UMass Goes For Two In A Row, Wed., Vs. St. Joe's
Coming off a solid 66-60 victory at Rhode Island that demonstrated tenacious defense and some up-tempo offense, UMass looks for its second win in a row on Wednesday night. Saint Joseph's comes to the Mullins Center for a 7 p.m., tip-off in a game that will be televised regionally on Comcast SportsNet New England, The Comcast Network and Comcast SportsSouth. The Minutemen (14-11, 6-6 A-10) will be seeking a measure of revenge as the Hawks (7-19, 2-10) picked up their first conference win of the season against UMass back on Feb. 5 at Hawk Hill, 67-64.
UMass is 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 stand tied for eighth place with St. Bonaventure at 6-6 in league play. As of today, UMass would host the Bonnies in an A-10 First Round game. 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).
At 14-11 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. The six A-10 wins are also most than last season's mark of 5-11.
The game can be heard on the UMass Sports Network on 100.9 FM WRNX in Western Mass, 830 AM WCRN in Central Mass., 1510 AM The Zone in Eastern 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 Glenn Wong. Live streaming video, audio and Gametracker will be available on UMassAthletics.com.
Solid Play In The A-10
The Minutemen are fighting for a homecourt first-round game in the A-10 Tournament and stand at 6-6 in the league after breaking a four-game losing streak at Rhode Island.
With its 5-2 start in the Atlantic 10, UMass had its best start to a conference season since 2006-07, when UMass began 7-2 on the way to a 13-3 mark and a share of the A-10 regular-season crown.
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 38.3 from the floor in A-10 play. That includes holding foes to less than 40 percent on field goals in all six wins with dominating defense vs. Dayton (28.6 percent), at Charlotte (32.1), at St. Bonaventure (35.6) and vs. Rhode Island, twice (37.0 and 29.3).
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 eight of 12 Atlantic 10 games with a 17.0 average. Overall, he has led UMass in scoring in 20 of 25 games with an 18.8 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 three of its six wins. Also the game against La Salle (1/15) marked for the first time since Nov. 27 that UMass turned the trick. Against the Explorers, 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. Most recently in the win at Rhode Island (2/19), Gurley led the way with 16, complemented by 11 points apiece from Gary Correia, Sampson Carter and Raphiael Putney.
Shooting Tells The Story
How the shooting from the floor goes is how the Minutemen go. UMass is 11-1 this season when shooting a better percentage from the floor than its opponents. The Saint Louis (2/2) game was the first when UMass outshot its foe from the floor and lost.
UMass is 4-0 when shooting above 50 percent on field goals and 11-3 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 Saint Joseph's
This will be the 59th meeting between UMass and Saint Joseph's, with UMass holding a 30-28 lead all-time. UMass has won three of the last four games including both games last season. The Hawks ended a three-game skid in the series with a 67-64 win over UMass earlier this year on Feb. 5.
Last season, UMass won the first meeting, 87-80 on Jan. 27 at the Hagan Arena and 70-62 at the Mullins Center on Feb. 14.
Two years ago, each road team won to give UMass back the edge in the series that has been more even of late. The teams have split the last six games with the Hawks winning three in a row in 2008-09.
UMass ended SJU's win streak with a 70-69 win in Philly on Feb. 22, 2009. Saint Joe's won three games in a row finishing with a 68-64 win on Feb. 8, 2009. The Hawks won twice in 2007-08. The Hawks pulled off a 98-92 win at the Mullins Center on Jan. 9, 2008 while UMass made an amazing comeback but lost at Hawk Hill, 81-77 on Jan. 23.
Saint Joseph's has won 13 of the last 19, but prior to that UMass ran off six consecutive win in the series.
The Minutemen hold a 15-7 advantage against Saint Joseph's for games played in Amherst, including a 9-7 mark against the Hawks at the Mullins Center.
Saint Joseph's holds a 16-12 advantage against the Minutemen for regular-season games played in Philadelphia. Saint Joe's holds a 13-11 mark against UMass in Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse. At The Palestra vs. SJU, UMass is 3-4 overall with two wins in the A-10 Tournament and last season. UMass is 1-3 in regular-season games against the Hawks at The Palestra, losing in 1983, 84 and 88.
This will be UMass head coach Derek Kellogg's sixth game against the Hawks and is 3-2. Kellogg did play against Saint Joseph's when Phil Martelli was an assistant at SJU. Martelli took over as head coach in 1995-96, the year UMass made the Final Four. Martelli stands 15-14 all-time against the Minutemen in his career.
This Season'S Game:
Feb. 5, 2011: Saint Joseph's 67, UMass 64
PHILADELPHIA -- Saint Joseph's freshman Langston Galloway converted all six of his 3-point field goals and finished with a career-high 25 points as the Hawks picked up their first conference win of the season with a 67-64 victory over UMass at Hagan Arena. UMass dropped its second game on the road this week and stands at 13-9, 5-4 in the A-10. The Hawks are now 6-17 with their first A-10 win to stand 1-8.
Down five with 20 seconds left, Javorn Farrell made on free throw and missed the second, but Sean Carter grabbed his season-high 15th board of the game and found Anthony Gurley for a 3-pointer that cut the UMass deficit to one. After Idris Hilliard made two free throws with 12 seconds left, Matt Hill was fouled on a rebound with 3.1 seconds left. When the front end of his 1-and-1 missed, the Hawks secured the rebound as the clock ran out.
Galloway was unconscious midway through the second half as he nailed three treys during a 16-3 SJU run to give the Hawks a 50-37 advantage with 8:31 left in the second half. That run also included Charoy Bentley hitting a whirling over-the-head layup and converted the foul shot for the and-1 with 13:50 left in the half.
UMass senior and leading scorer Gurley was limited to a season-low 10 points.
Saint Joseph's was playing without its leading scorer Carl Jones (18.0 ppg), who suffered a sprained right ankle in practice this week.
Last Season'S Game:
Feb. 14, 2010 - UMass 70, Saint Joseph's 62
AMHERST, Mass. - UMass held Saint Joseph's scoreless for the final 10:49 of the first half going on a 16-0 run to secure a 70-62 win over the Hawks at the Mullins Center. The Minutemen put forth a tremendous defensive effort forcing Saint Joseph's to miss its final 13 shots of the first half as the Hawks didn't make a field goal in the final 11:35. Ricky Harris led the Minutemen with 27 points as he became the fourth player in UMass history to surpass 1,800 career points. Anthony Gurley added 15 points. Sean Carter grabbed double-figure rebounds for the fifth time this season and second game in a row with 11.
Best Starts In UMass History
The 7-0 start this season was the best since the 1995-96 team. UMass started with a school-record 26 consecutive wins on to the way to a 35-2 season and an NCAA Final Four appearance. UMass also had a 7-0 mark in 1968-69.
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
Prior to the loss to Boston College at the TD Garden on Dec. 4, 2009, at 7-0 UMass was one of the final 22 undefeated teams in NCAA Division I. The Minutemen were also the last unbeaten team in the Atlantic 10.
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
Anthony Gurley has led UMass in scoring in 20 of 25 games this season, most recently with 16 at Rhode Island (2/19). Gurley had at least 10 points in the first 22 games of the season before being held to seven against George Washington (2/13) and just nine vs. Duquesne (2/16). Gurley ranks third in the Atlantic 10 and 45th in the NCAA in scoring (18.8).
Gurley enters the game with 1,240 points at UMass and 1,439 in his college career with 199 coming at Wake Forest. He stands 18th all-time in points, next on the list is No. 17 Doug Grutchfield (1,257). He passed No. 19 Al Skinner (1,235), who coached Rhode Island for nine years (1988-97) with 16 points at Rhode Island (2/19).
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 18.8 points per game and probably a minumum of five 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 72 times in his career and has reached 20 points 21 times, 11 times this year.
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 eighth in career 3-pointers made list at UMass with 141 (on 410 attempts). Gurley passed his head coach Derek Kellogg at Rhode Island (2/19) as the former Minuteman point guard was 138-362 in his career as a player from 1991-95.
Junkyard Dog Farrell Makes Major Impact
Sophomore swingman Javorn Farrell has been a spark to the team's success. Farrell scored in double-figures four games in a row (1/15-26) and has eight games this season in double-figures. UMass is 7-1 when Farrell scores 10 or more points.
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 8.9 points and 4.1 rebounds in 23 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
Sophomore Freddie Riley is third on the team in scoring with an 8.4 points per game average. He missed the Duquesne (2/16) and Rhode Island (2/19) games with a right foot/ankle injury and is questionable for the Saint Joseph's game. He tallied a career-high 28 with 23 coming in the second half alone in the season-opening win over Rider (11/12). He passed his former high of 22 vs. La Salle (1/10/10). Riley has six games this season in double-figures and 17 in his career
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
Junior Sean Carter has stepped up his play in the conference season. He is averaging 6.2 points and 7.4 rebounds in 12 A-10 games, all starts. Carter has a total of 40 rebounds in the last four games (10.0 rpg) with a season-bst 15 at Saint Joseph's (2/5). He also added 11 vs. George Washington. Carter is UMass' best shooter from the floor at 55.4 overall and 55.4 in A-10 play.
First Undefeated Tournament Since 1995
With a 4-0 mark in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off, UMass captured undefeated regular-season tournament since the 1995 Rainbow Classic. That year, the Minutemen took the crown in Honolulu with wins over NC State, USC and NC State with a 3-0 mark.
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 played its first regular-season game at the Curry Hicks in 6,511 games, dating to the Final "Rage In The Cage" on Jan. 29, 1993 with an 83-76 win on Nov, 27, 2010. UMass is now 360-212 in 572 all-time games at the Cage from 1932-93 and the game this season.
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
Explosive guard Jordan Laguerre (pronounced LUH-garry) has signed his National Letter Of Intent to join the UMass Basketball program for the 2011-12 season. The 6-2, 175-pounder is currently in his second season at the New Hampton School in New Hampshire. Laguerre is a lefthander with an explosive first step, incredible leaping ability, and a scorer's mentality. The Manchester, N.H., native averaged 14 points per game as a junior and is expected to take an even more dominant role in the offense this season.
UMass Alum Leading UMass
Derek Kellogg, in his third season, is the first UMass alum to serve as the head coach of his alma mater since Tom McLaughlin, who coached the Minutemen from 1981-83. Kellogg graduated from UMass in 1995 where he was an All-Atlantic 10 selection in 1995. McLaughlin graduated from UMass in 1973 where he was one of three future head coaches on the team. He was joined by former Boston College head coach Al Skinner and current Louisville coach Rick Pitino.
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
Former UMass star basketball player Gary Forbes made the opening day roster of the Denver Nuggets and drew his first NBA start on Nov. 3 vs. Dallas, where he guarded All-Star Dirk Nowitzki. He scored a pro-best 19 points vs. his hometown New York Knicks on Nov. 16 to go along with a career-high nine rebounds. The 2008 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year became the seventh UMass player to play in the NBA joining current Portland Trailblazer Marcus Camby in the league.
Forbes averaged 10.1 ppg in the preseason to earn a spot with the Nuggets. In 44 games this season (through Feb. 3), he is averaging 4.9 points and 1.6 rebounds.
"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
Looking for all the latest news on the Minutemen and Coach Kellogg? There are several ways to keep tabs on all of the updates on the squad.
Your first and Number 1 source is UMassAthletics.com. The official website of the UMass teams features news, stats, profiles, videos, photos, auctions, live audio, live video and so much more. Visit every day when you get home for a complete recap story, box score, video highlights, photo gallery and postgame press conference from every game.
Our daily blog "Just Take A Minute" has all the latest news from the media along with special information. Its updated several times each day.
Follow the teams and Coach Kellogg on Twitter. Get the news instantly for all Minuteman and Minutewoman teams by following @UMassAthletics. For the latest on the basketball team and Coach, follow him at @CoachKellogg.
The UMass Facebook page is very active, become a fan today at Facebook.com/UMassAthletics. You can also follow Coach Kellogg on his Facebook.com/CoachKellogg account.
Also, UMass has a very comprehensive YouTube page with video highlights, features, interviews and press conferences. Visit today at YouTube.com/UMassAthletics.
34-Point Swing In Win Over Rider
UMass rallied for its largest comeback since the 2008 NIT Quarterfinals vs. Syracuse when the Minutemen also rallied from down 22 points in the second half. UMass was down by 22 with 16:24 left in the second half (46-24) and rallied to win by 10. The game included a 34-point swing in a 15-minute span as the Minutemen led by 12 75-63 with just over a minute left. The last time UMass rallied from as large a margin was on March 28, 2008 in the NIT Quarterfinals as the Minutemen came back from a 54-32 with 14:37 left in the second half to post an 81-77 victory on the way to the NIT Finals.
KELLOGG'S MISSION 1000
UMass head coach Derek Kellogg has made it his personal mission to get more interest in the UMass basketball program. Along with the athletic department, MISSION 1000 was launched in September to garner more attention. Close to a dozen events have been held throughout the state of Massachusetts to spread the word of UMass basketball with an emphasis of being more involved in the community.
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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