Men's Basketball

LIVE HOOPS BLOG: UMass Vs. Saint Joseph's At The Palestra

Tony Gaffney need two steals for 50 on the season to go along with his 100 blocks.

Tony Gaffney need two steals for 50 on the season to go along with his 100 blocks.

Feb. 22, 2009

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  • PODCAST: Bud Light UMass Basketball Show - 2/19
    Welcome to today's live blog from the one and only Palestra, one of college basketball's most sacred buildings. Today UMass looks to down the homestanding Hawks, who have lost three games in a row. UMass comes into the game with a 9-15, 4-7 in the A-10 and St. Joe's is 14-11 overall, 7-4 in the league. Jason Yellin from UMass media relations brings the live blog to you from courtside.

    4:02 p.m.
    Wow, what an ending. Great win by the Minutemen! Chris Lowe comes up big with those 2 FTs and then a final desperation pass was knocked away. The Minutemen hand Saint Joseph's its fourth straight loss. It's great to see UMass come out with such a hard-fought and well deserved victory.

    Be sure to check out for a complete recap, box score, notes, and more! Until Wednesday vs. Duquesne, have a great rest of your Sunday. If you are traveling be sure to be extra careful with this winter weather on our doorstep. GO UMASS!

    3:58 p.m.
    It must be great to have the speed of Chris Lowe! He took a pass from Tony Gaffney and went coast-to-coast and was fouled. He hit the first so we are tied once again. Saint Joe's calls timeout, so Lowe has one free throw to give UMass the lead (and likely the game). Only two seconds remaining.



    3:56 p.m.
    Is this really happening? After Saint Joe's hits both FTs, Ahmad Nivans makes the steal and nets Tasheed Carr up for two. UMass hanging on, barely. Only six seconds to go so even if he makes both, there will be time.

    3:53 p.m.
    HUGE turn of events right there. Everyone here thought Luke Bonner fouled Ahmad Nivans, but the refs thought he just lost his footing. Instead, Bonner got the steal, was fouled, and hit both FTs on the other end. UMass up by three with 17 seconds to go.

    3:51 p.m.
    HUGE 3-pointer by LUKEEEE Bonner to give UMass its first lead of the second half (66-65). How about 3-point shooting today. Saint Joe's still has NONE! Let's hope that stands. Under a minute to go in the game.

    3:47 p.m.
    Idris Hilliard misses a two free throws and Gaffney corrals his ninth rebound looking for that double-double. UMass has the ball and Chris Lowe lays it in to tie it 63-63. 2:11 left.

    3:46 p.m.
    As UMass gets up from the timeout, Chris Lowe takes an extra long time to stand, he gets as much energy ready for the end of this barnburner.

    3:42 p.m.
    Under four minute timeout, UMass down 63-61 with 3:34 left. SJU just missed a 3FG, they are without a trifecta all game, 0-6.

    3:40 p.m.
    Attendance today is 6,522.

    Tony Gaffney on a reverse lay-up and UMass trails 63-61 as Martelli calls his third TO, two left. UMass has three left. 4:09 remaining.

    3:38 p.m.
    Harris cans a trey but Tasheed Carr follows with a tip and SJU is up 61-59 with 5:00 left ... when trailing with 5:00 left in games, UMass is 0-9 this season, maybe this will change that run today.

    Nivins hits a jumper in the paint and UMass is down four 63-59 with 4:36 ... Kellogg calls timeout!

    3:36 p.m.
    Ricky Harris, who has been quiet all game with just seven points, is fouled hard by Garrett Williamson, his fourth foul, and Harris makes both foul shots to tie the game at 57-57 with 6:41 left. Up to nine for Ricky, who has 10 or more in all but two games this season.

    3:33 p.m.
    Yet another game UMass seems to be going down to the wire. The Minutemen have struggled all seasons in the close ones. In games decided by six points or less, the Minutemen are 2-7. In games decided 8 points or less, UMass is 2-10.

    7:42 left, SJU leads, 55-53.

    3:31 p.m.
    Chris Lowe at the line, makes 2 of 2 and UMass back to within, two at 55-53. UMass putting all out defensive pressure with a press, but SJU breaks up.

    3:29 p.m.
    It was a steal, I saw it with my own eyes right in front of me, but the refs called it a foul on Chris Lowe and he goes to the bench. Darrin Govens scores a deuce and SJU retakes the lead, 53-51 with 8:37 left.

    3:22 p.m.
    11:58 left, UMass trails 51-45 with the ball... In the A-10, Temple leads St. Bona 48-33; Duquesne leads La Salle, 55-51 and Xavier has BEATEN GW, 71-53...

    Look like UMass softball has held on for the 1-0 win over No. 3 Arizona State. Balschmiter gave up two hits and escaped a bases loaded top of the seventh with no runs allowed for the win.

    3:18 p.m.
    Darrein Govens hits a jumper and SJU has its biggest lead at eight, 48-40. Just as that happens UMass scores five quick points on a Matt Glass 3FG and a lay-up by Tony Gaffney to cut it to 48-45 with 12:33 left. Phil Martelli calls Timeout!

    Gaffney has 11 points, his 14th double-figure game this season and 18th of his career.

    3:15 p.m.
    SJU has come out hot shooting in the second half, making 4 of their first 6 shots. This has been a UMass buga-boo recently where teams have hit hot streaks to open the second half. At St. Bonnies last weekend, SBU made 14 of their first 15 shots to begin the second half.

    UMass trails 46-40, 13:40 left.

    3:12 p.m.
    Funny contest here at The Palestra as Dunkin Donuts sponsors a cup race where contestants dress up in coffee cups and race down and try to make a lay-up. Pretty cute.

    3:10 p.m.
    SJU leads 44-38 at the under 16 media TO.

    In California, UMass softball holds a 1-0 lead on No. 3 Arizona State, the defending NCAA Champion, in the top of the seventh inning and UMass' Brandice Balschmiter has a NO-HITTER GOING!! Stay tuned.

    3:05 p.m.
    Second half underway at The Palestra. UMass trails 40-38 after Harris scored the first basket of the half.

    The UMass women's hoop team knocked off URI, 58-52 at home.

    3:00 p.m.
    If you were listeing on the radio, you heard a wonderful interview with former UMass head coach Brusier Flint, who leads Drexel now.

    By the way, Drexel is just blocks away from the Penn campus, where we are here at The Palestra.

    2:48 p.m.BR> Its halftime 36-36 ... UMass is 1-1 when tied at halftime so its 50-50 to win!

    Some quick stats, seven players on UMass have scored - Tony Gaffney and Anthony Gurley lead the way with seven points. Tony Gaffney has three rebounds as does Matt Glass.

    Ahmad Nivins leads all players with 10 points and five rebounds.

    FG Pct: UMass 60 (15-25), SJU 50 (15-30)
    Rebounds: UMass 13, SJU 14
    Turnovers: UMass 5, SJU 2

    Very clean game for the most part!

    2:44 p.m.
    SJU regains the lead on a 3-point play by Nivins with a foul on Gaffney, his second and Matt Glass replaces him.

    UMass will finally shoot a free throw with 39 seconds left as Chris Lowe goes to the line and makes 1-of-2. We are tied at 36-36. The Hawks had nine attempts in the first half, making 6-of-9.

    2:41 p.m.
    UMass uses its use-it-or-lose it timeout with 1:43 left. The Minutemen continue to lead 35-33 and have the ball. This game has the same feel as so many games this season, the Minutemen lead most of the first half ... and we shall see what happens, as fans know how the second half has been of late.

    2:37 p.m.
    If you are in Philly today, take your pick of A-10 games: Duquesne leads La Salle 29-27, Temple leads St,. Bonnies, 25-18 and over in Cincinnati, Xavier is pounding GW, 47-30.

    Speaking of Duquesne and St. Bonaventure, both of them along with UMass were all at the same Marriott Hotel in downtown Center City Philly last night. Also at the hotel was the Louisville women's team where Luke Bonner met up with his sister Becky Bonner, who is on the staff with the Cardinals.

    The Bonner parents made the trip to Philly to see two of their three children and will follow that a trip to San Antonio to see big brother Matt on Monday.

    2:35 p.m.
    UMass usually goes as Chris Lowe goes and the Minutemen continue to lead 31-27 with just under 4:00 left. Lowe has five assists and ZERO turnovers. This comes on the heels of his nine-turnover performance against Rhode Island the other night.

    2:33 p.m.
    Another offensive foul on Luke Bonner, UGH! Tyrell Lynch comes into replace him. Bonner has two fouls and coach Derek Kellogg is irrate about the team fouls which stand at 6-2 on UMass. Minutemen up 28-27, 4:49 left.

    2:30 p.m.
    Several NBA scouts in the house to watch Nivins and Gaffney. On cue, Nivins with a nice reverse lay-up. Scouts are from the Dallas Mavericks, Portand Trailblazers and Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Ricky Harris finally hits a 3FG, his first points of the game! UMass up 28-25, 6:40 left.

    2:28 p.m.
    7:11 left in the first half and UMass leads 25-23. Brusier Flint hs arrived to watch the game. He is sitting behind the St. Joe's bench -- remember his alma mater is St. Joe's! But he is here to meet up with his old player Derek Kelllogg and see the team he was head man of in the late 90s into the 2000s.

    2:24 p.m.
    UMass continues to lead by as many as seven (21-14) and now 23-19. Gaffney with a putback for the Minutemen's latest basket. UMass is trying to go with a big lineup with Luke Bonner, Tyrell Lynch and Matt Glass but Ahmad Nivins answers with a long jumper and its 23-21.

    2:21 p.m.
    UMass hoops looking good early here ... the women are playing on national TV against Rhode Island in CBS College Sports. The Minutewomen lead 38-32. In softball, No. 15 UMass lost to Oklahoma, 5-3 this morning and are 0-0 in the third inning with Arizona State, the defending national champions!

    2:18 p.m.
    Crisp passing by UMass early on including two by Lowe, two by Harris and a nifty pass by Tyrell Lynch to Anthony Gurley for a pretty lay-up. UMass leads 19-14 after five straight points by David Gibbs.

    2:15 p.m.
    Technical issues from here at the 1927-built Palestra ... but we are back. UMass is up 12-11 with 14:08 left ... While we were away Chris Lowe set the UMass career assists record moving past Carl Smith (633) 1:48 into the game as he dished the ball for a Matt Glass 3FG to give UMass a 5-2 lead.

    2:05 p.m.
    The National Anthem just finished and the band is pounding the big drum cheering on the Hawks. Of course the Hawk Will Never Die and the mascot is flapping its wings.

    The lights are exceptionally bright and the light coming in from outside makes it very light in here.

    SJU wins the tap.

    1:57 p.m.
    There look to be about 5,000 or so in the house in the 8,722-seat facility. Lots of UMass fans have made the trip. Ricky Harris has a fan club of about 25 fans who made the 90 minute trip up from Baltimore. Former UMass Associate AD Bill Strickland, who now lives in Philly is also here. The entire Gaffney clan came down from Boston.

    Media wise UMass has Matt Vautour from the Gazette, Ron Chimelis from the Republican and Eli Rosenswaike from the Daily Collegian covering the game.

    1:50 p.m.
    The starters are the scorebook, my official scorebook, I might add.

    The same line-up as last game:
    At guard #5 Ricky Harris - scored 20 points at St. Joe's last year
    At guard #14 Chris Lowe - needs one assist to become UMass' career leader
    At forward #24 Tony Gaffney - needs two steals for 50 on the season
    At forward #33 Matt Glass - UMass is 4-2 in his starts
    At center #31 Luke Bonner - has made a 3FG in 10 games in a row

    St. Joe's
    Same line-up for 25th time in 26 games
    At guard #0 Tasheed Carr - A-10 Co-Player of Week two weeks ago
    At guard #13 Darrin Govens - Scored 10-plus points in all but three games
    At guard #15 Garrett Williamson - Leads SJU in assists, 4.5 per game
    At forward #32 Idris Hilliard - Had career high vs. La Salle two games ago
    At forward #34 Ahmad Nivins - Has A-10 best 17 double-doubles

    1:30 p.m.
    20 minutes to tip-off and the UMass Sports Network is on the air. Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney bring you all the action. This is a very special game for Maurer as he is a native of Philadelphia and grew up going to Big 5 games here in the Palestra.

    It is a tough day as Maurer is sick and his voice is not up to par, but he is gutting it out. He sounds a little like Celtics' great Johnny Most.

    1:10 p.m.
    The fans are starting to file into this grand old building nestled away in Philly. The Minutemen are on the court warming up. Ricky Harris sporting a semi-mohawk while Chris Lowe has a fresh cut.

    Looking around the stands here at The Palestra several UMass supporters are in the house. Dan Leberfeld, Class of 1989 who is the publisher of New York Jets Confidential has made his way down from NYC. Boosters Ken Hintlian and Ed Ward are also seated behind the UMass bench.

    Nicole Kellogg and son Max are on hand to cheer on Derek and his Minutemen.

    We are hearing that Brusier Flint, the former UMass head coach and current leader at Drexel will be in attendance as well.

    1:00 p.m.
    We are an hour from tip-off here at The Palestra. The lights are shining down just like an outdoor stadium, which makes it special in here. The players are really the stars of the show and what a show it will be. The Palestra was built in 1927 and has been home to Big 5 Basketball as well as the Penn Quakers for close to a century.


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