Men's Basketball

 
UMass Seeks To Avenge Last Loss, Heads To Saint Joseph's

Etienne Brower had his first double-double at UMass.

Etienne Brower had his first double-double at UMass.
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    UMASS (13-4, 2-1) at SAINT JOSEPH'S (10-5, 2-1)
    Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008 • 6 P.M.
    Memorial FieldHouse (3,200) • Philadelphia, Pa.
    TV: CN8 (Jon Gurevitch & Rob Kennedy)
    Radio: WRNX (100.9 FM - Flagship)
    WCRN (830 AM), WATD (95.9 FM)

    UMass Seeks To Avenge Last Loss, Heads To Saint Joseph's
    • Just two weeks after suffering a tough 98-92 loss to Saint Joseph's at the Mullins Center, the UMass basketball team heads to Philadelphia for the rematch on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. The game will be televised up and down the east coast on CN8 with Jon Gurevitch and Rob Kennedy calling the action. Since the loss, UMass has handed two of the Atlantic 10's top teams their lone conference losses, win at No. 14 Dayton, 82-71 on Jan. 16 and against Charlotte, 86-79, last Saturday. The Minutemen stand at No. 20 in the Realtime RPI as of Tuesday afternoon while Saint Joseph's is at No. 54. UMass has nearly inched it way into the national polls. With 47 points this week in the AP Poll, the Minutemen are effectively ranked No. 31. In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, UMass has nine points to stand 33rd.

    • Live streaming video will be available on UMassAthletics.com as part of UMass All-Access. The game will be carried on the UMass Sports Network on 100.9 FM WRNX in Western Massachusetts and on 830 AM (WCRN) in Central Mass and 95.9 FM (WATD) in Eastern Mass. Bob Behler calls the action alongside color analyst and Tim Kenney.

    • The Minutemen have averaged 88.6 points in their last five games to raise their scoring average to 85.4, sixth in the NCAA. UMass has scored more than 80 points in 12 of 17 games this season.

    • With a new high-energy system installed by Travis Ford this year, the Minutemen are led by Gary Forbes (20.3 points per game) and Ricky Harris (20.1) as UMass is one of two schools in the nation (North Dakota State) with a pair of NCAA Top 40 scorers as Forbes is 33rd and Harris is 35th.

    • UMass had its best non-conference season since the Final Four year of 1995-96, as the Minutemen went 11-3 prior to the loss to Saint Joseph's.

    Harris Earns A-10, National Honors
    • After his tremendous week, UMass' Ricky Harris was named the ESPN Weekly Watch National Player of the Week. Here is what ESPN's Andy Katz had to say. Harris was sensational in averaging 23 points in a critical 2-0 week for UMass. The Minutemen had two of the biggest wins of the young A-10 season, winning at Dayton and then taking out Charlotte at home. UMass knocked off the two teams that hadn't suffered a loss yet in the A-10. Harris scored a combined 46 points, making 11 of 22 shots and 9 of 18 3s. He made a career-high five 3s in the win over the Flyers. It's not like this was a fluke for Harris. He has put up 20 or more points in 10 of the Minutemen's 17 games and is a regular double-figure scorer. While Harris didn't have that one game that blows you away, he was as consistent as any player in the country this week. And he helped the Minutemen win two games that could ultimately put them in position to contend with any of the other top teams -- Dayton, Xavier, Charlotte, Rhode Island or Saint Joe's -- for the conference title. The wins also keep the Minutemen on track for a possible NCAA at-large berth.

    • Harris was named the Atlantic 10 men's basketball player of the week after he averaged 23.0 points in the Minutemen's 2-0 week. Harris led UMass in scoring in its win at No. 14 Dayton and against Charlotte on Saturday. Harris connected on 9-of-18 shots from 3-point range. It was UMass' third weekly honor in 2007-08 (Gary Forbes was honored twice). Overall, Harris scored 46 points on the week with 22 at Dayton and 24 vs. Charlotte. He shot 50 percent from the floor (11-for-22) and knocked down 9-of-18 attempts from beyond the arc in a pair of victories for the Minutemen. He tied his career high with five 3-pointers on Jan. 16 in Massachusetts' 82-71 win at Dayton as he added five rebounds and two assists. Harris has scored at least 20 points in ten of Massachusetts' 17 games this season. He has been in double-figures in every game this year and is second to Forbes (20.3 ppg) in scoring (20.1).

    The Series With Saint Joseph's
    • This will be the 53rd meeting between UMass and Saint Joseph's, with the Minutemen leading the all-time series 27-25. Travis Ford led UMass to wins in each of the last two seasons, his first two games against th Hawks. In 2006, UMass ended the Hawks eight-game win streak two seasons ago with a 68-58 win on Jan. 11, 2006, at the Mullins Center. Last season, UMass captured the Atlantic 10 conference regular-season co-championship with a 71-67 win at Hawk Hill on March 3, 2007.

    • Saint Joseph's has won 10 of the last 13, but prior to that UMass ran off six consecutive victories in the series.

    • Saint Joseph's holds a 14-9 advantage against the Minutemen for regular-season games played in Philadelphia, including a 11-9 mark against UMass in Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.

    • The Minutemen hold a 14-6 advantage against Saint Joseph's for games played in Amherst, including a 8-6 mark against the Hawks at the Mullins Center.

    • UMass head coach Travis Ford is 2-1 against the Hawks. Saint Joseph's head coach Phil Martelli stands 12-11 all-time against the Minutemen in his career.

    THIS YEAR'S FIRST MEETING (JAN. 9, 2008): Ahmad Nivins poured in 31 points and 12 rebounds to lead Saint Joseph's highest scoring output of the season, as UMass (11-4, 0-1 A-10) fell to the Hawks (8-4, 1-0), 98-92, in the A-10 opener for both teams at the Mullins Center. The loss ended a 15-game home winning streak for the Minutemen and was their first conference loss at home since 2005-06. Ricky Harris led the UMass offense with 25 points and four 3-pointers, while Gary Forbes added 22 points and hit five 3-pointers. Etienne Brower chipped in with 14 points and Dante Milligan grabbed 10 rebounds. Pat Calathes added 21 points and 15 boards for the Hawks. Saint Joseph's shot 58.5% (38-65) for the game, while UMass shot 42.7% (32-75) from the field. The Minutemen were 13-33 (39.4%) from 3-point range and the Hawks were 6-14 (42.9%).

    LAST YEAR'S GAME (March 3, 2007): UMass captured its first Atlantic 10 Regular-Season Championship since 1996 as the Minutemen defeated Saint Joseph's, 71-67, before a raucous sell-out crowd in Philadelphia. The Minutemen finish tied with Xavier at 13-3 to claim a share of the crown. Chris Lowe made a play of the game as he stole the ball from D.J. Rivera. had a lay-up and converted the foul shot with 3:17 left to give UMass a lead it would never relinquish. Gary Forbes scored 13 points to lead the Minutemen in scoring. Forbes scored the go-ahead basket with just under three minutes left, and UMass (23-7, 13-3) used a late seven-point run to secure its sixth straight victory. Ahmad Nivins, who missed most of the second half due to foul trouble, scored 18 points for Saint Joseph's (17-13, 9-7), which lost its third straight.

    Rising In The RPI
    • With big wins at Syracuse, Boston College and Dayton, UMass is at No. 20 in the RPI rankings based on RealtimeRPI.com as of mid-day on Jan. 22. The Minutemen have been as high as No. 9 this season following their win over Toledo on Dec. 15. The Minutemen are one of six Atlantic 10 teams in the top 60 and eight in the top 100 with Dayton (13th) leading the way. Xavier is 17th and Rhode Island stands 21st. Temple is 47th, Saint Joseph's is 54th and Duquesne is 63rd. Charlotte is No. 81. Overall, the Atlantic 10 is seventh in the nation in league RPI.

    Vote UMass!

    • This week, UMass is receiving 47 votes in the AP Poll to effectively rank the Minutemen No. 31. It is the most points UMass has received since the 1998-99 season. UMass has received votes in five of the last six week. Last week, UMass did not receive any votes after four weeks in a row as a part of "Others Receiving Votes" from Dec. 17-Jan. 7 polls. In the Jan. 7 poll, UMass had five points, UMass would have been ranked 34th. UMass had eight points on Dec. 31. UMass received six points in the Associated Press media poll on Dec. 17 and 24. UMass has received votes in a week for the 10th time in the last two seasons with the votes on Jan. 7. Last season, the Minutemen received a season-best 11 votes in the March 3, 2007 poll to "rank" them 37th that week.

    • The last time UMass was ranked in the AP Poll was in the Nov. 18, 1998 poll, when the Minutemen came in at No. 23.

    • Three Atlantic 10 teams have been ranked this season with highs of Dayton at No. 14, Rhode Island at No. 22 and Xavier at No. 20. When all three were ranked in each of the last two weeks, it was the first since since the 2003 season, the A-10 had three ranked teams.

    • This week, Dayton is No. 16 and Xavier is No. 23. Rhode Island has fallen to ORV with 17 points.

    • UMass also played No. 14 Vanderbilt (17.2), one of the final five undefeated teams in the nation, in a 97-88 loss on January 5.

    • This week, UMass is receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll for the first time this season with nine points. Effectively, UMass is 33rd in the nation. Last season, UMass received one vote in March for its only other time with points in the last two seasons. In the Coaches poll, Dayton is No. 19 and Xavier is No. 22.

    UMass Against Ranked Teams
    • UMass broke a five-game losing streak against ranked teams with its 82-71 win at #14/18 Dayton on Jan. 16. The Minutemen's last win over a ranked team came at No. 21 George Washington (76-74 in OT on Jan. 15, 2005). That was the second win a row over a ranked team that season as UMass also beat No. 7 UConn (61-59 on Dec. 9, 2004). In both those wins, three-time first-team All-Atlantic 10 honoree Rashaun Freeman hit the game-winning shot, beating UConn with 4.3 seconds left and topping the Colonials with a lay-up with 0.4 left in overtime.

    • This season the Minutemen also lost at then-No. 15 Vanderbilt on Jan. 5, 97-88, in Nashville.

    • Last season, UMass played just one ranked team when they lost at No. 4 Pittsburgh, 85-68 on Nov. 18, 2006. Two seasons ago, UMass lost to No. 3 UConn, 78-60 on Dec. 8, 2005, to No. 11 Boston College, 91-62 on Jan. 3, 2006 and to No. 7 to George Washington, 69-66 on Feb. 15, 2006.

    • UMass head coach Travis Ford won his first-ever game as a head coach against a ranked team with the win at Dayton. He is 1-5 at UMass after going 0-9 while coaching at Eastern Kentucky from 2000-05.

    • All-time, UMass is 30-66 against ranked teams.

    Beating the ACC & Big East
    • With the wins at Syracuse and BC, UMass has beaten teams from the Big East and ACC for the first time since 2004-05 when UMass defeated UConn and Florida State at home. The last time UMass beat teams from those two conferences away from home came in 1999-2000 when the Minutemen last won at BC, prior to Wednesday, and beat Florida State at the Orange Bowl Classic.

    Scoring, More and More
    Travis Ford has installed an up-tempo offense in 2007-08 after two years of low-post dominance with Stephane Lasme and Rashaun Freeman leading the way. 2007 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Lasme was a second-round draft pick by the Golden State Warriors. Freeman is leading the French B Division in scoring and rebounding after being a three-time A-10 First-Team selection. Heading into 2007-08, UMass returned just 40 percent of its scoring and just 35 percent of its rebounding.

    • With the new offense, UMass is scoring at a high-pace. The Minutemen are averaging 85.4 points per game, up from 76.5 points (+8.9) through 17 games last season and 77.3 points (+8.1) for the entire season.

    • UMass is fifth in the NCAA in scoring through Jan. 22 with 85.4 per game. The Minutemen are also second in the Atlantic 10 scoring behind No. 4 Duquesne (85.8). VMI leads the nation with a 97.1. average.

    • UMass is one of two teams in the nation with two players in the Top 40 NCAA scoring leaders as of Jan. 22 with Gary Forbes standing 33rd with a 20.3 average. Ricky Harris is tied for 35th with 20.1 per game. The other team on the exclusive list is North Dakota State.

    • UMass is 30th in total 3-pointers made with 161. With 9.5 treys per game, UMass leads the A-10 and is 21st in the NCAA in 3s per game.

    Block Party
    • Even after losing the nation's top shot blocker in Golden State Warriors draft pick Stephane Lasme, UMass has risen to the top of the nation in blocked shots once against in 2007-08.

    • After finishing third in the nation (7.45) in blocked shots with the nation's top shot blocker in Lasme, UMass is fifth in 2007-08 with 7.5 per game. UConn (9.4), Mississippi State (8.7) and Duquesne leads the A-10 with 7.8 per contest to rank third in the nation.

    • The Minutemen picked up 41 blocks in three games (13.7 per game) from Dec. 22-Jan. 2. The Minutemen had 18 swats against Central Connecticut on Dec. 22 for the second-most prolific shot blocking game in school history. The only game with more came with a school-record of 20 on Jan. 3, 1995 in a win over West Virginia at the Springfield Civic Center. UMass followed that up with 14 blocks vs. Boston University.

    • The Minutemen hold the top four shot blocking days in Atlantic 10 history led by the 1995 showing and this year's party against CCSU. UMass also had 16 against St. Francis (N.Y.) last year and St. Peter's in 2005.

    • The 18 blocked shots ties for the ninth most in a game in NCAA history, dating to 1985 when blocked shots became an official statistic.

    Showing Major Improvement
    • With only two players returning with significant playing time (Gary Forbes and Chris Lowe), many UMass players are seeing the most playing time of their careers. With that they have made major strides in all areas. Forbes, who started most of last year has increased his average 7.3 points per game from 13.0 to 20.3 to lead the Minutemen. Lowe has also taken his average from 7.0 to 12.6, a +5.6 mark.

    • Sophomore Ricky Harris has emerged as a major weapon on offense, scoring 20.1 points per game after just 4.5 last season as a freshman. He played in 32 games, all off the bench, but has started every game this season. Harris has 342 points this year after 145 all of last year. He passed his entire scoring total in the eighth game of the season against Marist with 18 points. He leads all Minutemen in scoring improvement at +15.6 points per game. Harris has scored in double-figures in every game this season with a career-high 25 on four occasions (at Syracuse, at Boston College, at Vanderbilt and Saint Joseph's). He scored more than 15 in each of the first four games, surpassing his freshman-season high of 14 each time.

    • Senior Etienne Brower has become the force UMass thought he would be after transferring from Boston University. Brower is averaging 11.3 points, starting the first 15 games after scoring just 2.7 points per game in 2006-07 when he was hindered by an ankle injury all season. Brower has 192 points in the first 17 games after just 59 all of last year in 22 games. He passed his entire total in the fifth game of the season with 75 after the Wis.-Green Bay (11/17) game which he scored a career-high 25 points. Brower has more than 12 points in six of eight games in 07-08 after his season high was just eight last year. His +8.6 improvement was aided by his career-high 25 points against Wis.-Green Bay (11/17) and a breakout game with 18 points against Houston (1/2).

    • Senior Danté Milligan has tallied 10 or more points in six games this season. he had just four double-figure games in 32 contests last season. He had his career-high of 17 in two of three games at Syracuse (11/28) and against Yale (11/14). Milligan's season-high last year was 10 points which he accomplished twice. Milligan has taken his averages from 3.3 points and 2.5 rebounds to 8.3 points and 4.6 rebounds. An increase of 5.0 points and 2.1 rebounds.

    • Junior Luke Bonner is also seeing more time and making his signature 3-pointers. Bonner, who averaged just 1.6 points in 06-07 is up to 4.7 per game and has made 16-of-38 from 3-point land. Last year he made seven treys all season in 31 games.

    Among The A-10 Leaders
    • UMass has three players standing in the top three in individual categories in the Atlantic 10. Gary Forbes (20.3) is third in the league in scoring after leading much of the season. Temple's Dionte Christmas (20.7) leads the way. Forbes ranks 33rd nationally. He is third in the league in defensive rebounding with 5.76 per game with a season-best 11 against Boston University. Forbes is ninth in the league in rebounds with 7.1 per game. He is 11th in assists per game with 3.24.

    Ricky Harris is second in steals per game with 2.12, which is 50th in the NCAA. Harris is also fifth in the A-10 in scoring with a 20.1 average. He's sixth in 3-pointers per game with 2.76.

    • After an early season ankle injury, Chris Lowe has returned to his usual form and place amongst the leaders when it comes to point guards. He is second in the league in assists with 5.4 per game. He is also seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio with 1.73. Lowe has averaged 14.1 points and 6.0 assists over 12 games since returning from an ankle injury on Nov. 28. Over three games (Dec. 29-Jan. 5), Lowe averaged 18.0 points per game and shot 62 percent from the floor along with 4.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Lowe is also sixth in the league in steals with 1.73 per game.

    • Lowe is moving up on the all-time assists list at UMass as he stands eighth with 352. With five helpers against Charlotte (1/19), he passed Charlton Clarke (350). Next is Anthony Anderson, who had 367. With five assists against CCSU (12/22), he passed BC Coach Al Skinner (320) and then with five more against Houston (1/2), he passed Louisville coach Rick Pitino (329).

    • Danté Milligan is shooting 64.2 from the floor (52-of-81), but is shy of qualifying for the NCAA rankings (5.0 made field goals per game). If he were eligible, Milligan would rank eighth nationally and second in the A-10. Milligan has taken his field goal percentage from 49.4 to 64.2, an improvement of 14.8 percent.

    • Milligan is fifth in the Atlantic 10 in blocked shots per game with 1.6. His teammate Tony Gaffney is fourth in the league with 1.71 pr contest.

    UMass Continues Home Dominance
    • UMass has won 16 of its last 17 games at home with the lone loss coming to Saint Joseph's (1/9), 98-92. The Minutemen are 7-1 at home this season. Prior to the loss UMass wrapped up a four-game homestand with the 95-89 win over Houston on Jan. 2 for its 15th win in a row at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen are 29-5 (85.3) in their last 34 games at the Mullins Center spanning the last three seasons spanning Travis Ford's tenure in Amherst. UMass went 12-2 at home last year and 10-2 in 2005-06. Last season playing before an average of nearly than 6,000 fans per game at the Mullins Center, including a sellout of 9,493 for the Boston College game on Dec. 2. UMass had its second crowd of more than 9,000 last year with 9,088 against Saint Louis on Feb. 24.

    Ford-Tough At Home
    • UMass head coach Travis Ford has been strong at home over the last four years with a 41-6 (87.2) record as the home-team coach. He is 29-5 at UMass. In 2004-05, Ford posted a 12-1 record at Eastern Kentucky's McBrayer Arena prior to this year's perfect start at the Mullins Center. Staff members Tim Maloney, Steve Middleton, and James Altman were all with EKU as well.

    Forbes Earns National, A-10 Honors
    • UMass senior Gary Forbes was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week for the second time this season, Sunday, Dec. 16. He was also named CollegeHoops.net's National Player of the Week and the UMass Athlete of the Week. Also on Fox Sports.com, Forbes was named one of Frank Burlison's Top Five Players in the nation. Forbes led UMass to a 2-0 week with a 23.5 scoring average along with 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. Forbes scored 22 points, including 17 in the second half, in UMass' 83-80 win at Boston College. He had a game-high 25 points in the win over Toledo.

    • In the win at BC, Forbes also pulled down seven rebounds. For the week, he shot 13-of-28 from the field and 18-for-19 from the line on the week. He was also named A-10 Player of the Week after the second week of the season on Nov. 18.

    • Forbes was honored by the A-10 for the first time after his outstanding play on Nov. 18 as he was named the Atlantic 10's co-player of the week along with Rhode Island's Will Daniels. Forbes averaged 24.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in three contests between Nov. 11-17. He scored a season-best 29 points, including the 1,000th of his career, on Nov. 11 at Northern Iowa. He added 19 points and nine boards in the Minutemen's 89-80 win over Yale on Nov. 14. Finally, he scored 25 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out seven assists on Nov. 17 as UMass downed Wisconsin-Green Bay, 93-78. That game was special to Forbes as he played before his father Roberto for the first time in his collegiate career. Roberto was visiting from his home in Jonesboro, Georgia.

    UMass Celebrates Ford's Birthday With BU Win
    • The backcourt trio of Gary Forbes, Ricky Harris, and Chris Lowe combined for 51 points to give UMass head coach Travis Ford a 70-61 victory over Boston University on his 38th birthday on Dec. 29, 2007 at the Mullins Center. Forbes finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds as he recorded his third double-double of the season. Lowe and Harris added 14 points each.

    UMass Wins Comm. Classic For First Time Since `99
    • UMass captured its first Commonwealth Classic since 1999 with the 83-80 on Dec. 12 at Conte Forum. Riding a gutsy second-half effort by Gary Forbes and a stifling full-court press, the UMass men's basketball team picked up a victory over cross-state rival. The win was UMass' first vs. the Eagles since December 4, 1999, and first in the last nine games. UMass was led by sophomore Ricky Harris who tied a career-high with 25 points. Forbes added 22, including 17 in the second half. Along with Forbes and Harris, Chris Lowe tallied 17 points and Etienne Brower tied a career-high with 10 rebounds.

    • UMass' athletic teams had great success against Boston College athletic teams in the 2007 calendar year. The Minutemen and Minutewomen have posted a 10-2-1 record against BC in 10 different sports. Most notably, UMass' men's soccer team, which played in the NCAA College Cup on Dec. 7, knocked off No. 1-seeded Boston College on Nov. 28, by the score of 2-1. Additionally, UMass' softball team beat BC twice last spring, while the Minuteman hockey team has a 2-0-1 record against the Eagles, who won the 2007 Hockey East title. One of UMass' losses came in football, where the FBS Eagles were challenged by UMass' FCS team on Sept. 29, in a 24-14 BC win at Alumni Stadium. The Minutemen, who play with only 63 scholarships in the former Division I-AA, were within 17-14 in the fourth quarter.

    • The win also marked the first win vs. an ACC opponent since the Minutemen defeated Florida State, 78-68 on Feb. 15, 2005.

    • UMass also defeated alumnus Al Skinner for the first time since 1999, after Skinner had won eight in a row. Skinner is one of four former UMass players to have his number retired. Skinner had his No. 30 retired on Feb. 18, 2004. All-time against his alma mater, Skinner is 11-21

    Juicy Bits From The 107-Point Outburst
    • The Minutemen's 107-100 win at Syracuse ranks on the all-time charts in UMass annals. The 107 points were the most scored by an opponent against the Orange since the Dome opened in 1980.

    • The 107 points were the most UMass has scored in a regulation game since a 110-97 win over Duquesne on Jan. 6, 1977. It tied for the 11th-most points in a game for UMass as it also scored 107 in a win over Colgate in 1966.

    • The 207 combined points tied for the third-most points in a game in UMass annals. The record is 233, when UMass lost at Rutgers in triple overtime, 119-114 on Feb. 27, 1988.

    • The other game with more total points (214) marked the last time UMass played in a game where both teams scored 100 points in a regulation when North Texas beat the Minutemen, 110-104 on Dec. 29, 1982.

    • UMass continues to be the personal bug-a-boo for Hall of Fame Coach Jim Boeheim. Of schools the legend has faced two or more times, UMass is the ONLY school which Boeheim has never beaten. The Minutemen are 3-0, winning in 1992, 1995 and 2007 against the Orange.

    • In the epic win, UMass rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half to come away with the win. Ricky Harris led the Minutemen with a career-high 25 points while Gary Forbes added 23 points. Forbes also had seven assists and six rebounds in what Travis Ford called his best game at UMass.

    • Point guard Chris Lowe returned to action after sitting for 14 days of game-action and had 13 points and a career-high tying nine assists.

    • UMass shot 52 percent from the floor including 14-of-31 from 3-point range. Etienne Brower made 4-of-6 from trey-range.

    25 Is Twice As Nice
    • When Gary Forbes and Etienne Brower each scored 25 points in the win over Wis.-Green Bay (11/17), it was the first time UMass had two or more 25-point scorers in more than 10 years. The last time UMass had two with 25 or more was on Jan. 23, 1996 as Carmelo Travieso (27) and Donta Bright (26) accomplished the feat.

    UMass Goes 2-1 At BTI Tip-Off
    • The Minutemen opened the 2007-08 season winning two of three games at the BTI Tip-Off Tournament hosted by Northern Iowa on the weekend of Nov. 9-11. UMass defeated Cal Poly, 90-64 and Northern Illinois, 102-87 before losing to the host Panthers, 75-68. Senior Gary Forbes, who scored his 1,000th career point in the loss to Northern Iowa, and sophomore Ricky Harris were named to the All-Tournament Team.

    2006-07 A Season To Remember
    • The 2006-07 season was a historical one for the UMass men's basketball team as the Minutemen captured a share of the Atlantic 10 Regular-Season Championship. The Minutemen returned to the postseason for the first time since 2000 and won their first postseason game since the 1996 Final Four season. UMass downed perennial SEC power Alabama, 89-87 in overtime before a national audience. That game capped off a sensational 24-9 season, which marked UMass' best record since that 1995-96 season when the Minutemen went an all-time best, 35-2. UMass' 24-win season tied for the fifth-most win in a season in the program's history.

    • The Minutemen captured a share of the league title on March 3 with a 71-67 win at Saint Joseph's. It marked UMass' first regular-season league title since 1996 and sixth A-10 regular-season crown overall. The Minutemen won five straight regular-season titles from 1992-96 and proceeded to win the A-10 Tournament each time.

    • The Minutemen went 24-9 overall and had the best season since the 1995-96 Final Four year when they went 35-2 in finishing as a national semifinalist. UMass finished with a 13-3 record in the Atlantic 10. UMass had its best conference record since going a school-record 15-1 in 1995-96. Prior to the loss to Saint Louis in the A-10s, the Minutemen had won six games in a row overall, their longest win streak since capturing 10 games in a row in Jan.-Feb. 1998.

    • UMass senior Stephane Lasme was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in 2006-07. Lasme is the first UMass player to be named the league's top player since Marcus Camby in 1996 and fourth overall joining Camby, Lou Roe (1995) and Harper Williams (1992). Lasme was named an AP Honorable Mention All-American following the season. He was UMass' first All-American honoree since Camby in 1996.

    • Lasme was joined by senior Rashaun Freeman on the A-10 First Team. Freeman is the first player since Saint Joseph's Jameer Nelson (2001-04) to be a three-time first-team selection.

    • Lasme is the second player to be named the league's Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same campaign joining Pepe Sanchez of Temple in 1999 and David West of Xavier in 2002. Lasme joined Tony Dobbins of Richmond (2002-04) as the only players in league history to earn Defensive Player of the Year honors in successive seasons. Lasme was also named to the All-Defensive Team for the second year in row.

     

     

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