LIVE BLOG: Men's Basketball Hosts Temple
Jan. 17, 2009
The next chapter in the storied UMass-Temple basketball rivalry will be written on Saturday night at the Mullins Center in a nationally-televised game on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. Saturday will be a very special night at the Mullins Center as UMass will honor the decade of the 1970s as part of the 100 Seasons of Basketball celebration in 2008-09. It is also Youth Basketball Night, where local players and their families will be admitted for just $6.
Tonight's live blog is brought to you by Jason Yellin from the Media Relations office.
FINAL: UMass 79, Temple 75.
Its Harris' 26th career 20-point game and eighth this season.
The attendance which is great all night, is a season-best 7,148.
Matty G has all the fans on their feet rocking this joint ... I can't hear you! What a homecourt advantage.
Chris Lowe has 10 assists, his 12th career game with 10 or more assists, all coming in the last 29 games.
Gaffney with a putback lay-in, is hit by Allen and goes to the line and misses it, UMass leads 71-70 with 2:30 left.
Gurley turns the ball over and Temple will have the ball when we come back.
In honoring the 1970s, UMass alum Rick Pitino and his Louisville Cardinals beat the No. 1 Pitt Panthers, 69-63.
Gurley nails a trey and UMass is up 68-66 with 5:30 left. Gurley's fourth 3FG of the game.
Christmas answers with a 3FG and its still a 2-point game, 63-61 with under 8:00 left.
Gurley now has 11 points and UMass has four players in double-figures.
Gaffney turns the ball over, just the fifth turnover for the Minutemen in the game.
Christmas leads Temple with 20 points. Ryan Brooks has 15.
Inge counters with a 3FG ... UMass leads 60-58, 9:00 left.
UMass hockey leads UMass Lowell, 2-1, late in the second period.
In the A-10, Richmond leads the Bonnies, 53-45 with 11 left in the second half.
Dayton is up on Duquesne, 50-43 with 13 left in the second.
Harris cans a trey UMass up 56-50, for the Minutemen was the largest lead of the game.
We are tied at 48-48 all, 13:00 left in the second.
UMass leads 46-44, Tyrell Lynch with a hoop, 15 minutes left in the second half.
Lynch looking for position next time down the court and Lavoy Allen is muscling him up.
C-Lowe back in along with Tyrell Lynch for the first time this half.
Ricky Harris ties the game at 44-44.
In A-10 action, Richmond leads St. Bona, 35-34 at the half.
In UMass hockey its tied at 1-1, 10:31 left in the second half.
We are underway in the second half and Harris scores early to reach double-figures for the 15th time in 16 games this season. Gurley's buckey brings UMass to within 2 at 39-37, 18:40 left.
Top rebounders: Temple - Ryan Brooks (6) and Craig Williams (5), UMass - Luke Bonner (5)
FG Pct: Temple 40, UMass 38
Lowe, who was an 85percent free throw shooting in the first 35 minutes of games, misses two free throws. UMass misses another gimmie, but Gaffney steals the ball and Harris cans a 3FG ... Fran Dunphy calls timeout, UMass down 34-33 with 39.0 seconds left in the half. That gives Harris nine points to top the Minutemen.
Offensive rebounds a huge part of tonight's game ... the Owls have 8, five in the last two minutes. Christmas up to 10 points to lead all scorers.
Temple trying to retake the lead and they do on their fourth offensive rebound of the sequence... 32-30 on a 3FG by Semaj Inge.
Gary Correia enters for the first time tonight.
Great defense by David Gibbs, who forces fellow freshman Rudy Fernandez to turn the ball over.... Media TO, 7:54 left in the first half, UMass down 27-25.
Also in the house as part of the UMass ESPN crew is recent UMass alum Jenny Dell, who worked in the Minuteman's advancement office with Tim Kenney and Garrett Waller for a few years.
UMass down 26-18, 10:00 left.
Temple has subbed for the first time with a pair of players from the international scene Juan Fernandez from Argentina and Sergio Olmos from Spain.
Fernandez is in just his fourth game with the Owls and they are undefeated since he has joined them.
UMass trails 24-18 with 11:00 left.
Tyrell Lynch with a bucket but Temple is on the prowl. Many of the Owls are sporting mohawks including Lavoy Allen, Craig Williams.
Temple can't miss as Lavoy Allen dunks home two points and Owls are up 20-11. 13:20 left.
UMass is 3-9 from the floor and 2-4 from 3s.
Temple leads 7-5 after matching 3s by Luke Bonner and Craig Williams ... 17:20 left.
Dionte Christmas with a jumper to start ... He was 5-5 from 3FGs the other night vs. Penn. A probably NBA draft pick. The Memphis Grizzlies, Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics are in the house tonight to watch him along with Chris Lowe and Tony Gaffney, who just dunked on an alley oop.
Third game in a row UMass starts with an alley oop to Tony to open the scoring.
There are lines out the doors with fans wanting in to the Mullins Center, maybe they also want out the cold ... my oh my, its about 0 degrees outside!
Temple is being introduced to some boos.
The game on ESPN2 will be slightly delayed by the East West Shrine Game which has 1:51 left in regulation.
6:40 p.m. As part of the 1970s celebration, the late Johnny Murphy will be recognized. More than 40 members of Murphy's family and friends will be on hand from eastern Massachusetts. Murphy was named the Yankee Conference Player of the Year in his senior season os 1974-75 and went on to be drafted by the Chicago Bulls.
Murphy was part of the first class of UMass players to play in three consecutive postseasons. Also from that senior class of 1975 here tonight are Jim Burke and Bill Endicott.
Also notable, Tom Witkos, who still lives in Hadley will be on hand. Witkos is a neighbor of UMass Associate AD for Operations Dan Markowski.
Tonight's group of 1970s players including Mike Pyatt, who has made his way to Amherst from Reno, Nevada, where he lives now. Pyatt is UMass' ninth all-time leading scorer. He left UMass as the record holder in points with his 1,503, but has been passed eight times.
Speaking of the all-time list, tonight Ricky Harris has a chance to move to 29th in career scoring with a 30-point game. Next on the list is Mike Williams at No. 29 with 1,122. Harris has 1,092.
Also, of note, Chris Lowe needs 45 points for 1,000 in his career. He would be the 41st players to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
Bus driver and clean shaving Guy Racine has shown up to support the Minutemen. He has become a cult hero of the team, giving all the players high fives.
6:20 p.m. The crowd is filing in here at the Mullins Center. A large crowd is expected of close to 7,000 fans, which would be a season-high for UMass at home. The end zones are already mostly full with 40 minutes of the clock til tip-off.
A special for Youth Basketball teams has helped boost the crowd.
ESPN's Bob Wenzel was just on ESPNEWS with an update live from the Mullins Center talking about tonight's game.
Speaking of Wenzel, in talking to him before the game he was looking at a picture of Julius Erving as part of 1970s night. Wenzel recalled a game when he played for the Carolina Cougars in the ABA and Erving was with the Virginia Squires. Wenzel went to take a charge and Erving literally jumped over him with his legs splitting Wenzel's head.... Amazing!
Wenzel went on to coach at Rutgers and Jacksonville after his playing career.
The UMass Athletic Department just had a special ceremony at 5 p.m. as the Hall of History was dedicated to George and Michele Ditomassi, who have given generous donations to the athletic program.
The hall displays murals from men's basketball, women's basketball, and hockey, right outside the locker rooms in the connector between the Mullins Center and the practice rink. For MBB, it includes a display "Minutemen in the Pros" featuring Marcus Camby, Julius Erving, Lou Roe, Al Skinner, and Stephane Lasme. Then there are displays from the Classic Era (1899-1959) all the way through the 2000's.
As Athletic Director John McCutcheon said he "wants to recognize George and Michele for a great contribution to the Athletic Department."
Men's Basketball Head Coach Derek Kellogg raved about how it will help in recruiting. "Projects like these catapult us from where we are today to where I envision it in the future," he said.
George said, "Giving back to UMass was easy because of what it means to us. UMass is probably one of the best kept secrets in the country."
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