who hails from Brooklyn.


ABC40 Preview:

After rallying back from a 17-point second-half deficit, UMass now has a date with Madison Square Garden. The Minutemen came-from-behind last night to defeat Drexel 72-70 in Philadelphia. Terrell Vinson scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half leading a Minutemen charge as UMass closed the half shooting nearly 71 percent from the floor.

UMass will face tonight's winner of the Stanford/Nevada quarterfinal game next Tuesday at 7 PM. The game will be televised live from New York City on ESPN2.





NBA Player Gary Forbes Scores on His Dreams

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Tracy Neithercott of Diabetes Forecast Magazine has an outstanding story on 2008 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Gary Forbes and his life with diabetes.

Everything about Gary Forbes hints at vigor. The 6-foot, 7-inch basketball player is 220 pounds of pure muscle and goes head-to-head with some of the biggest, most athletic guys on the planet each week. He spends every day on the court, running drills and perfecting his shot so, come game day, he and his team can take on the toughest competition.

One more win and we are going to the World's Most Famous Arena but its going to be a tough game going into Drexel's Daskalakis Athletic Center where coach Bruiser Flint's team has won 18-consecutive at the DAC. Tip-off is at 7 pm on ESPN (Bob Wischusen and LaPhonso Ellis) and on all four affiliates of the UMass Radio Network (Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney). While you get amped up for the game here are some articles from various outlets in Mass and Philly.

Previews Of UMass At Drexel In NIT Quarterfinals

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Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a feature piece on Terrell Vinson and his clutch performances in big games for the UMass basketball team.

Terrell Vinson's highlights aren't likely to end up on SportsCenter's top 10.  

The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team has its share of breathtaking dunks and enough alley-oops to potentially be called Lob U. Chaz Williams has gotten well-deserved attention for his game-changing speed and program-changing leadership and Raphiael Putney's improved game and freakish athleticism have made him a fan favorite and a media star.  

But with the game on the line, or in Saturday's case the season on the line, the Minutemen have looked to Vinson and more often than not, the junior has delivered.


In the March 19 edition of the USILA Coaches Poll, UMass holds steady at No. 3 in the nation for the second straight week. In the Nike Media Poll, the Minutemen also remain at No. 4 following the 9-8 OT win at No. 14 Penn State on Saturday.

In Quint Kessenich's weekly breakdown of the polls, he has this to say about UMass:
3 UMass -- The Minutemen had their first close shave, beating Penn State in overtime. Greg Cannella's team is getting offensive production from Will Manny, Art Kell, Kyle Smith and Anthony Biscardi. Stopper Tim McCormack (.615) ranks fourth nationally in save percentage.



InsideLacrosse.com
Chris Duncan of the Associated Press has a story on Marcus Camby being traded from Portland to the Houston Rockets. The Rockets also acquired Derek Fisher and a 2012 first-round pick from Los Angeles.

Dick Baker of the Springfield Republican has a story on Justin Braun's play helping San Jose to a 3-2 overtime win against Detroit on Saturday night.

Recaps From Saturday's 77-67 NIT Win At Seton Hall

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Recaps From Tuesday's 101-96 NIT Win At Miss. State

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Recaps From Saturday's A-10 Tourney Loss to St. Bona

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Recaps Of Hockey's Game One Loss At #1 Boston College

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Led by Jesse Morgan and Chaz Williams, UMass overcame a five-point halftime deficit using a 15-0 run to start the second half in its 77-71 win over top-seeded and No. 21 Temple on Friday afternoon in the first game of the Atlantic 10 Tournament Quarterfinals. UMass will play St. Bonaventure on Saturday at 1 PM. It will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.




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MassLive: UMass Hockey: A Baker's Dozen

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Dick Baker has his weekly "UMass hockey: A Baker's Dozen of thoughts for the week" up on MassLive today, primarily focusing on the Minutemen's Hockey East Quarterfinals best-of-three, which begins tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Conte Forum.

Read this week's installment here.

The University of Massachusetts hockey team doesn't feel like a heavy underdog.

Sure, the Minutemen are the No. 8 seed in the Hockey East tournament and Boston College is not only the No. 1 seed but the No. 1 team in the nation heading into today's best-of-three series opener at 7:30 p.m.

But UMass (13-16-5) won the season series with the Eagles 2-1, including once when BC (25-10-1) was ranked No. 1.

Game two is Saturday at 7 p.m. If necessary, game three is Sunday at 7 p.m. All three are at Conte Forum.

"When we bring our best we're just as good as any other team in this country," UMass senior forward T.J. Syner said. "We proved that against them earlier in the season. It's bringing it on a consistent basis. There's no more important time to bring it than this weekend. .... They're not going to take us lightly just because we're the No. 8 seed. The fact that we beat them twice is in the back of their mind."

Beating the Eagles twice during the regular season and winning a tournament series against them are two different things.

"That's definitely a confidence booster for us knowing that we did beat BC twice during the regular season," senior Danny Hobbs said. "But playoffs is a different type of game atmosphere." 

Read more of Matt Vautour's UMass hockey faces top-ranked Boston College after taking season series.

MassLive: Syner Making Springfield Proud

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Today on MassLive, Dick Baker has a feature on UMass senior forward, Springfield native, T.J. Syner and his cousin Barry Almeida of Boston College, who will be squaring off in the Hockey East Quarterfinals this weekend as the Minutemen face the No. 1 Eagles.

Syner has rewarded UMass hockey fans the past four years with his breakaway speed. He has 96 career points, and a chance to become only the 10th player in the history of the program to reach the century mark. In the regular season finale at Merrimack, Syner made a highlight film solo rush , weaving and then splitting thrugh the defense for a shorthanded goal with six seconds remaining in the first period.

"Last year, he had a goal against Minnesota that was very similar," UMass coach Toot Cahoon said. "It wasn't shorthanded, but it just took the 11,000 people at that game right out of their seats. It was the same type of play where you just say - Wow that looks like Kharlamov (Valeri, former Soviet superstar). You just don't see too many do that. I can think of some guys - Corey Millen, (Paul) Kariya. Very special athletes make a play like that."

The Minutemen will need big plays to upset the Eagles. BC has won 11 straight games, and has beaten UMass 10 straight times at Conte Forum, including 2-0 sweeps the past two years in the Hockey East quarterfinals.

Read more of Making Springfield proud: City natives and cousins T.J. Syner of UMass and Barry Almeida of Boston College face off in the playoffs

Collegian: Hockey To Face Top-Seeded Eagles

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Scott Cournoyer previews the weekend playoff series between UMass and No. 1 Boston College at the Conte Forum.

"For six long months, the Massachusetts hockey team has grinded its way through the toughest collegiate conference in the country for a chance to make the postseason tournament," writes Cournoyer.

Mass Attack To Face No. 1 BC In First Round

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The Republican's Dick Baker lays out the weekend matchup against the Eagles at the Conte Forum for UMass hockey.

Baker: Hockey Quarterfinal Airing On National TV

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The Republican's Dick Baker writes about the hockey quarterfinals at No. 1 BC being broadcast on national television Friday evening. The game will air on the NBC Sports Network Friday night at 7:30.

Republican Previews Hockey Weekend

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Dick Baker discusses the Minutemen's chances against No. 1 Boston College this weekend. He also writes about BC coach Jerry York's thoughts on facing UMass.

"The Minutemen have our attention, stated BC coach Jerry York," writes Baker.

Gazette: Hockey To Face No. 1 BC In Tourney

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The Daily Hampshire Gazette recaps the 1-1 weekend against Merrimack, and how the Mass Attack will face No. 1 Boston College in the first round of the Hockey East playoffs this weekend.
Looking back on last night's Atlantic 10 Championship First Round win over Duquesne, a number of UMass players performed super on Tuesday, helping them earn its second trip to Atlantic City for the quarterfinals in the last three seasons. Here are some recaps from various media outlets. Don forget, you can still get tickets to Friday's game with top-seeded Temple, which tips at Noon. Click Here to Purchase A-10 Tournament Tickets.


The regular season is over so that means its time to reset the records and open March Madness. UMass opens Atlantic 10 Tournament action tonight against Duquesne. Tip-off at the Mullins Center is 7 p.m. The game is not televised so grab some friends and cheer on the team as they go for their 15th home win of the year. In the meantime, here are some previews to wet your appetite.







Seth Orensky of boston.sbnation.com has an article outlining the dificult road ahead for the Minutemen as they open the 2012 Atlantic 10 Tournament against Duquesne on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

A Rough Decade: Despite having a series of talented and successful young coaches manning the bench in Amherst, the Minutemen have had almost zero success in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The Minutemen have won just two conference tournament games in the past 10 years under Steve Lappas (1-4), Travis Ford (0-3) and fourth-year head coach Derek Kellogg (1-3). Even in the two seasons UMass managed to advance out of the first round, the Minutmen were quickly bounced in the quarterfinal round.
Jesse Morgan and Sean Carter blistered the nets on Saturday to help lead UMass past Rhode island 89-83 on Senior Day at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen collected their 20th win of the season and finished the Atlantic 10 regular-season tied for fifth at 9-7. UMass will be the No. 8 seed in this week's A-10 Tournament and will host No. 9 seed Duquesne Tuesday at 7 p.m. But in the meantime, here are a few article recapping the triumph over the Rams.


Here are a few articles recapping Wednesday's heartbreaking loss at No. 23/25 Temple. The Minutemen return to action against Rhode Island on Saturday at 4 pm as they battle for seeding in the upcoming Atlantic 10 Tournament. The top four teams in the standings will receive a bye into the quarterfinals, while Nos. 5-12 will play first round games on Tuesday, Mar. 6. UMass can still finish 4th or anywhere from 6th-9th in the rankings.




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