Men's Basketball

UMass Set To Raise Banners In Home Opener, Wednesday Night

Luke Bonner had five points and seven rebounds in a start vs. Northern Iowa.

Luke Bonner had five points and seven rebounds in a start vs. Northern Iowa.

Nov. 13, 2007

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    YALE (1-0) at UMASS (2-1)
    Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007 * 8 p.m.
    Mullins Center (9,493, Amherst, Mass.)
    Listen Live: 100.9 FM WRNX, 830 AM, 95.9 FM
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    After a 2-1 start to the season at the BTI Tip-Off Tournament in Iowa, the UMass basketball team hosts Yale for its 2007-08 season opener on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Banners for the 2006-07 season which saw the Minutemen capture the Atlantic 10 Regular-Season crown and reach the NIT in 2007 will be hoisted. Come out and see the new-look up-tempo Minutemen.

    UMass Opens 2007-08 Home Season
    The Minutemen are coming off a historic 2006-07 season as they captured a share of the Atlantic 10 Regular-Season Championship. The Minutemen returned to the postseason for the first time since 2000 and won their first postseason game since the 1996 Final Four season. UMass downed perennial SEC power Alabama, 89-87 in overtime before a national audience. That game capped off a sensation 24-9 season, which marked UMass' best record since that 1995-96 season when the Minutemen went an all-time best, 35-2. UMass' 24-win season tied for the fifth-most win in a season in the program's history.

    Last season, the Minutemen went 12-2 at home playing before an average of nearly more than 6,000 fans per game at the Mullins Center, which includes the sellout of 9,493 for the Boston College game on Dec. 2. Last season, UMass had its second crowd of more than 9,000 with 9,088 against Saint Louis on Feb. 24. It marked the first time since 1998-99 that UMass had two crowds of more than 9,000 in the same season. The Saint Louis crowd was the largest for an A-10 game, since a sell-out of 9,493 against Temple on Feb. 17, 2001. UMass has won 22 of its last 26 at home, spanning Coach Travis Ford's two seasons in Amherst.

    UMass Goes 2-1 At BTI Tip-Off Tournament
    The Minutemen opened the 2007-08 season winning two of three games at the BTI Tip-Off Tournament hosted by Northern Iowa on the weekend of Nov. 9-11. UMass defeated Cal Poly, 90-64 and Northern Illinois, 102-87 before losing to the host Panthers, 75-68. Senior Gary Forbes, who scored his 1,000th career point in the loss to Northern Iowa, and sophomore Ricky Harris were named to the All-Tournament Team.

    Northern Iowa 75, UMass 68
    The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team dropped their first game of the 2007 season, 75-68, to the Northern Iowa Panthers. Trailing by as many as 20 points, the Minutemen cut the lead to three on numerous occasions in the second half. Gary Forbes led the attack, scoring 29 points, including his 1,000th career point. Heading into the game, Forbes had 983 career points between his time at the University of Virginia and UMass. He reached 1,000 on a three-pointer with 11:48 remaining in the second half. Forbes and Harris were the only Minutemen who reached double figures in points. Forbes finished with his third-straight 20 point game to start the season. He recorded a season-high 29 points on 8-of-19 shooting, while Harris had 15. Chris Lowe, who sat out Saturday's game due to injury, recorded six points. The Minutemen were hurt by poor shooting early as they finished just 35 percent from the floor including 5-of-28 from 3-point range.

    UMass 102, Northern Illinois 87
    From the first 3-pointer by Etienne Brower just 25 seconds into the game, there was little doubt about the outcome as the UMass basketball team moved to a 2-0 with a 102-87 romp over Northern Illinois. It was bombs away all day as the Minutemen were able to convert from the field all night, both from 3-point and 2-point range. Senior Gary Forbes led UMass with 22 points, his second 20-point outing in as many games. Sophomore Ricky Harris netted 20, his second 20-plus game as well. Brower finished with 16 and junior Luke Bonner made his first 3-point field goal attempts in the game to wrap up with nine points.

    UMass 90, Cal Poly 64
    The UMass basketball team ended its first game of the season on a 36-10 run to top Cal Poly, 90-64 in the first game of the BTI Tip-Off Tournament in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Minutemen broke a 54-54 tie with 10 minutes left in the game and went on a 26-2 run to cruise to the win. Ricky Harris led all players with 23 points. Gary Forbes had his third double-double at UMass with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Cal Poly did not have a player score in the double-figures. The Minutemen led for almost the entire game. Etienne Brower would score a career high 17 points, including nine of UMass' first 12 points to build a 12-6 lead. Brower would hit six of seven shots, including three out of four from three point range. The Minutemen would lead by as many as seven in the first half, at 36-29, but would have to settle for a three point advantage at the break, 41-38.

    Scouting The Yale Bulldogs
    • The series is tied 3-3 between the Minutemen and Bulldogs.

    • In the preseason media poll, the Bulldogs were projected to place second in the Ivy League. In each of the last two seasons, Yale has finished higher than it was picked in the preseason media poll.

    The Last UMass-Yale Game
    James Life scored 16 points and Stephane Lasme added eight points, seven blocks and 16 rebounds as UMass defeated Yale 78-69 at the Mullins Center. Lasme's 16 rebounds was a new career-high as the Minutemen improved to 10-3 overall this season. With its 10th win of the season, UMass equals its earliest calendar date for a 10th win in school history. Along with Life and Lasme Brandon Thomas also scored in double figures with 11 on the night. The Minutemen shot 49 percent for the game hitting 29-of-59 shots, while Yale (2-8) was just 21-for-65 from the floor (32 percent).

    Eric Flato led the Bulldogs scoring a game-high 22 points, while Casey Hughes added 12 points.

    The game was nip-and-tuck throughout the first half after Yale battled back from a 12-point deficit to tie the game at 30 each with 2:20 in the period. UMass went on a 10-2 run capped by a Tiki Mayben three-pointer with 0.2 seconds remaining before halftime to take a 40-32 lead. Both teams traded baskets in the first part of the second half before UMass proved too strong and pulled away for the win. In that second half, dominated in the paint with 22 rebounds. UMass went on a 16-5 run as they took a 60-54 lead with 9:15 left to 76-59 with 1:27 remaining. In that spurt six different players scored showing the overall balance.




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