March 7, 2009
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With seeding for the Atlantic 10 Tournament up for grabs, UMass closes its regular-season at Rhode Island on Saturday at 2 p.m. The game will be televised live on COX Sports in Rhode Island and Connecticut with streaming video available on UMassAthletics.com. The Minutemen, who are 6-9 in the Atlantic 10, can move to the 10th seed with a win at Rhode Island. UMass would be on the only league team with a 7-9 record. The 10 seed plays the 7 seed in the 6:30 game of the first round on Wednesday, March 11. If UMass falls at URI, the Minutemen will be the 11th seed as they would be 6-10 and would play the 9 p.m. game on Wednesday. UMass would lose a tiebreaker with either Charlotte or St. Bonaventure, who play each other on Saturday. Either the 49ers or Bonnies would finish 6-10 with a win. Rhode Island will finish second regardless of what happens today. Have any questions for the blog? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
OH MY GOD! Chris Lowe swooping and spinning coast to coast. Gets the layup and the UMass Minutemen win 72-71, perhaps spoiling URI's chances of getting into the NCAA tournament. Matt Glass set an unbelievable screen to free him. NO ONE in the Ryan Center can believe it! That's it from me! I'm so excited, I'll be buzzing all the way home. Final score, one more time, 72-71 Minutemen leave the Rams from Rhode Island wondering what just happened. Be sure to check out UMassAthletics.com for the game recap, notes, box score, and more! The Minutemen travel to Atlantic City as the number 10 seed in the tournament.
Jones hits the second free throw. UMass calls another timeout to set up a play. There is still 6.5 seconds on the clock. This is college basketball baby! Awesome with a capital A! (Is that trademarked by Dickie V?)
Bonner has fouled out of the game. His last regular season game. There is 6.5 seconds left on the clock and Jones makes the front end of a one-and-one. UMass needs a timeout and we are all tied at 70.
My stomach is in knots, DK's hair is in shambles. There is a two second difference between the shot and game clocks. We are up one and URI called a timeout to set up a play. 17 seconds left.
Baron doing what he does best with a three, Lowe answering with a spin move in the lane. We're tied at 69. Bonner gets fouled, which the crowd is not pleased with, and will go to the line for two. URI needs a timeout and there is only 37 seconds left on the clock. Bonner makes one of two.
We finally get a five second count and C-Lowe turns it into two made free throws on the other end. Minutemen take the lead, 67-66. This one is coming down to the wire.
Finally the Minutemen get a call. The fouls are 7-4 in favor of URI but it feels worse than that. Official timeout and we have 2:06 left to play.
After a LOT of hustle, rebounding, three back-to-back possessions, and a stat person's nightmare the Minutemen can't connect but Baron does with a three to put URI ahead, 66-64. DK needs a timeout. This place reached a whole different level of noise.
The crowd is going nuts again but Tony Gaffney silences them with a basket. The Minutemen lead 64-61. A pretty backdoor dunk and a turnover by C-Lowe and no one in the Ryan Center is sitting. UMass still up one, 64-63.
With that last three, Baron becomes the Atlantic 10 all-time leader in three-pointers made with 343.
Jimmy Baron hits a three, sending the crowd into overdrive. That is only URI's second three in 17 attempts. Baron is 2-9 from beyond the arc.
DK wanted a timeout, but Chris Lowe gets called for the travel. No one on the bench is happy, but UMass stands tall on defense, C-Lowe hits a three and then some great defense by David Gibbs causes another turnover. The Minutemen are playing with passion I haven't seen a lot this season.
The URI student shoot around is going on right now. You win by hitting a layup, foul shot and three pointer, similar to UMass. Except instead of winning pizza, an oil change, and two nights stay, you win a free year of Cox Cable. Hmm.. pizza or TV...
Glass picks up his second foul. He has been quiet in the second half on the scoring end, but continues to dominate defensively.
Suspect call by the officials. The UMass bench wanted a five second call, but C-Lowe gets called for the foul. The teams exchange baskets then Baron hits a shot and the Minutemen are up 57-56. Coach DK is still unhappy with that call.
Last half of the second half, URI has climbed back to down two, 54-52. Senior Tony Gaffney answers with a strong move to the basket, getting fouled. He makes one of two and Matt Glass checks back into the lineup.
As promised, TEN big blog points and a shoutout to Rachel Perreault for sending the correct "Fight Mass" song. Here it is if you are interested:
Every great university has a great fight song - a song that generations of students immediately connect to college life, a song that gets stuck in your head whether you go to one football game or every sporting event. Our song is "Fight Mass," and it's been jazzing-up crowds for more than seventy years. The legendary band director, Captain Edwin Sumner, wrote the march in the Spring of 1930 and the current marching band brings it alive at events all over campus. If you want to get ahead of the game, start learning the words now.
"Fight Mass" Fight Song
3:25 p.m. Luke Bonner
Fight, fight Massachusetts,
Fight, fight every play,
Fight, fight for a touchdown,
Fight all your might today.
Fight down the field Massachusetts,
The stars and the stripes will gleam,
Fight, Fight for old Bay State,
Fight for the team, team, team.
takes his 27th charge of the season, silencing the crowd. What a momentum changer.
Matt Glass RIPS the ball down on a rebound and GC connects on the other side, making this a six-point contest, 52-46. The bench has really stepped up this game, scoring 27 of the team's 54 points.
Tony Gaffney with the steal and then picking up Gurley's trash on the other end for two points. He steals it again, but turns it over on the break and Jimmy Baron makes him pay with a three. The Minutemen lead, 49-46.
Tony Gaffney with a BIG block and then Luke Bonner swats it too, but is called for the fall. At the under 16:00 timeout, UMass is up, 47-42. URI is trying to get fans to vote Jimmy Baron for the Lowe's Senior CLASS award. UMass lacrosse attack Tim Balise is also nominated for that award. We'll let you know when it's your turn to vote.
How about UMass' defense today?! The Minutemen are in everyone's face, causing tips and turnovers and generally being pains in URI's you-know-whats.
The fans wanted a travel, but Chris Lowe flies to the basket and grabs a bucket, getting slapped in the face in the process. UMass leads, 45-38 but Jimmy Baron answers with two points of his own and the Minutemen are up 5.
Back for the start of the second half and it is Rhody ball. The fans are back as well, starting a U-R-I chant, but UMass defense is too much and David Gibbs gets a steal and a dunk, his second of the season.
Baron hits a shot and GC goes coast to coast but can't connect and the teams will go into the locker room for halftime. The score is UMass 41, Rhode Island 37. Some stats and notes... The leader for the Minutemen is Matt Glass, by far. He has 13 points in 5-for-5 shooting, one block, one steal and is just playing an all-around great game-hustling, diving on the floor and even dunking the ball. For the Rams, Lamonte Ulmer has ten points and four rebounds.
Matt Glass FOR THREE! He is just one point shy of his career high. Whatever he ate this morning he should definitely bring some to Atlantic City.
Chris Lowe with a bucket and the Minutemen are up by three, 38-35. The crowd has thought of a nickname for Luke Bonner by taking out on letter in his last name. I'll let you figure it out.
GC playing well in his home state! 3-3 with nine points in seven minutes. UMass up, 36-33.
At the last media timeout of the first half, a UMass lacrosse update. The Minutemen upset the #11 Harvard, 7-3. Goalkeeper Doc Schneider had 14 saves in the victory.
Also, a random media relations story.. Last night I rode down with Jason Yellin, Dave Gunn, Josh Maurer, and Tim Collins. We played name that artist for almost the entire ride. For those of you who read my Fordham blog, you know that Maurer kills in this game and did last night. We'll definitely play on the ride back, but standings at the moment: Maurer 22, Miller 12, Yellin 11, Collins 10, Gunn 9. The country songs saved Gunn while Lady Gaga helped me rack up most of my points. No one could touch The Voice though.
The Rams took the lead, 33-31 but Ricky Harris ties it up with a gorgeous back door cut and a Paul Pierce-like up and around the basket layup.
Now the fans have started to yell "Kelllloggg." Original. Massachusetts foul on Anthony Gurley and URI is in the bonus.
Chris Lowe almost jumps over the media table on to my lap, but DK saves my life and grabs him. Nice hustle by the senior.
Jimmy Baron kisses the glass and Cothran runs a pretty fast break and we are all tied up at 26.
C-Lowe drives hard to the basket, drawing the foul and bringing us to our under 8:00 media timeout. He makes both, putting UMass up 26-22
Anthony Gurley with a missed three and Glass comes out of nowhere, drawing a foul on Will Martell. Matt ate his Wheaties this morning.
GC gets called for the foul on a screen. Jimmy Baron misses a three and Matt Glass answers AGAIN. Ten points for the Vermont native. UMass is up 24-16 and the crowd is momentarily quiet.
Ricky Harris with a three from Narragansett. URI comes down the other way and Gibbs picks up a foul that could have gone either way. Minutemen up 21-14 with 10:39 left in the first.
Tony Gaffney is all over the floor, reminding me of his game against Memphis. At the second media timeout, the Minutemen are up 18-14. URI's new football coach Joe Trainer is leading them in the fight song right now. Does anyone know our fight song? It's like.. Fight, fight for Massachusetts... hmmm hmm.. I'm obviously singing out loud at the moment. Ten blog points and a shoutout in the blog to the first person to email the Massachuetts fight song to email@example.com
Matt Glass with a GREAT back door cut and a SLAM DUNK. Where did that come from?! First dunk... Ever. I think even in practice. Seven points already, his career high is 14
Long three by Jones is no good but GC answers with a three. Minutemen up 12-6.
Jimmy Baron tries for a three and misses. He hasn't made a bucket all game, 0-4. Matt Glass answers by making a three and the Minutemen are up 9-6. The Rams came out hot, making two buckets early, but have been quiet as of late.
Quick scoring update. Lax up 6-3 in the third quarter.
Has anyone seen the Geico commercial where its a pile of money making a sandwich? Four URI students walked in wearing pom poms as an outfit and they looked exactly like that little monster. They must have been collecting pom poms all year.
All tied up after two free throws by Ricky Harris. Lynch and Gurley have also come into the lineup. I think DK is trying to keep fresh legs because both teams are running up and down the floor.
HUGE dunk by Seawright. The Rams are up 6-4. Luke also picked up his first foul on a scramble under the URI basket. Gary Correia and Matt Glass have checked into the UMass lineup. If DK thought his voice was coming back, he is definitely losing it again today.
Chris Lowe drives to the basket, AND ONE. It is hard to hear anything in here, so C-Lowe is explaining the defensive sets before he shoots the free throw.
Rams came out hard, scoring four quick points but seniors Francis and Baron. UMass answered with a bucket by C-Lowe. Both teams are pressing, the crowd is going crazy. This is going to be a fun game.
Finally we tip and UMass wins. Gaffney takes a shot, has it blocked and picks up a first quick foul. Tough call as he was trying to get away. He also came up limping but seems to be okay.
Celebrity UMass siting... Graduating quarterback Liam Coen is here today to support the Minutemen. He is also a R.I. native, but is currently residing in Lancaster, Pa., training to play after college. Keep a lookout, he could be the next Joe Flacco.
We're taking a very multicultural approach today at the Ryan Center... They just played the Jamaican national anthem! Starting lineups.. The fans here are keying on TG and LUKKE. UMass does have a small, but loud, contingent of strong supporters behind our bench.
The senior ceremony is over. The Minutemen missed it because they are in the locker room talking game strategy. They just ran onto the court to an outstanding "BOOOO" from the URI students. Almost everyone is wearing white. Of those that aren't, quite a few have their entire body painted. I saw more beer bellies with U, R, or I on them than I care to.
Starting lineups for today...
For the Minutemen:
#2 David Gibbs, guard
#5 Ricky Harris, guard
#14 Chris Lowe, guard
#24 Tony Gaffney, forward
#31 Luke Bonner, forward
This is the second start in a row for Gibbs after not starting all season. Coach DK said at the last press conference that he is going with a more fast-paced, up-tempo style of play going into the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
And for the Rams:
#5 Marquis Jones, guard
#15 Lamonte Ulmer, forward
#20 Jimmy Baron, guard
#33 Kahiem Seawright, forward
#54 Jason Francis, center
Coach Baron is starting his seniors today. They are being honored at the moment and you would think URI just won the National Championship the way this crowd is reacting.
The Minutemen are warming up on the court and the Rams are up on the video board, about to run on the court. They do and the crowd is CRAZY.
The men's lacrosse team is already up 4-1 against #11 Harvard in the second quarter. This would be a huge win for the #17 Minutemen, looking to build on their impressive 18-6 win over Yale on Saturday. These teams may have a higher cumulative GPA, but they can't touch Jim Connolly and the rest of the Minutemen laxers.
The Ryan Center is filling up fast. It is already VERY loud in here, and I can only imagine what it will be like once all the students file in. This is going to be a hostile game. Fans behind me have already begun yelling at Tony Gaffney and Chris Lowe.
The Ryan Center has a random Jamaican flag hanging behind section 101. Color broadcaster Tim Collins believes the flag was hung for forward Jason Francis, the big man from Old Harbour, Jamaica. Random.
Quick shout out to my family here today. Hi Mom and Dad! My aunt and uncle also have season tickets, so I'm sure they are wandering around somewhere. Also, a ton of previous UMass alum/employees now work for URI, most notable Athletic Director Thorr Bjorn, who played football for UMass from 1987-90.
Did you know Rhode Island is the smallest state with the largest name? The official title of the Ocean State is Rhode Island and Providence PLantations. Great trivia knowledge.
Both teams have made their way to the court. The first Minuteman was Tony Gaffney, followed shortly by Ricky Harris. Today is White Wash Day at the Ryan Center and numerous students have already arrived donning white Rams t-shirts. Did you know the term "White Out" is trademarked by the Phoenix Coyotes so marketing departments have to come up with new terms when giving out free white t-shirts.
Hey UMass fans!! Alli Miller here sitting in Derek Kellogg's seat on the bench at the Ryan Center bringing you notes, stats, and quirky events in today's game pitting the Rhode Island Rams against your UMass Minutemen. This is the second time this season UMass has faced the Rams, the 131st time overall. This game represents the most storied rivalry in UMass basketball history. As a Rhode Island native, I'll have some interesting facts about the tiniest state in the Union. Don't worry about where my loyalties lie... Rhode Island is where I rest my head, but UMass has my heart.