Men's Basketball

LIVE HOOPS BLOG: Minutemen Host Saint Joe's On 1990's Celebration

Ricky Harris scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half of Wednesday night's game vs. Richcmond.

Ricky Harris scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half of Wednesday night's game vs. Richcmond.

Feb. 8, 2009

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    Sunday will be a day when the memories are flowing as UMass honors the decade of the 1990s -- the most successful in school history -- as part of the 100 Seasons of UMass Basketball Celebration. The Minutemen host Saint Joseph's at 3 p.m. in a game that will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports with Tom McCarthy and #John Griffin on the call. Close to 30 players from the 1990s including most of the members of the 1996 Final Four squad will be on hand for a halftime celebration.

    5:00 p.m.
    It's all over. UMass had a 3-point play from David Gibbs and a 3-pointer from Ricky Harris to cut six points out of Saint Joe's lead in 13 seconds, but it was too little too late. Final score, Saint Joe's 68, UMass 64. Tough loss. A little bit here and a little bit there, the Minutemen would have a MUCH better record. They continue to show that they can play neck and neck against the elite of the Atlantic 10 conference, which is promising for this year's A-10 Tournament, and the future seasons.



    Be sure to check out for the game recap, notes, box score, and more! The Minutemen hit the road for two this week, at Fordham Wednesday and St. Bonaventure Saturday. UMass returns home for a big one a week from Wednesday against URI. Until next time, hope you enjoyed this game blog, and of course, GO UMASS!

    4:56 p.m.
    The air has been sucked out of this building. Saint Joe's upped its run to 13-2 and opened a nine point lead. One run was the difference. Still a few seconds left, but it would take a miracle now.

    4:52 p.m.
    Saint Joseph's is on an 8-0 run to open a 62-56 lead. In a game that featured few runs, Saint Joe's might have found an opportune time to pick one up. Ricky Harris also just missed two FTs, so things aren't falling UMass' way these last few minutes. Still over 45 seconds left and four timeouts for UMass, so a LONG way to go.

    4:47 p.m.
    Saint Joe's has tied it up. We currently stand at 56-56. A real grinder here. The Hawks were able to pick up their first lead since 7-6 when they made it 54-53 after a Garrett Williamson layup. Luke Bonner came down the other way and hit a big 3-pointer. He's been extremely clutch! And now we are tied for the second time and first since the score was deadlocked at 6-6. Both teams have a ton of timeouts left, so a LONG way to go. Richmond and Saint Louis went to 3 OT today (Saint Louis won 85-72), so let's hope we don't have to go that far and the Minutemen can win in regulation.

    UMass 56, Saint Joe's 56, 3:04 2nd Half

    4:39 p.m.
    Last timeout was the "floater" media timeout used on the first team called timeout of the second half. We have reached the next whistle and the under-8 timeout. Saint Joe's has cut it to a one point UMass lead, the closest it has been since it was 8-7 UMass early in the first quarter.

    UMass 53, Saint Joseph's 52, 5:15 2nd Half
    (The Hawk is STILL going strong!!! Very impressive)

    4:35 p.m.
    Back and forth we go. The see-saw continues as UMass' lead has been fluctuating from between two and six points. Anthony Gurley has been hot from long range hitting 4-of-9. UMass still only has six turnovers. Its season low is seven against Saint Louis.

    UMass 53, Saint Joe's 50, 6:58 2nd Half

    4:25 p.m.
    Things are heating up! Not that it wasn't already. The officials called Tony Gaffney for a foul when it was clearly on Tyrell Lynch. If anything Gaffney himself was fouled as he got an arm to the face. Now it means that he has four fouls which could be big down the stretch. First time I've seen assistant coach Vance Walberg so fired up. He shaddowed an official all the way over center court and got the "waive" from the official. The Mullins Center crowd is upset (to say the least).

    Well, back to the game at hand. UMass is still on top, 48-42. Stats are pretty comporable. Both teams around 40 percent from the floor. UMass has cooled down from behind the arc. After starting 3-for-3, it is 3 for its last 18.

    UMass 48, Saint Joe's 42, 11:21 2nd Half

    4:21 p.m.
    An interesting situation just happened as Ricky Harris was hit, and seemed to have the wind knocked out of him. The UMass bench was yelling "cheap shot" and the refs looked at the monitor, and could not tell one way or the other if there was indeed an elbow or punch. So in the end, nothing. Gary Correia came into replace Harris but Harris should be back sooner rather than later.

    4:15 p.m.
    Coach Kellogg is fired up. He knows that the Minutemen have to play their best basketball to beat a great team like Saint Joe's.

    An Anthony Gurley 3-pointer, another Tony Gaffney dunk, and Luke Bonner's 21st drawn charge have highlighted the first 4+ minutes. The Minutemen have exteded a three point halftime lead to make it five.

    UMass 44, Saint Joe's 39, 15:23 2nd Half

    4:11 p.m.
    How about the scores around the Atlantic 10 today? Charlotte who started the day in 12th place in the conference, topped previously 21-2 Dayton, 79-66. Also, Temple was up big on URI early, but the Owls currently lead 64-57 with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. Also, Richmond and Saint Louis, both right around UMass in the standings, are tied at 62 in OT.

    And if you missed it, Duquesne beat Xavier last night in a pretty considerable upset. The Dukes are an excellent team and UMass fans have the chance to see them play in a few Wednesdays from now.

    4:09 p.m.
    The second half is UNDER WAY!

    4:00 p.m.
    What a great scene here at the Mullins Center! PA Announcer George Miller just introduced the players from the 90's. The greatest applauses came for Dana Dingle, Will Herndon, Rigo Nunez, Edgar and Giddell Padilla, Tyrone Weeks, and Mike Williams. Since the face of UMass basketball in the 90's, John Calipari couldn't make it, he was represented by his daughter Erin who is a student at UMass.

    Everyone took a group picture (let me tell you, there were a lot of people!) so be sure to look out for it on the game's photo gallery on

    The players left with Bruce Springstein's "Glory Days" playing over the Mullins Center loudspeaker. Great song to represent that group from the 90s. The current version of the Minutemen is destined for Glory Days in the very near future.

    Very close to the start of the second half.

    3:51 p.m.
    We've reached halftime and UMass leads 37-34. Ricky Harris hit two FTs with eight seconds remaining, but Tasheed Carr of Saint Joe's hit a tough 3-pointer as time expired. Not long before, Luke Bonner drew his 20th charge of the season. 20 of the team's 27 have come from Luke!

    Some halftime stats:
    FGs: Saint Joe's (13-29, 45%), UMass (13-31, 42%)
    3 PT FGs: Saint Joe's (4-8, 50%), UMass (5-13, 39%)
    Rebounds: Saint Joe's (20), UMass (14)
    Turnovers: Saint Joe's (8), UMass (3)

    The 1990s celebration is about to happen. Will be back in a bit with much more...

    3:47 p.m.
    The teams have been trading blows, but the Minutemen still own a four point lead at 35-31. So far so good. Great matchup between two very good teams. UMass has been careful with the ball thus far, only turning the ball over three times.

    3:40 p.m.
    A clip from a John Calipari interview was just shown on the video boards to the appreciation of the crowd! Too bad he couldn't make it today. It's tough with Memphis playing a game (and winning) last night against Gonzaga.

    We've reached another media timouet and UMass holds a 28-23 advantage. Both teams' shooting has cooled off as UMass is at 39 percent and Saint Joe's at 36 percent. UMass scored 15 points in the first 5:05, but has 13 in the last 11:11.

    UMass 28, Saint Joe's 23, 3:44 1st Half

    3:34 p.m.
    Rigo Nunez and Edgar Padilla are sharing laughs near the scorer's table. Good stuff!

    So much going on today! Shoutout to the UMass softball team who beat #5 nationally ranked Michigan this morning! Great 4-1 start to the season. I also just got word that the tennis team has won its match against A-10 foe Fordham and improves to 3-0 on the season. Three singles matches are still going on, but once a team reaches four points, it wins.

    3:30 p.m.
    The UMass women's basketball team just returned to the Mullins Center from its trip to Dayton. Many are now in the stands rooting on the Minutemen.

    We've reached the under-8 timeout and the Minutemen hold a "slim" five point lead at 23-18. The offense has cooled down (as expected), since it would've almost been impossible to keep going at the pace it was.

    Anthony Gurley leads the way with six points while Ricky Harris and Chris Lowe each have five.

    UMass 23, Saint Joe's 18
    (The Hawk is stil going strong!)

    3:23 p.m.
    This has been an action-packed up tempo game. It's a playoff atmosphere here at Mullins! Both coaches are into the game as well. Coach Kellogg was all over the officials after no call on an Anthony Gurley shot. Saint Joe's Head Coach Phil Martelli was getting on the officials as well.

    The Minutemen hold a 20-12 lead and are still shooting 54 percent from the field and 67 percent from 3-point range. UMass has six assists on seven field goals led by Chris Lowe's four.

    Tyrone Weeks has joined Josh Maurer on WRNX now...

    UMass 20, Saint Joe's 12, 11:14 1st Half

    3:21 p.m.
    All-time great dunker Will Herndon who played in the early 90s has joined Josh Maurer on WRNX so be sure to tune in! We'll keep you updated when other players are on.

    3:13 p.m.
    First media timeout and UMass leads, 15-7. The Minutemen erased a 7-6 deficit with a 9-0 run (and counting). So much to report! Perfect from long range, from the foul line. Five assists on five baskets. Seven fast break points. Great dunk by Tony Gaffney. Can't ask for much more! Just to put this scoring surge into perspective, the Minutemen are on pace for almost 150 points if they keep it up!

    UMass 15, Saint Joseph's 7, 15:34 1st Half
    (And the Hawk is near the Saint Joe's bench going strong)

    3:11 p.m.
    Wow, what a start to this game! Both teams have come out FIRING. Less than four minutes in, UMass has already scored 13 points. 5-for-8 from the field, 3-for-3 from behind the arc. Then Tony Gaffney just had his team-leading 33rd dunk! So much going on. First subs are in for the Minutemen: freshman David Gibbs, Tyrell Lynch, and Gary Correia.

    3:07 p.m.
    We are underway! There was a slight minute or two delay due to the last CBS College Sports game running long. Luke Bonner hits a 3-pointer first time down to give the Minutemen a quick lead, igniting the crowd.

    Some of the players from the 90s came out of the tunnel to a big ovation.

    2:58 p.m.
    The Minutemen should be ready for this game! The former players took part in the pregame locker room talk, focusing on playing your hardest and not giving a game away. It should be a good one!

    2:54 p.m.
    What a SENSATIONAL national anthem by Mike Preston. Has to be one of the top anthems I have heard at the Mullins Center.

    The intro video just played and the Minutemen have hit the court!

    Saint Joe's is doing its intros as well. If you haven't heard, the team brings its mascot to every game, and it has to flap its wings the whole game. (that must be tiring!). And word is, it receives a full scholarship. I'll keep you updated on the wing-flapping! If I had to predict, those flaps may be slower as the game progresses.

    2:45 p.m.
    Legendary UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma is in the building! He took the ride from Storrs to see his son Mike play. Mike is a freshman guard, wearing #55 for the Hawks.

    Starters are in:
    Saint Joseph's has had the same starters in all but one game this season. The Hawks go with that lineup again:
    #0, Tasheed Carr
    #13, Darrin Govens
    #15, Garrett Williamson
    #32, Idris Hilliard
    #34, Ahmad Nivans.

    And for UMass, the eighth straight game with the same starters:
    #5, Ricky Harris
    #12, Anthony Gurley
    #14, Chris Lowe
    #24, Tony Gaffney
    #31, Luke Bonner

    2:25 p.m.
    I just took a walk upstairs, and boy, are people having a great time at the jam-packed reception. The players are meeting with fans. Again, the players who are slated to attend this afternoon are as follows: Craig Berry, Donta Bright, Ronell Blizzard, Ross Burns, Charlton Clarke, Ted Cottrell, Darryl Denson, Dana Dingle, Francois Firmin, Jason Germain, Rafer Giles, Will Herndon, Derek Kellogg, Lari Ketner, Chris Kirkland, Andy Maclay, Jim McCoy, Rigo Nunez, Tommy Pace, Edgar and Giddel Padilla (who are flying in from Puerto Rico), Kennard Robinson, John Tate, Tyrone Weeks and Mike Williams. The 1996 Final Four team included: Bright, Burns, Clarke, Cottrell, Dingle, Maclay, Nunez, both Padillas and Weeks.

    A little over 1/2 hour until gametime. This should be as good as it gets. The Hawks come into today with an RPI of 72 (fifth in A-10, so another top-100 win would be huge.

    Also, CBS College Sports is shooting pregame in the UMass locker room. It will give fans a peek of behind-the-scenes. Don't miss it!

    2:10 p.m.
    The Mullins Center is buzzing with anticipation of this big Sunday afternoon tilt. Both teams have hit the floor for warmups, and some students are already here. The players from the 1990s are in the Massachusetts Room for a reception. They will be honored at halftime, so don't miss it!

    Resident Bracketologist Joe Lunardi is in the building. He does radio for Saint Joe's. Last year, he picked ALL 65 teams correctly for the NCAA Tournament. He's always spot-on.

    The Media Relations department would also like to welcome back former student assistant Betsy Devine, who is here today to see her alma mater play!

    12:45 p.m.
    Good afternoon UMass fans and welcome to a very special men's basketball game blog. Jason Yellin and Justin Lafleur from Media Relations here with you. Today marks a celebration of the 1990s with a number of former players in attendance (including most of the 1996 Final Four team) to be honored at halftime. Check out the complete rundown of who will be in attendance by clicking here.

    The game is on CBS College Sports, but be sure to turn the volume down and turn your radio to WRNX for what will be a special treat all game. The voice of the Minutemen, Josh Maurer will be interviewing a number of the 1990s players, including Dana Dingle, Will Herndon, Tyrone Weeks, and Mike Williams, so don't miss it!

    David Gibbs is on the court shooting around with some team managers as we are just over two hours away from gametime. We are expecting a great crowd, so it should be a tremendous celebration of UMass basketball, past and present. This is a potentially huge swing game as well. A win over Saint Joe's could really act as a springboard for down the stretch.

    Back in a bit!


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