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Coming off a near monumental upset of No. 10/10 Xavier, UMass returns home to the Mullins Center for the first of two home games in a week as the Minutemen host Richmond on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The game takes place on the 16th anniversary of the first-ever game at the Mullins Center as UMass beat West Virginia, 64-59 in overtime on Feb. 4, 1993. Wednesday's game is UMass' first midweek home game in eight weeks since beating Holy Cross on Dec. 10. The Minutemen come into the game with a 7-12 overall record and 2-4 mark in the A-10. UMass has lost all four of its A-10 games by eight points or less and by a combined 20 points (4.0 average) after falling at Xavier, 82-80 on Saturday. Richmond is 11-10 overall and 3-3 in the Atlantic 10 after losing its most recent game at Temple, 74-65 on Saturday.
The final few minutes were relatively uneventful (thankfully!). Richmond kept fouling and the Minutemen hit their free throws to cruise to an 80-71 win. Very impressive victory against a very solid Ricchmond squad. How about that second half for Ricky Harris and Tony Gaffney? Harris had 21 in the second and Gaffney had 12.
Chris Lowe finished with another double-double (13 points, 10 assists). Just a look of positives to go around. Very good way to snap the 3-game losing skid.
Some quick final stats:
FGs: UMass (25-51), Richmond (28-59)
3 PT FGs: UMass (9-18), Richmond (7-17)
Rebounds: UMass 36, Richmond 25
Slow start but great win! Be sure to check UMassAthletics.com for the game recap, box score, game notes, and more, which will be posted shortly. Have a great night and be sure to join us on Sunday as the Minutemen host Saint Joe's, who is currently undefeated in conference play. Also, the Mass Attack returns home on Saturday (after a trip to Boston College) to host UMass-Lowell. Let's pack the house! Until then, GO UMASS!
Chris Lowe has quietly had a sensational game as well! He has 10 assists for the seventh time this season and 13th in his career.
David Gonzalvez has reached the 1,000 point plateau. How rare is that to have two players get their 1,000th on the same day. Some history tonight! UMass leads 74-66 with just under a minute to go.
We've reached the final media timeout and the Minutemen have opened up their first double-figure lead of the game. Ricky Harris is on FIRE! After netting three in the first half, he has 18 this half! His ninth game this season with 20+ points! Tony Gaffney was held scoreless in the first half and now he has 12. They have combined for 30 in the second half (while Richmond only has scored 29!)
Harris is now 4-for-6 on 3-pointers and has passed Lorenzo Sutton and into fifth on the UMass all-time 3-pointers made list.
UMass 71, Richmond 61, 3:54 2nd Half
At the under-8 timeout, it's still UMass 56, Richmond 49. FG shooting is almost identical (19-42 for Richmond, 19-43 for UMass), as is 3 PT shooting (5-11 for Richmond, 5-13 for UMass). The Minutemen have outrebounded the Spiders, 14-1 in the second half and now lead 31-18 for the game. How about that!
UMass 56, Richmond 49, 7:50 2nd Half
Pace has picked up...After Richmond cut it to two (51-49), UMass responded with a 3-pointer by Ricky Harris and a sensational 1-on-1 move by Tony Gaffney who finished with a bank off the glass. Minutemen lead 56-49.
Harris has reached double figures with 11 points, the 18th time in 20 games this season. He is also up to 1,169 career point, passing Rafer Giles (1,163) on the UMass all-time list. Giles will be at Sunday's 1990's night (in case you were wondering!).
The story of the game could be UMass' defense against Richmond's leading scorer, David Gonzalvez. He has averaged 16.7 PPG this season, but only has five thus far, almost 30:00 into the game. He needs four more for his 1,000th career point. Kevin Anderson who averages 14.6 PPG has 11 and Justin Harper, who averages 10.8 has only two.
Rebounding in this half is 11-1 UMass, which has been a HUGE reason why UMass has been able to open up a four point advantage.
Tony Gaffney just hit only his fifth 3-pointer on the season now long ago. It's been a team effort thus far. Everyone who has played has scored and noone has reached double figures yet.
UMass 47, Richmond 43, 11:59 2nd Half
UMass holds a slim one-point lead at the first media timeout of the second half. Other notables to pass along:
1. Tony Gaffney is back in the game and looks strong.
2. Luke Bonner just drew his 17th charge of the season (in only his 13th game), how about that!
Public Address Announcer George Miller just wished Happy Birthday to three individuals. One, named Evan did not have a last name. So he said, "I heard for his birthday, he will be getting a last name." George is quick on his feet! The crowd got a nice laugh out of that.
UMass 40, Richmond 39, 15:52 2nd Half
Now's a good time to pass along some out of town scores:
Saint Joe's 33, GW 29, 20:00 2nd Half
Dayton 39, La Salle 28, 20:00 2nd Half
Duquesne 6, Saint Louis 6, 15:28 1st Half
UMass leads this game, 38-36 with 17:30 remaining in the second half...
The teams have hit the court and we are less than two minutes away from tip-off. Looks like another down-to-the-wire game coming up. There have been a ton of those this season, and too many have ended with UMass at the wrong end of the final score. Hopefully, all the experience in the close games will pay off...
We have reached halftime, tied at 32-32. The Minutemen are 0-1 when tied at the half this season (lost at Charlotte), so let's hope they can even the record at the end of the night.
Slow beginning before the pace picked up. The teams traded some punches, but ultimately tied...
Here are some halftime stats:
FGs: Richmond (12-29, 41%), UMass (10-25, 40%)
3 PT FGs: Richmond (3-6, 50%), UMass (2-8, 25%)
Rebounds: Richmond (17), UMass (17)
Turnovers: Richmond (5), UMass (5)
So along with the scoreboard, many things are even up to this point. Luke Bonner leads the Minutemen with seven points while Matt Glass had a strong half with five and Chris Lowe also has five. The leading scorers on Richmond each have six (Kevin Smith and Ryan Butler).
About 10 minutes to go until the second half. Back in a bit...
GREAT effort from Luke Bonner. He first hit a 3-pointer in the corner off a nice dish from Chris Lowe. Then on the other end of the court, he dove on the floor to save a ball from going out of bounds. This is a 7-footer! You have to love his always tremendous effort!
Tied 32-32 with less than a minute to go.
The Minutemen opened a brief 6-point lead at 26-20 but now Richmond has come back to score seven of the last eight points to pull within one. Both teams have taken care of the ball; turnovers are currently 4-4. Rebounds are pretty even (15-14 UMass) and both FG% are in the low 40's.
UMass 28, Richmond 27, 3:17 1st Half
The Minutemen must be practicing their free throws! Ricky Harris just missed a FT, which essentially ends a streak of 23 straight free throws made by the Minutemen. Remember, Chris Lowe missed one on purpose at the end of the Xavier game, but if you don't count that, it was 23 in a row! UMass is now 9-10 today and was 11-12 in the second half against X.
Tony Gaffney is on the bench. He appears to be in a little bit of pain. Thankfully, Tyrell Lynch has come up big with two points and four rebounds in the last six minutes.
Pace has been picking up! David Gibbs just had an amazing double crossover to get to the lane for the easy layup. The crowd was rouring after that play!
The Minutemen have put together a 15-2 run to open up a 25-19 advantage. FG shooting has been nearly identical (8-21 for Richmond, 8-20 for UMass). UMass has been much better in the turnover department of late; it only has one and we are 14 minutes into the game!
UMass 25, Richmond 19, 6:00 1st Half
Matt Glass has been a little sparkplug off the bench. He just made a tip-in to pull UMass within two, 19-17 and now has five of the team's 17 points thus far. How about this for a tidbit? (thanks to Jason Yellin), that was Glass' third career 2-point field goal while he has 31 3-pointers!
Some more tidbits on Chris Lowe's milestone: He is the 41st player in UMass history with 1,000 career points and is the FIRST with 1,000 points and 600 assists. Very impressive!
Richmond has had a little run and now leads 17-10. The Spiders have enjoyed hot shooting (7-13, 2-4 from behind the arc) while UMass is only 3-11.
The Mullins Center video boards showed a look back at UMass' win over West Virginia which opened the building 16 years ago to the day...
Richmond 17, UMass 10, 11:40 1st Half
Congratulations to Chris Lowe! The UMass point guard just had a driving/spinning layup and now has 1,001 career points. UMass is up 8-7. The basket came with 14:29 remaining in the first half.
Slow start all around. Richmond has the early 2-point lead at the first media timeout. Ricky Harris and Anthony Gurley each have two points in the early going. Really not much else to report...
Richmond 6, UMass 4, 15:41 1st Half
Less than two minutes in and Coach Kellogg makes his first subs, swapping out the backcourt. He took out Ricky Harris and Chris Lowe in favor of Gary Correia and David Gibbs. Gibbs has really impressed lately, so let's see what he can do! UMass leads, 4-2.
Matt Goldstein got the crowd on its feet after introducing the UMass starters and we are ready for action! The crowd is still filling in...first game since students returned, so the student section is slowly filling. UMass wins the tip and we are underway!
One of the refs for today's game is Joe DeMayo. He officiated UMass' last win, 79-75 over Temple, so let's hope he brings good luck! He is a very well-known official around the college basketball world and does an excellent job.
Starters are in:
#4, Jarhon Giddings
#5, David Gonzalvez
#12, Kevin Smith
#14, Kevin Anderson
#32 Justin Harper
And for UMass, the expected lineup
#5, Ricky Harris
#12, Anthony Gurley
#14, Chris Lowe
#24, Tony Gaffney
#31, Luke Bonner
It is very likely that we see two milestone in one game as both Lowe of UMass and Gonzalvez of Richmond should reach the 1,000 point plateau. Lowe is only one point away while Gonzalvez is nine.
Adria Balgasi just performed another sensational national anthem and we are getting closer to tipoff. If you have been to UMass games before, I'm sure you've heard her. She does a great job!
Back with you here at the Mullins Center, which hosted its first basketball game 16 years ago to the day. You'll see in today's Just Take A Minute and the ticker that the Minutemen topped West Virginia in OT on Feb. 4, 1993. Let's hope UMass can post another win 16 years later, this time against a team a little east in Virginia.
Just a little background on the Spiders, they enter tonight's contest at 11-10, 3-3 in the A-10. Their three A-10 wins have come against George Washington, Rhode Island, and Saint Louis. They've also played nationally ranked Syracuse tough, only falling by a 76-71 final as part of the ESPN Kick-Off Marathon. Remember that? The Minutemen played Memphis at midnight, and the Orange/Spiders game was part of that same marathon.
David Gonzalvez leads Richmond in scoring at 16.7 PPG while Kevin Anderson averages 14.6 and Justin Harper averages 10.8. Definetely a very tough team, so the Minutemen need to bring their A game to win!
Welcome to the UMass men's basketball blog! Justin Lafleur and Jason Yellin here to bring you everything you need to know to make your viewing/listening experience complete.
Quite a few Richmond players are on the court shooting around while Luke Bonner, Tony Gaffney, and Matt Glass are the first to hit the court for the Minutemen.
Big news to pass along right away. Six additional players will come to Sunday's 1990's Celebration. They are: Donta Bright, Ronnell Blizzard, Andrew Maclay, Francois Firmin, Darryl Denson, Tommy Pace. Maclay was also a punter on the 1998 football team, so he will be honored for a second time this year (also honored at FB's 10 year anniversary of the National Championship Team). How bout that?
If you haven't heard yet, head football coach Kevin Morris announced his first signing class on this, National Signing Day. Be sure to check out the story on the front page of UMassAthletics.com along with an interview in the front page player featuring Morris and the voice of the Minutemen, Josh Maurer.