Men's Basketball

 
LIVE BLOG: Men's Basketball At Saint Louis

Guy Racine, sporting his new haircut.

Guy Racine, sporting his new haircut.

Jan. 14, 2009

ST. LOUIS -

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    Coming off a solid 75-62 win over Dayton last Saturday in Springfield, the UMass men's basketball team heads to the Midwest yet again as the Minutemen take on Saint Louis at the brand-new Chaifetz Arena on SLU's campus. The game will tip off just after 8 p.m. (ET)/7 p.m. (CT) locally. The Minutemen stand 6-8 overall and 1-0 in the A-10. The Billikens are 9-6, dropping their conference opener, 70-44 at Xavier last Friday.

    9:58 p.m. ET
    Well, what can you say? The Minutemen were victims of a sensational shooting performance by the Billikens. There's always one or two teams that just have your number. SLU has won four of six games against the Minutemen since it joined the Atlantic 10 conference...

    Some key stats...
    FGs: UMass 28-52 (54%), SLU 25-56 (45%)
    3 PT FGs: UMass 6-13 (46%), SLU 9-17 (53%)
    Free Throws: UMass 2-5 (40%), 10-12 (83%)
    Rebounds: UMass 24, SLU 33

     

     

    Chris Lowe led UMass in scoring with 21 points while Ricky Harris had 18. Four from SLU had double figures in what was a very balanced effort.

    Just by seeing the first two games of UMass' A-10 season, we're bound for an exciting finish! Next game is huge, a home contest vs. rival Temple on Saturday at 7 p.m. in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN2. Come out and support the Minutemen...pack the Mullins Center as we show the nation Minutemen basketball!

    Until Saturday, have a great rest of your night. Be sure to come out to Mullins Friday night too as the Mass Attack hosts Providence College. See you Friday and Saturday at the Mullins Center. GO UMASS!

    9:49 p.m. ET
    Tough, tough loss for UMass...SLU hits its free throws down the stretch to win by a 69-64 final and improve to 9-1 at home on the season...Just goes to show you how tough the A-10 will be. The conference is as balanced as ever.

    Back in a bit with some final thoughts, including final game statistics.

    9:45 p.m. ET
    Kevin Lisch hits both free throws, but Chris Lowe gets a quick layup...back to a three-point deficit with seven seconds remaining. Stranger things have happened (Just look at the BC game)...

    9:42 p.m. ET
    Chris Lowe has continued to struggle at late-game free throwing shooting as he just missed two from the charity stripe...Saint Louis has the ball back with over 14 seconds remaining. UMass is still not out of it though. The Minutemen will foul, giving SLU a one-and-one.

    9:40 p.m. ET
    Chris Lowe puts up a runner which would have tied the game at 64, but it rims out. The Billikens only hit one of two free throws, so it's still a one-possession game. Let's see if the Minutemen can pull it out...

    9:38 p.m. ET
    Luke Bonner hits a HUGE three to make it 64-62 SLU with 1:40 remaining...Only down by two ... HUGE final 1:40 to go.

    9:33 p.m. ET
    We've reached the final media timeout with the Minutemen trailing 62-59...Let's see what the final 3:37 have in store!

    9:30 p.m. ET
    The Billikens' hot shooting from the outside continues as Kevin Lisch and Tommie Liddell hit back-to-back threes to turn a one-point UMass lead to a five-point deficit, 62-57 with 4:30 remaining.

    Saint Louis is shooting 53% from three-point range...they only shoot 28% for the season.

    9:28 p.m. ET
    Chris Lowe is up to 19 points and the Minutemen retake the lead at 57-56. 5:40 to go...

    9:25 p.m. ET
    Both teams are tearing it up from behind the arc. The Minutemen are 5-for-9 (56%), while SLU is 7-for-14 (50%). The teams haven't turned it over much, only five for UMass, seven for SLU.

    Bonner makes a hook in the lane.

    SLU 56, UMass 53, 7:39 2nd

    9:20 p.m. ET
    The Billikens are finding it a little easier to get to the basket this half, as Mitchell now has 12 points this half, 14 overall.

    Harris is keeping UMass in it. He now has three 3's this half and 18 points for the game. His last three-ball led to a SLU timeout.

    SLU 54, UMass 51, 8:51 2nd

    9:14 p.m. ET
    SLU has no answer for Lowe's speed. The senior guard continues to go to the basket and score. He has six already this half, but Mitchell now has 10 this half (had just two in the first) as the Minutemen don't have an answer for him. Eckerle has struck twice more from long range, he now has 12 points all on threes.

    SLU 45, UMass 42, 11:56 2nd

    9:08 p.m. ET
    Mitchell came out red-hot for SLU, scoring eight points in the first three minutes. Harris kept pace for UMass with a three, while Lowe and Bonner added hoops as the teams trade leads.

    UMass 38, SLU 37, 15:37 2nd

    9:00 p.m. ET
    Before I give you halftime stats, I have to tell you about the absolute best halftime promotion I've ever seen. They have baby races here! Six lanes are set up on the court with moms trying to lure their babies to crawl fastest across the roughly 20-foot track.

    Lowe leads all scorers with 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting. Harris added nine as the Minutemen shot 53.8%. Gaffney had four blocks.

    Eckerle's six points led SLU as they shot just 33%, but outrebounded UMass, 21-11.

    8:48 p.m. ET
    After a SLU turnover, UMass holds for the last shot of the half and Lowe takes his man again and hits a runner in the lane just before the horn.

    UMass 31, Saint Louis 27, Halftime

    8:44 p.m. ET
    The game was stopped as Gaffney bent over and clutched his left hand. He looks like he'll stay in though.

    Gary Correia in the game at point.

    8:39 p.m. ET
    The Billikens score five-straight points and Kellogg takes a timeout to try to kill the momentum. The crowd and band are starting to get more involved and loud.

    After that, SLU scored two more hoops and takes the lead. UMass' cold shooting finally ended with another Lowe runner in the lane ... SLU perimeter defenders don't seem to be able to stop the UMass guards when they drive to the hoop.

    UMass 24, SLU 23, 2:45 1st

    8:34 p.m. ET
    Gaffney blocks two shots and Lynch one, all on the same SLU possession.

    Gurley gets on the board with his first hoop and then another Harris runner in the lane and Majeris is forced to call timeout

    UMass 22, SLU 14, 5:45

    8:30 p.m. ET
    Both teams have subbed often so far. Derek Kellogg has given Matt Glass, David Gibbs, and Tyrell Lynch minutes so far.

    Harris hit a three to give him seven points so far.

    UMass 18, SLU 14, 7:50 left in the first

    8:22 p.m. ET
    Eckerle has hit two threes for SLU, managing to get lost on the perimeter. Lowe has shown he can take his man, Lisch, off the dribble, scoring three times on drives in the halfcourt. Harris has also added two field goals on drives to the basket. Gaffney with one block already.

    UMass 14, SLU 10, 11:25 left in the first

    8:13 p.m. ET
    Tony Gaffney started the game by doing what he does best, with a two-handed slam on the first possession. Then on the defensive end, Luke Bonner did what he does best, takes a charge.

    At the first media timeout, with 15:44 left the game is tied, UMass 4, SLU 4.

    8:00 p.m. ET
    SLU is led by former Utah coach and broadcaster Rick Majerus. He is known for his methodical motion offense and tough physical defensive teams. This Billikens squad is expected to be no different.

    Anthem time...

    7:56 p.m. ET
    Back in Amherst, the women's basketball team currently trails Charlotte, 35-30, at the half. Freshman Kristina Danella led the Minutewomen in the first half with 10 points.

    I'd also like to send out a day-late happy birthday to Lacy Yager, athletic trainer for the women's basketball team.

    The teams here are back on the court as the arena continues to fill up. The student section is filling up as well. Classes at SLU resumed yesterday.

    For those listening to the game on WRNX, they have fixed the technical problems and are back on the air.

    7:50 p.m. ET
    If your trying to get tonight's radio broadcast, they are experiencing some technical diffulties and are working to get on the air ASAP. This is a new building and I believe there is an issue with the line being used. We send our apologies and they will hopefully be up and running soon.

    7:40 p.m. ET
    The Billikens come into tonight's game 9-6 on the season, including an 8-1 mark here at Chaifetz Arena. The lone loss here came in the second game of the season to Kent State, 76-74 in overtime. SLU dropped its A-10 opener at #16 Xavier, 70-44, last week.

    UMass' starters: 14 Chris Lowe
    5 Ricky Harris
    12 Anthony Gurley
    24 Tony Gaffney
    31 Luke Bonner

    For SLU: 3 Kwamain Brown
    14 Brian Conklin
    21 Kevin Lisch
    25 Tommie Liddell
    33 Willie Reed

    Also in attendance tonight: Head Athletic Trainer Jeff Smith's in-laws, as well as UMass alum Fawn Segaloff.

    Reffing tonight's game is Rocky Balboa look-alike Gene Steratore. He is also an NFL ref.

    7:30 p.m. ET
    If you noticed the photo on the right side of this page, that's the infamous Guy Racine, UMass' team bus driver. He picked the team up at the Mullins Center yesterday morning to take them to the airport sporting a new haircut, shaved clean doing his best Andy Allison impression. He is surely home watching and listening intently to this game, so hello Guy.

    UMass has plenty of fans in the arena already as the St. Louis chapter of the Alumni Association, headed by Ron Spicer, is here in force. Derek Kellogg spoke with the alums just a short time ago.

    Huge UMass supporter Ken Hintlian has made the trip here from Amherst to cheer on the team.

    A huge congratulations goes out to the Waller family. UMass Athletics Administrator Garrett Waller's wife gave birth to a healthy baby girl today. We are still waiting for word on a name for the 6 lbs. 13 oz. girl born at 8:03 this morning.

    Also in town for tonight's game is UMass men's soccer coach Sam Koch. The head coach of the Minutemen, coming off two straight NCAA berths, including 2007's incredible College Cup run is in town for the National Soccer Coaches Convention and is attending the game and hopefully bringing some of that Koch magic with him.

    7:10 p.m. ET
    Welcome UMass fans to today's live blog. Dave Gunn from the UMass Media Relations office will be relaying all the info to you that will hopefully make tonight's WRNX listening/webcast viewing experience more enjoyable.

    Tonight the Minutemen, coming off a big conference victory in Springfield over Dayton, look to pick up a win in their first road A-10 game of the year here in St. Louis.

    This is UMass' first game in the brand new Chaifetz Arena. The new on-campus 10,700-seat arena opened at the beginning of the season. Before that, the Billikens played at what is currently called the Scottrade Center, home of the NHL's Blues. This building is a sort of newer version of the Mullins Center, in that it is one deck with a small concourse in the middle. It adds the feature of luxury suites along the top of the arena and the seats on the ends where the students sit are closer to the court, as the building was not built to accomodate a hockey rink.

    The team got plenty of opportunity to get familiar with the surroundings here as they practiced here yesterday and had a shootaround here earlier today.

    Tonight's game is being broadcast on UMass' flagship WRNX 100.9 FM and at UMassAthletics.com with "Voice of the Minutemen" Josh Maurer calling the action and Jason Yellin providing analysis. Video of the game is also be streamed live on All-Access at UMassAthletics.com

    We've been doing these blogs all season, but beginning tonight you can finally give us your feedback. You can email any comments, questions, info to umassblogs@gmail.com. I'll being checking it when I can throughout the game.

    The teams are out warming up on the court now. Athletic Trainer Dave Maclutsky is leading the guards through stretching, while the post players shoot.

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