Men's Basketball

LIVE BLOG: UMass Opens Basketball Season In 2K Sports Classic

Nov. 11, 2008

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    CARBONDALE, Ill. - The men's basketball regular-season is here. Follow the Minutemen all season long with Live Blogs from each game. Tonight, UMass opens the season against Arkansas-Monticello in the Carbondale Regional of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches Vs. Cancer. Check out Tony Gaffney as he gets off the bus with the Minutemen's new uniforms featuring the 100 Seasons Of UMass Basketball commemorative patches.

    This Jason Yellin live from Carbondale providing updates throughout the night of what you won't here on the radio. Speaking of radio, be sure to tune into the UMass Sports Network through the varoius outlets: Here on, or via 100.9 FM WRNX in Western Massachusetts, 830 AM WCRN in Worcester and Boston and 95.9 FM WATD in Marshfield and Eastern Massachusetts. Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney call all the action.

    8:05 p.m. ET
    Back for one final time with some final stats. Tony Gaffney finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds (also 2 blocks and a steal) for his first-career double-double. Chris Lowe also impressed with 18 points and 11 assists while Ricky Harris scored 22 points.



    The Minutemen finished 31-67 from the floor (46%), and 12-27 from three-point range (44%). Arkansas-Monticiello was 26-65 from the floor (40%) and 5-18 from behind the arc (28%).

    Final rebounds were all even at 41-41, including 19 offensive boards for Arkansas-Monticiello and 18 for UMass.

    As game two of the doubleheader (Southern Illinois/California (Pa.) is getting nearer, we sign off from Carbondale. Remember, the Minutemen will play in the regional finals tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET with a trip to Madison Square Garden on the line. Until then, have a great night and be sure to check back to for the postgame story from this big opening-day win, and to find out who the field hockey team will face in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

    7:47 p.m. ET
    The Minutemen win going away by a 90-71 final. Congrats to Head Coach Derek Kellogg on the win in his first game as head coach. Some final statistics to come...

    7:45 p.m. ET
    Travon Wilcher (Springfield Central H.S.) makes his collegiate debut, as he enters to the game with one minute remaining and scores within seconds, banking it in.

    7:41 p.m. ET
    Alley-oop to Gaffney gives UMass its largest lead 83-64 ... Lynch with a pretty pass his second helper of the night. 3:00 left in regulation.

    7:37 p.m. ET
    Harris up to 22 points, Lowe at 16 points, UMass leads 81-64, the 17-point margin equals the largest of the game.

    7:31 p.m. ET
    UMass up to 11 made 3-pointers also looking for the team record of 15 set twice including last year vs. Green Bay (11/17/07) Other time was vs. Temple in 1997 ... UMass leads 73-60 with 7:10 left at the media timeout ... Harris still leads with 20 points ... Gaffney has 14 points and 12 rebounds... Lowe 12 points and 11 assists. Double-doubles for both, Gaffney the first of his career and Lowe his fourth ... Lowe's seventh game with 10 or more assists.

    7:27 p.m. ET
    Gibbs hits his career basket, a 3-pointer ... Bonner fourth foul to the bench and Hill in his place ... Gurley hits trey off Lowe assist (No. 10) UMass up 73-56 8:40 left.

    7:22 p.m. ET
    New rule that is in place this year just occured on a jumpball, the shotclock was under 15 seconds at 11, so its reset to 15 seconds.

    Gaffney is closing in on a double-double with 14 points and 9 rebounds ... impressive block by Gibbs on defense when UAM had a fast break ... WOW just got hit with the basketball on a bad pass by UMass ... That's me, I got hit, but A-OK!

    UMass up 67-56 with 10:00 in the second.

    7:20 p.m. ET
    The UMass bench is firey ... wanting defensive stops each time down the court ... Bonner is very vocal for his teammates ... Harris has five 3-pointers and 20 points ... his 19th career 20-point game. UMass leads 67-52 with 11:53 left in the second half.

    7:16 p.m. ET
    After the media timeout, still 61-46 ... Chris Lowe is eyeing the UMass single-game assist record of 15 done three times ... He has nine ... his high is 14 last year vs. La Salle when he had his triple-double ... 14:00 left

    7:10 p.m. ET
    UMass has built a 61-46 lead, largest of game at 15 points, Lowe has 8 assists .. HHarris cans back-to-back 3s ... UMass posts 10 straight fast break points ... UAM calls timeout ... this is what AASAA is supposed to be fast moving with 3s and fast breaks...

    7:03 p.m. ET
    Second half about to start, starters the same for both teams ... only dressed Minuteman not to play in the first half is Travon Wilcher ... Here we go ... crowd filling up maybe 1500 in stands ... they expect a crowd of 7,000 tonight.

    6:51 p.m. ET
    We have hit halftime, UMass leads 47-38 ... Stats to look at ... Shooting percentage: UMass 40.5, UAM 37.5 ... 3FGs: UMass 6-16, UAM 3-9 ... Rebounding UMass 28, UAM 20 (Gaffney 9) ... Scoring: Harris 11, Lowe 10 ... For UAM Raymond Wright has 17 (similar to the way David Seagers of Dowling torched UMass for 25 first-half points in the exhibition).

    If you can listen on the radio, check out the interview of UMass field hockey coach Justin Sowry after the team won its NCAA Play-In game 1-0 vs. Kent State today and will learn its NCAA Tournament site for Saturday at 8 p.m. tonight.

    6:45 p.m. ET
    Lowe's pretty driving, spinning lay-up makes the lead 42-33 ... UMass is on a 13-0 run as Gurley lays it in ... 1:09 left in the first. UAM is stunned.

    6:43 p.m. ET
    Gaffney monster dunk and FT gives UMass back a good lead at 37-33 ... 3:00 left.

    6:38 p.m. ET
    UAM takes their first lead since 2-0 as Seymour lays it in and UAM up 32-31 ... Bonner picks up his third foul ... media timeout ... 3:40 left in first ... Matt Glass has made his debut as UMass can use all the help it can with its foul situation ... Looking around, the stands are filling in, their is a lot of maroon, but its all SIU maroon ...

    STATS to look at UMass is 9-of-28 from the field, 5-of-13 from 3's ... they have made just 5 of their last 20 shots (25 percent) ... Gaffney has seven rebounds as UMass has the glass, 21-18.

    6:35 p.m. ET
    Beautiful driving lay-up and finish by Lynch as he;'s fouled and misses the FT ... makesit 31-22 UMass ... but UAM makes three straight baskets as UMass has gone stone cold ... UAM within one at 31-30 and forces Kellogg to call timeout ... 4:34 left in the first.

    6:33 p.m. ET
    Minutemen continue to be plagued by fouls ... Hill has two now as well ... Lynch back in with 6:16 left playing with two fouls ... UMass up 29-22.

    6:27 p.m. ET
    Hill has joined the 3-pointer parade with his first FG of the season ... UMass up 26-18... UAM's Raymond Wright dunks and draws a big rise out of his team's bench ... media timneout 7:55 left in the first ... UMass in foul trouble Lynch, Bonner both with a pair..

    6:22 p.m. ET
    Bonner's jumper in paint ends 5:30 without a FG for UMass ... Minutemen up 23-12 ... Bonner with 8 points ... Timeout called by UAM ... Matt Hill set to sub in for the first time, 10:00 left in the first.

    6:17 p.m. ET
    Media timeout with 11:47 left, UMass leads 19-10 ... Minutemen have missed their last five shots in a row, two from 3-point range ... UMass winning rebound battle 12-8 ... Bonner and Harris 6 points each.

    6:10 p.m. ET
    Correia just drew a 5-second call much to the happiness of the coaches ... UMass also forced a backcourt with great defense ... the Minutemen lead 17-8 ... Lynch has two fouls and take a seat with Bonner back in for him.

    6:08 p.m.ET
    At the first media timeout UMass leads 14-5. We are aware that the gametracker is not working ... SIU is working on it ... Gary Correia has come in for the first time ... UMass is 4-of-6 on 3s with Bonner 2-of-2.

    6:05 p.m. ET
    Luke Bonner hits the first basket of the season on a 3-point bomb from the new line on the left side. ... At 17:15 of the first half, UMass subs for the first time with David Gibbs and Tyrell Lynch in the game for Anthony Gurley and Luke Bonner. ... UMass has hit three 3s in the first four minutes and leads 11-2.

    6:00 p.m. ET
    UMass is starting its normal five from preseason: guards Chris Lowe, Anthony Gurley, Ricky Harris, forward Tony Gaffney and center Luke Bonner. Looks great to see Gurley finally making his UMass debut in maroon and white.

    5:53 p.m.ET
    We are ready to tip it off ... the Minutemen are on the court ... Of note, Eddie Ford, Travis Ford's father is in the stands supporting the Minutemen. He got a great rise out of Luke Bonner, Ricky Harris and Chris Lowe. All three smiled and waved as they hit the court.

    We are ready for the National Anthem. There are several hundreds in the stands.

    5:35 p.m. ET
    UMass has hit the court with Chris Lowe leading the way. The Minutemen are looking pumped up and just looking to go to 1-0 after today's game. SIU Arena here is an older building built in the 1960s where Walt Clyde Frazier was the most famous player in leading the Salukis to the 1967 NIT National Championship and leading to him getting drafted by the New York Knicks.

    The building has old wooden bleachers and wooden chairbacks that are colored brown, orange and cream color... They are planning a new arena to start construction over the summer.

    Sounds like a women's warm-up tape is playing as UAM has come out. Jessica Simpson's Public Affair is blasting the PA system.

    5:16 p.m. ET
    Interesting note, for UAM this game is an exhibition game, not an actual counted game in their standings. There is a rule in the NCAA when Division II are not allowed to count games toward their regular season prior to a certain date. That comes at the end of this week, so technically this is the first game of UMass' season, but not technically the first game for UAM... Make sense? Right now the official scorer is debating whether to list the records of the teams on the final box socre, it would be 1-0 (hopefully for UMass) and no record for the Boll Weevils.

    5:05 p.m. ET
    The Minutemen are on the court stretching under the watchful eye of athletic trainer Dave Maclutsky. On the other end of the court the Boll Weevils of Arkansas-Monticello have shown up and are shooting in their bright green uniforms. They seems to have a decent amount of height. UAM has largely been a mystery as their 2008-09 team roster was not updated until yesterday.

    4:33 p.m. ET
    UMass arrives at SIU Arena ready for the game. Head coach Derek Kellogg is ready for his first game as a head coach and is the first off the bus. Chris Lowe was the last one off the bus preceeded by Tony Gaffney dressed in his uniform and ready to go. The Minutemen are the home team for the game wearing their white uniforms. The unis also have a new addition, the 100 Seasons of Basketball commemorative patch.


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