Kellogg Era Ushered In With 90-71 Win Over Arkansas-Monticiello
Nov. 11, 2008
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Behind double-doubles from seniors Chris Lowe and Tony Gaffney, the Minutemen kicked off a new era of UMass men's basketball with a 90-71 win over Arkansas-Monticiello in Derek Kellogg's head coaching debut on Tuesday evening. Lowe (18 points, 11 assists) finished just four assists shy of tying the school-record of 15 while Gaffney's double-double (16 points, 13 rebounds) was the first of his collegiate career. The final three minutes of the first half proved to be the difference as the Minutemen erased a two-point deficit with a 15-4 run to take a nine-point advantage heading into the locker room. With the win, the Minutemen advance to face host Southern Illinois in the regional final of the 2K Sports Classic on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, with a trip to Madison Square Garden on the line.
Junior Ricky Harris avenged a slow start to pour in 22 points, two rebounds, and three steals. He finished 7-of-19 from the floor and 5-of-9 from behind the three-point arc.
For the game, the Minutemen shot 46% (31-67) and 44% (12-27) from three-point range. Rebounds were even at 41-41, a number coming on the offensive end (18 for UMass and 19 for Arkansas-Monticiello).
After surviving a first-half scare, the Minutemen came out strong out of the locker room to seal the victory in the second. Arkansas-Monticiello wouldn't go away, pulling back within 11 at 67-56. Freshman David Gibbs responded with a three-pointer, the first collegiate points of his career, to make it 70-56.
Gaffney's alley-oop from freshman Tyrell Lynch was icing on the cake, making it 83-64 with three minutes remaining in the second half. The Minutemen would go on to open up two 21-point leads, their largest leads of the game, at 88-67 and 90-69.
UMass controlled play early in the first half, taking an 11-point advantage at 14-3 after senior Luke Bonner's three-pointer at the 16:06 mark. Arkansas-Monticiello hung tough, eventually taking a 33-31 advantage, but the Minutemen answered with a 13-0 run (and 15-4 to end the half), for the 47-38 halftime lead.
The Minutemen now look ahead to a date with either Southern Illinois or California (Pa.) on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. The winner of the Southern Illinois region faces the winner of the Duke region in the 2K Sports Classic Semifinals held next Thursday, Nov. 20, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
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