UMass Seeks Sweep Of Season Series At URI
UMass Seeks Sweep Of Season Series At URI
UMass and URI are in the thick of competition for seeding in the Atlantic 10 Tournament in hope of hosting an A-10 First-Round Tournament game. The Minutemen (13-11 overall) stand in ninth place at 5-6 in league play. The Rams (16-7 overall) are 7-4 in A-10 action. The top four teams in the A-10 received first-round byes while seeds 5-8 host first-round games on March 8 before the Tournament moves to Atlantic City (March 11-13).
The teams will play for the 136th time, the most-played rivalry in UMass basketball history with the Minutemen holding a 78-57 advantage in the series that began in 1908. UMass was the last team to sweep the season series, in 2008. The teams have split the last two years worth of meetings with two of the games decided by two points or less. In the last 11 games, six of the contests were decided by three points of fewer.
At 13-11 overall, UMass has surpassed its win total from each of the last two season as the Minutemen won 12 games in 2008-09 and 2009-10. Cox New England will televise the game with Eric Frede and Abu Bakr on the call.
The game can be heard on the UMass Sports Network on 100.9 FM WRNX in Western Mass, 830 AM WCRN in Central Mass. and 95.9 AM WATD on Boston's South Shore "Voice of the Minutemen" Josh Maurer will call the action with Tim Collins and Tim Kenney. Live streaming video, audio and Gametracker will be available on UMassAthletics.com.
Quick Hits From the A-10 Start
UMass won consecutive road conference games, Charlotte (73-54) and St. Bonaventure (78-69) on back-to-back Wednesday's in January. That marked the first time since 2007-08 UMass has won consecutive conference road games.
UMass has limited its opponents just 39.1 from the floor in A-10 play. That includes holding foes to less than 40 percent on field goals in all five wins with dominating defense vs. Dayton (28.6 percent), at Charlotte (32.1), at St. Bonaventure (35.6) and vs. Rhode Island (37.0).
UMass won back-to-back road games in conference play with wins at Charlotte and St. Bonaventure for the first time under Derek Kellogg and since the 2007-08 season.
Anthony Gurley has led UMass in scoring in seven of 11 Atlantic 10 games with a 17.1 average. Overall, he has led UMass in scoring in 19 of 24 games with a 18.9 overall scoring average.
Javorn Farrell scored in double-figures in four conference games in a row (Jan. 15-26). He averaged 14.0 points in the four games in a row. He had 16 against Richmond (1/22) and at St. Bonaventure (1/26).
UMass had more than two players in double-figures in two of its last four wins -- for the first time since Nov. 27. Against LaSalle (1/15) Anthony Gurley (20), Sean Carter (15), Javorn Farrell (13) and Terrell Vinson (11) all met the mark. For Carter and Vinson, the point totals were season highs. At Charlotte, Freddie Riley had 18, Gurley 17 and Farrell added 11.
Shooting Tells The Story
UMass is 4-0 when shooting above 50 percent on field goals and 10-3 when making more than 40 percent of its shots.
Conversely, UMass is 3-10 when shooting a worse field goal percentage and 0-4 when opponents shot better than 50 percent.
Series History With Rhode Island
UMass has won 34 of the last 47 games in the series. That includes sweeps by UMass in 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2008 and URI in 1999, 2003.
UMass has won six of the last eight in the series including both of the meetings in 2008.
Six of the last 11 meetings have been decided by three points or less including two of the last four by two points or fewer.
If you remove the 2007 22-point UMass win, the averaging margin of victory in the last 15 games is 5.0 points.
The Minutemen won this season's earlier meeting, 64-54 on Jan. 30. (Recap on Page 21 of the Game Notes).
The teams split last season with each winning on the home. UMass' Ricky Harris scored on a lay-up with 3.5 seconds left to beat URI, 69-67 in the regular-season finale on March 6. Earlier in the year, URI posted a 93-85 win in Kingston on Feb. 6.
Two years ago, each team won on the road. Rhode Island won the first meeting, 71-59 at the Mullins Center on Feb. 18, 2009. The Rams ended the game on a 14-2 run. UMass rallied for a 72-71 win on a last-second shot by Chris Lowe to upset the Rams on Senior Day in Kingston on March 7, 2009.
For games played in Kingston, the Rams lead the series 35-28. The teams have split the eight games at the Ryan Center which opened in 2002-03.
UMass has won 19 of the last 24 games played at home in the series. Overall, for games played in Amherst, the Minutemen lead the series 49-20, with a 12-4 mark at the Mullins Center, the second-most wins against any team at the Mullins Center (Temple 13).
UMass coach Derek Kellogg is 3-2 as a coach against the Rams. As a player at UMass from 1992-95, the Minutemen were 9-1 vs. Rhode Island, losing once in 1993 at Providence. Rhode Island coach Jim Baron stands 14-26 against UMass (8-10 since moving to Kingston in 2002). He was 6-15 while at St. Bonaventure.
The Last Three Meetings
March 6, 2010: UMass 69, Rhode Island 67 - On Senior Day, Ricky Harris carried UMass into the Atlantic 10 Tournament with a game-winning lay-up with 3.5 seconds left to clinch a 69-67 victory.Harris scored a game-high 28 points and moved to third in career points. Rhode Island had its NCAA Tournament hopes severely damaged by UMass for the second year in a row in a regular-season finale in losing to the Minutemen. Marquis Jones missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer which would have won the game. Harris made two free throws with 1:09 left to put UMass ahead, 67-65. Marquis Jones then calmed made two free throws with 37 second left to tie the game again at 67 all.
Feb. 6, 2010 - Rhode Island 93, UMass 85 - The longest-running rivalry in UMass basketball history had another chapter written at the Ryan Center as the Minutemen (8-15, 2-7 A-10) lost at Rhode Island, 93-85. The Minutemen made things interesting late, erasing a 24-point deficit by scoring 21 points in the final 3:45 to pull within six with under a minute to go. The Rams (19-3, 7-2 A-10 and No. 12 in the RPI) pressured UMass all afternoon forcing the Minutemen into 21 turnovers including 17 in the first half alone. The bright spot was senior Ricky Harris, led UMass with a season-best 32. UMass trailed by as much as 24 midway through the second half, but mounted a late comeback, led by all 15 of Gurley's points to pull within single digits and as close as six with 16 seconds left on a Gurley 3-pointer. Two clutch free throws by Delroy James with 15 seconds left iced the game for the Rams.
Best Starts In UMass History
Here are the best starts at UMass: 1995-96 (26-0); 1933-34 (12-0 undefeated season); 1970-71 (11-0); 1973-74 (9-0); 1925-26 (9-0); 1977-78 (8-0); 2010-11 (7-0); 1968-69 (7-0); 1975-76 (6-0); 1971-72 (6-0); 1956-57 (6-0).
The program started 5-0 in 1991-92 (Derek Kellogg's freshman season) and 1930-31.
One Of The Final 22
The loss to BC also saw the end the longest win streak for UMass since 1998. The seven-game run was the longest since the Minutemen won 10 games in a row from Jan. 3-Feb. 1, 1998.
Gurley, A Big Man On Campus
Gurley enters the game with 1,224 points at UMass and 1,423 in his college career with 199 coming at Wake Forest. He stands tied for 20th all-time in points with Ray Elleberbrook (1,224). After Ellerbrook comes No. 19 Donta Bright (1,229) and No. 18 Al Skinner (1,235), who coached Rhode Island for nine years (1988-97).
Gurley scored his 1,000th career point with his final field goal against Rider (11/12) and passed the milestone at UMass with a free throw vs. hometown team Boston University (12/31) at Mullins Center
At his current rate of 18.9 points per game and probably a minumum of six more games, Gurley would finish with about 1,340 points at UMass. No. 14 on the UMass scoring list is NBA Hall of Fame legend Julius Erving, who scored 1,370 in two seasons at UMass from 1969-71.
Gurley has scored in double-figures 71 times in his career and has reached 20 points 21 times, 11 times this year including three of the his last six games.
Gurley scored a career-high 31 points to serve a part of the two-headed offensive attack in the big rally against Rider (11/12) With 31 points in the opener, Gurley tallied the most points by a UMass player in a season debut since Marcus Camby netted 32 against Kentucky in the 1995-96 season opener. Gurley was named to the Atlantic 10 Weekly Honor Roll on Nov. 15 for his performance.
Gurley led UMass in scoring in the first six games this season including 24 vs. Holy Cross (11/27), 22 points vs. AIC (11/24) and 18 points in the win over Sacred Heart (11/17).
Gurley is tied for eighth in career 3-pointers made list at UMass with 138 (on 400 attempts). Guley can pass his head coach Derek Kellogg with one made trey as the former Minuteman point guard was 138-362 in his career as a player from 1991-95.
Junkyard Dog Farrell Makes Major Impact
After missing the first two games of the season with an ankle injury, Farrell returned to the lineup and been an instant impact player. He is averaging 9.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in 22 games. He notched a career-high 25 points in leading UMass to the win at Quinnipiac (12/1). He had scored 15 points in his first game of the year, vs. New Mexico State (11/20) and followed that up with 10 points vs. TCU (11/22). Most recently, he scored in double-figures with 13 vs. La Salle (1/15), 11 at Charlotte (1/19) and 16 in each of the last two games vs. Richmond (1/22) and at St. Bonaventure (1/26).
Ready Freddie Filling It Up
He added 10 points vs. TCU for his second game this season in double-figures and added 17 in 17 minutes vs. Holy Cross (11/27). He netted 14 in his last contest vs. Seton Hall (12/11).
Riley had his best game since the season opener on Jan. 19 at Charlotte as he scored 18 points (15 in the first half). Riley was playing the game with a heavy heart as his friend T.J. Gordon had been killed the night before the game. Riley played the game in his dedication.
At Saint Joseph's (2/5), he tallied 14, all in the game's final 6:51 as UMass' rally fell short in a 67-64 loss. It was his sixth game this year in double-figures.
Sean Carter Steps Up In Conference Play
First Undefeated Tournament Since 1995
This year, UMass swept the Hall of Fame Tip-Off with wins over Rider (77-67), New Mexico State (71-57), TCU (67-48) and AIC (83-56). It marked the first four-game sweep in a tournament in school history.
Return To The Cage, a Huge Success
UMass "extended" its winning streak at the Curry Hicks Cage to 15 games with a 17-year gap. The streak spans back to the 1991-92 season as the Minutemen won their final 14 games before moving to the Mullins Center in Feb. 1993.
LAGUERRE SIGNS NLI WITH UMASS
UMass Alum Leading UMass
Kellogg is not the only current head coach from the UMass rosters in the mid-90s as Tony Barbee is in his first year as the head coach at Auburn. Coaching at Texas-El Paso last season, Barbee led the Miners to the NCAA Tournament.
Prior to McLaughlin, the last UMass alum to lead his alma mater was Lorin Ball (Class of 1921), who coached the team from 1945-52.
Forbes Makes NBA With Denver Nuggets
"He's an NBA player," Denver forward Carmelo Anthony said. "He's got an NBA body, a guy who's willing to learn. He's just a good addition to the team."
At UMass, Forbes was named the 2007-08 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection. Forbes had a sensational senior season in 2007-08, finishing as the A-10's co-scoring champion with 610 points (20.3 ppg) along with Temple's Dionte Christmas. The New York native led the Minutemen to the NIT Championship game at Madison Square Garden, averaging 14.8 points in five NIT games, 17.5 in NIT Final Four, and was named to the NIT All-Tournament Team.
FOLLOW THE TEAM ONLINE
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34-Point Swing In Win Over Rider
KELLOGG'S MISSION 1000
As part of MISSION 1000, UMass head coach Derek Kellogg, his staff and players hand-delivered season tickets to patrons throughout Western Massachusetts. They were greeted with excitement of fans from Amherst to Springfield.
UMass' exhibition game vs. Brandeis on Nov. 4 was a benefit for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Fans brought 2 cans of nonperishable food to the Mullins Center to gain admission in place of a ticket price. More than 1,000 cans were donated.
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