UMass Heads To La Salle, Eyeing 3rd Win In Row
UMass Heads To La Salle, Eyeing Third Win In Row
• 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 seventh place with Dayton and St. Bonaventure at 7-6 in league play. The Minutemen would hold the tiebreaker on both teams having beaten then in their matchups in 2011. As of today, UMass would host La Salle 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).
• UMass hosts its regular-season home finale as Senior Night on Wednesday at the Mullins Center. No. 24 Temple comes to Amherst for the renewal of the team's hotly-contested rivalry. The final regular-season tilt will be played at Fordham next Saturday, March 5. The A-10 standings will be set on March 5 and a television schedule will be unveiled following. Three of the four first-round A-10 games will be televised nationally on CBS College Sports in the time slots of 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
• At 15-11 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 win over Saint Joseph's (2/23) secured a winning regular-season. The seven A-10 wins also equal the most under coach Derek Kellogg.
• The game can be heard on the UMass Sports Network on 100.9 FM WRNX in Western Mass. "Voice of the Minutemen" Josh Maurer will call the action with Tim Kenney. Live streaming video, audio and Gametracker will be available on UMassAthletics.com.
Solid Play In The A-10
• UMass has limited its opponents just 37.7 from the floor in A-10 play. That includes holding foes to less than 40 percent on field goals in all seven wins with dominating defense vs. Dayton (28.6 percent), at Charlotte (32.1), at St. Bonaventure (35.6) vs. Rhode Island, twice (37.0 and 29.3) and vs. Saint Joseph's (30.8).
• Similarly, the defense on 3-point field goal percentage has been stellar. Foes are just 29.6 from beyond the arc. That includes all seven losing opponents shooting below 32 percent this season. In the last two games, UMass' opponents are 5-of-45 (11.1) percent. The Rhode Island Rams were just 1-of-19 (5.3 percent) on Feb. 19. That was followed by Saint Joseph's missing its first 12 3-pointers of the game, so over two games, UMass' opponents were 1-of-31 (3.2 percent).
• Anthony Gurley has led UMass in scoring in nine of 13 Atlantic 10 games with a 17.4 average. Overall, he has led UMass in scoring in 21 of 26 games with an 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).
• 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 had more than two players in double-figures in three of its seven 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
• 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 La Salle
• Before this recent four-game skid, UMass won three games in a row in the series. That included two games in impressive fashion in 2007 and 2008 at the Mullins Center. UMass won those games by an average score of 101-63, a 38-point margin. On 2008's Senior Night, UMass pounded La Salle, 100-63 on March 5, 2008. That came a year after a 102-63 thumping on Feb. 28, 2007 at the Mullins Center.
• UMass' three-game win streak followed a run where La Salle won five of six from 2003 to 2006. UMass won six in a row from 1991-98.
• All-time UMass is 7-3 in Amherst and 5-5 at La Salle. The first meeting was an 82-75 win for La Salle on Dec. 30, 1971 in Philadelphia.
• UMass coach Derek Kellogg coached against La Salle for the first time in 2009 and is 1-4. La Salle joined the Atlantic 10 in 1994-95, Kellogg's senior season and the Minutemen beat the Explorers, 87-64 in Atlantic City. That was a homecoming for AC native Lou Roe. La Salle coach John Giannini stands 7-7 against UMass (7-5 since moving to La Salle, as he lost twice at Maine).
Earlier This Year Vs. La Salle:
• Jerrell Williams led La Salle with 20 points, while Aaric Murray added 12.
• Ahead by three, 74-71, UMass' Farrell made a key block with 32 seconds left on a Ruben Guillandeaux layup attempt after intercepting a UMass pass in the backcourt. After another Minutemen turnover in the backcourt with 26 seconds left, UMass retained possession when Guillandeaux stepped out of bounds after making the steal.
Last This Year At La Salle:
• La Salle led throughout the second half, but UMass cut the deficit to four on a Harris 3-ball with just under eight minutes to go. La Salle however, was able to hold off the Minutemen, with Green hitting key free throws down the stretch.
• UMass attempted a school record 39 3-pointers, making 13 from beyond the arc (33.3 percent) and shot 41 percent overall. The Explorers shot 50 percent from the field and were 5-for-14 from 3-point range. La Salle scored 28 points at the free throw stripe, led by Green going 13-for-16.
• Besides his 31 points and eight 3-pointers, Harris finished with eight rebounds, five assists.
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 1,262 points at UMass and 1,461 in his college career with 199 coming at Wake Forest. He stands 17th all-time in points, next on the list is No. 16 Billy Tindall (1,277). 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 18.9 points per game and probably a minimum of four 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 73 times in his career and has reached 20 points 22 times, 12 times this year, the last with 22 vs. Saint Joseph's (2/23).
• 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 is eighth in career 3-pointers made list at UMass with 144 (on 414 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 8.7 points and 4.2 rebounds in 24 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
• 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
Call On Correia For Assists
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," former 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
• 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.
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