Men's Basketball

HOOPS LIVE BLOG: UMass Faces Rhode Island On Black Out Night

Chris Lowe needs just one assist to become the UMass career leader.

Chris Lowe needs just one assist to become the UMass career leader.

Feb. 18, 2009

AMHERST, Mass. -

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  • UMass Players From The 2000s Still In Action
    The most-played rivalry in UMass basketball history renews on tonight as the Minutemen host Rhode Island at 7 p.m. in the Mullins Center. It will be a big night in Amherst with several events surrounding the game. Wednesday will be Black Out Night (third year in a row vs. URI) with thousands of black T-shirts being given out to fans. It will also be the 2000s Celebration honoring the current era as part of the 100 Seasons Of UMass Basketball. It is also Big Y Night where fans can show a Big Y card and get a discounted ticket.Have any questions for the blog? Email

    8:49 p.m.
    That is all from the Mullins Center! Final score, 71-59 Minutemen fall to the Rams from Rhode Island. Be sure to check out for the game recap, notes, box score, quotes and more! The Minutemen return to the state of New York Feb. 22, for a rematch against the Hawks from St. Joe's. Thanks for reading! GO UMASS!

    8:47 p.m.
    The Minutemen continue their end-of-game struggles, down ten with just 50 seconds to go. Chris Lowe airballs a three and this game seems in hand for the Rams.



    8:43 p.m.
    Questionable play right there. First, The Minutemen thought they had a jump ball. Then, after the crowd thought Jimmy Baron traveled, James Baron got a timeout. A huge dunk by Marquis Jones and two made free throws by Chris Lowe, the Minutemen are down seven with 1:04 left.

    8:42 p.m.
    Luke Bonner tries for a three but airballs. The Minutemen are down six, 63-57 with 1:27. Chris Lowe is still looking for one more assist. He's probably saving it for the game-winning play.

    8:40 p.m.
    Cothran now has his career high with 24. Ricky Harris picks up a quick foul and Jimmy Baron has a chance to double his score.

    8:39 p.m.
    Scramble for the ball, and URI takes a timeout, which turns to a full. Keith Cothran is just one point away from his career high with 22 points. He also has two rebounds and an assist.

    8:37 p.m.
    The coaching staff did NOT like that call. Tony Gaffney gets his third foul and Seawright makes both shots at the line.

    8:31 p.m.
    Down four at the last media timeout, the Minutemen look determined. We need a stop. And we get it! Jimmy Baron turns the ball over and Ricky Harris capitalizes with a drive down the lane. The student section has come alive again, and the towels are out in full force. Feeding off the energy, Tony Gaffney gets his fourth steal and drives to the basket, fouled on the way up.

    8:29 p.m.
    I think Tony Gaffney just jumped through the room for that rebound. Tied at 53 after a runner by Harris, UMass better get their offense together. The Minutemen are 2-7 in games decided by six points or less.

    8:28 p.m.
    We're taking the under-8 timeout late, with 6:04 left in the second half. Although the Rams' stars Jimmy Baron and Kahiem Seawright have only combined for four points, the game is still tied 51-all.

    8:25 p.m.
    Honoring his jersey number, this is C-Lowe's 14th double-digit night this year. He just scored back-to-back buckets to put the Minutemen up 51-49. Jimmy Baron still only has one three-point attempt and two points.

    8:23 p.m.
    TG takes the team on his shoulders, driving hard to the basket and making both free throws. The Minutemen really need a stop here, up 45-41. They get it, and Luke Bonner picks up Matt Glass' trash for an 8-0 UMass run.

    8:22 p.m.
    Tony Gaffney takes off from just beneath the foul line and slams it home, both hands out-stretched. The crowd loves that and cheers of "Tony Gaffney" ring out.

    8:21 p.m.
    UMass Minutewomen are tied 32-32 at half. We're tied here as well at the under-12 media timeout at 41.

    8:20 p.m.
    Offensive foul called against Chris Lowe, his third personal foul and second player control foul of the game. The crowd of 6,139 is not happy. Except for maybe the 40 URI fans in the rafters.

    8:17 p.m.
    The crowd has started a cheer-off. URI started to chant "Kahiem Seawright" and UMass responded with "We can't hear you!"

    8:13 p.m.
    UMass cannot buy a basket, as we are 35 percent from the field and 26 percent from three. With that dunk, Ricky Harris has his 22nd double-digit game of this season.

    8:12 p.m.
    Steal by David Gibbs and Ricky Harris jams it home. That was his first dunk of the season. I didn't even know the little guy could get up there. Tony Gaffney, as I mentioned before, has 44. The rest of the team (Harris, Gibbs, Gurley, and Lynch) has four.

    8:10 p.m.
    We have our first tie of the game, 35-35 as UMass continues to struggle from the field.

    8:08 p.m.
    Tyrell Lynch and David Gibbs into the line-up for the first time in the second half. Ricky Harris gets a steal and will go to the line for two, giving us our first media timeout. Associate AD for Marketing Todd McDonald just honored Big Y for their support all year long. Now, the UMass Dance Team is performing a number. I think they doubled in number since the last game. Great news for UMass boys.

    8:06 p.m.
    Keith Cothran, who has ten points, has his 19th game scoring double-digits this season, the 30th time he has accomplished this feat in his career.

    8:05 p.m.
    Great defense by the Minutemen and they force a 35 second shot clock violation.

    8:02 p.m.
    There is a small, but loud, URI fan section WAY up in section D. They're making a lot of noise on our freethrows and just cost Ricky Harris one from the line.

    7:59 p.m.
    We're underway in the second half and the Minutemen have the first possession. Luke Bonner with the baby hook, his signature shot, and the Minutemen have their first basket since 14:59.

    7:58 p.m.
    In women's basketball, the Minutewomen are trailing 23-17 with 8:00 left in the first half.

    7:48 p.m.
    Some news and notes... UMass failed to connect in the last 5:01 of the half. They are shooting 37 percent from the field and 31 percent from behind the arc. Chris Lowe and Ricky Harris lead team with seven points a piece and Tyrell Lynch has already grabbed six rebounds. Chris Lowe has tied Carl Smith. For the Rams, Keith Cothran has ten points in a 4-for-9 shooting effort. The Rams are shooting worse than the Minutemen, at only 29 percent and have hit three three's on eight attempts. Jimmy Baron only has two points and two rebounds in 16 minutes of play.

    7:44 p.m.
    The Minutemen could not buy a basket, ending the half held scoreless for five minutes. At the buzzer, Chris Lowe dished to Ricky Harris for three, but he couldn't hit. That would have been Lowe's sixth assist, but no luck. The Minutemen will have a lot to talk about in the locker room and we have a lot to talk about out here, with the celebration of the 2000s era. I spot Matt Pennie across the way, so be sure to tune in to 100.9 for the halftime interview. Back with stats in a minute!

    7:43 p.m.
    Stevie Majia hits a three and this is the closest the game has been since 3-0 at 19:20. Derek Kellogg needs a timeout and we have one minute left in the first half.

    7:41 p.m.
    UMass is leading URI in points in the paint, 16-10. They are also outrebounding the Rams, 26-16.

    7:39 p.m.
    Extremely sanitary, Matty G just threw Big Y subs into the crowd! Have you ever seen college students eat though? I'm sure they don't mind.

    7:38 p.m.
    Stratch that, Jimmy Baron scores his first points of the game. Obviously, he read my blog and realized he needed to step his game up. The Minutewomen have taken an early lead, 2-0, at GW.

    7:34 p.m.
    Bucket by Tyrell Lynch and the Rams need another time out as UMass has it's biggest lead of the night. Another important stat, Chris Lowe has just tied Carl Smith, the UMass career-leader in assists with 633. Also, URI's Jimmy Baron has been held to ZERO points this half. He averages 16.6 per game and also has no attempts from behind the arc.

    7:32 p.m.
    Ricky Harris for three then Ricky Harris with a floater down the lane and the Minutemen are up 29-19. The thing about a UMass-URI rivalry though, is that it's never over until the buzzer sounds.

    7:27 p.m.
    Media timeout. Tony Gaffney just got his second foul. Better be careful. Right now, he is singing Happy Birthday with Matt Glass and Luke Bonner. There was a whole slew of birthdays, but the most important was John Sinnett of media relations! Happy Birthday old man! Also, Mary Dudzinski, daughter of football coach Keith Dudzinski, is celebrating her birthday with the Minutemen tonight.

    7:26 p.m.
    Matt Glass is really showing his stuff tonight, already with four rebounds and three points. Maybe Coach Kellogg will think about starting him more often.

    7:22 p.m.
    So much action and my fingers can't type this fast! Tony Gaffney hit a three a minute ago, his eighth this season. The Minutemen are up, 22-13.

    7:19 p.m.
    How could I forget this famous UMass father-son duo? UMass football coach Mark Whipple and his son Spencer Whipple, a redshirt sophomore for the football team who played one year at Pitt. Also, Derek Kellogg and future UMass All-American Max Kellogg, who I did mention, since the pair star in the Volvo commercial. Thanks to UMass Tubas for the hint!

    Tony Gaffney SLAMS it home for his 44th dunk of the season, Minutemen lead 17-11. Last game alone, he jammed six.

    7:14 p.m.
    This game is already extremely fast-paced. The score is 15-11. Leading for the Minutemen is Luke Bonner and Chris Lowe, each with five. The Ram with the most points is Keith Cothran, with six.

    7:11 p.m.
    First media timeout. Sitting right behind me is Bilqis Abdul-Quadir. For those of you not familiar with Western Mass. high school basketball, Abdul-Quadir just scored 3,000 points at New Leadership high school. She broke Rebecca Lobo's Massachusetts scoring record and will be headed to Memphis next year.

    7:09 p.m.
    Ricky Harris from Chris Lowe on the break and URI needs to stop the bleeding. The Minutemen are up 10-2. Chris Lowe needs only four assists to become UMass all-time career leader.

    7:05 p.m.
    No wonder Coach Kellogg made the change in the starting line-up. The Minutemen are 4-1 when Matt Glass starts and he is averaging 6.8 points per game when he gets the nod. He already has three points tonight, and the Minutemen are off to a 6-2 lead.

    7:03 p.m.
    Tip bobbled around and finally controlled by URI. Ricky Harris blocked Jimmy Baron's shot, the Luke Bonner came down the other end to hit a three and this place is going crazy!

    7:01 p.m.
    The newspaper thing worked great. This place is so loud, I can barely hear the people talking next to me. There is not one empty seat in the student section. LET'S GO UMASS!

    6:59 p.m.
    The coaching staff also looks phenomenal, all with black suit jackets. Coach Derek Kellogg must have gotten a boat-load of new ties for Valentine's Day, because this this the fifth game with different red tie after sporting an all red staple for the first part of the season.

    6:56 p.m.
    Three minutes and change until tip-off and this place is electric. The student section looks awesome: chanting, "Go, Go U, Go U-Mass, Go UMass," waving towels in the air, and donning matching black shirts.

    6:53 p.m.
    HERE COME THE MINUTEMEN! Also, a BIG happy birthday goes out to UMass team doctor Poerre Rouzier! THERE'S a father/son combo! Dr. Rouz's son, Anthony, plays for the UMass football team!

    6:47 p.m.
    The starting line-ups are in for both teams.For the visiting Rams:

    #5 Marquis Jones #15 Lamonte Ulmer #20 Jimmy Baron #32 Will Martell #33 Kahiem Seawright

    And for YOUR UMass Minutemen:

    #5 Ricky Harris #14 Chris Lowe #24 Tony Gaffney #31 Luke Bonner #33 Matt Glass

    This will be Glass' sixth start of the season. His previous five starts came in the month of December from the 10-27.

    6:42 p.m.
    UMass alum and former UMass Associate AD Thorr Bjorn is in the house! Another notable alum, manager Matt Pennie will be featured on the UMass Sports Network halftime show with Josh Maurer. I heard he is going to pull a Joaquin Phoenix on David Letterman. Should be interesting.

    6:37 p.m.
    Both teams have left the court and I've heard a rumor the starting line-up for the Minutemen is going to be shaken up tonight.. I'll keep you updated.

    6:25 p.m.
    Shout out to the women's basketball team playing tonight at George Washington. The game doesn't start until 7:30 p.m., but I'll be sure to keep you updated throughout the game.

    6:20 p.m.
    In addition to Black Out Night, Mullins Maniacs are taking after Steeler fans tonight with Terrible Big Y towels. Hopefully, they work as well for us tonight as they did for the Steelers this season.

    6:17 p.m.
    The Mullins Center is PACKED. The student section is already full with 40 minutes left until game time. EVERYONE has a black t-shirt on. They are actually spilling over to non-student sections. This place is going to be rockin' tonight!

    6:04 p.m.
    Senior guard Jimmy Baron just stepped onto the court a few moments ago, so I would like to take a few minutes for some father/son tandems. Jimmy's dad, James Baron, has been the head coach at Rhode Island for eight years. Did you know there has been NO father/son basketball combos at UMass!? Not even a son who played at UMass years after his father! We asked Tony Gaffney, and he said the last time he played Tony Gaffney Sr. was back in fourth grade. The student beat the teacher, and now Gaffney Sr. refuses to play his son. Some other memorable father-son duos I can think of:

    Homer Drew & Bryce Drew of the famous Valpo buzzer beater in 1998
    Ken Griffey & Ken Griffey Jr.
    Will Smith & Jaden Smith
    Archie Manning, Peyton Manning, & Eli Manning
    The Father's & Son's Volvo commercial that I see every game day
    Kirk Douglas & Michael Douglas

    I want to know what you think! E-mail your best father-son combo to

    5:55 p.m.
    Word on the court is that students and fans have packed the lobby, clamoring for a free t-shirt and to support their Minutemen. Marketing is also handing out a cheer sheet for the student section. Among the rules, fans are to read a newspaper put out on their seat during the starting lineups for the Rams, call #33 Kaheem Seawright "Seabiscuit" (a despised nickname our very own bus driver Guy Racine came up with two years ago), and be quiet during the second URI trip to the foul line in the second half. I didn't know being a fan required so much concentration!

    5:48 p.m.
    Tonight, we are celebrating the 2000s era of UMass basketball. Normally, we would have a big halftime celebration with former players coming onto the court. That won't be happening tonight, however, as most of the best players are still playing or coaching around the world! Be sure to check out UMass Players From The 2000s Still In Action. Some notable mentions, Gary Forbes is in Tulsa playing for the 76ers D-League, Dwayne Killings is an assistant coach for A-10 rival Temple, and Jeff Viggiano plays for Edimes Pavia in Italy.

    5:37 p.m.
    Hey UMass fans! Alli Miller here from UMass Media Relations for my first home game blog. I'm pretty excited and ready to get things rolling. First off, the only two players out warming up are Tony Gaffney and Luke Bonner. Luke is ready for what is about to happen tonight, inside and outside the Mullins Center. It was brought to my attention that his car is the only one in the parking lot with his windshield wipers up in preparation for the storm. Better to be safe than sorry!


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