LIVE BLOG: UMass Hosts Jacksonville State In Home Opener
Nov. 24, 2008
AMHERST, Mass. -
UMass alum and Springfield native Derek Kellogg coaches his first regular-season game at the Mullins Center on Monday night as they Minutemen take on Jacksonville State at 7 p.m. The Minutemen are off to a 1-2 start losing at two of the toughest venues in the nation in SIU Arena at Southern Illinois (80-73) and FedEx Forum at Memphis (80-58). Tonight's live blog will bring you all the inside info to make your viewing/listening experience complete.
9:02 p.m. Back with some final stats...Chris Lowe and Tony Gaffney each had 20 points, and for Gaffney, he also had 13 rebounds and eight blocks. The blocked shots total was a new career-high while it was already his third double-double of the season (and career). Anthony Gurley was the only other Minuteman in double figures (11).
Tough loss, but it's still VERY early in the season. One thing is for sure...If Jacksonville State plays this well in conference play, they will be a force in OVC play.
Fans, remember that the Mass Attack has a home game vs. Vermont TOMORROW night at the Mullins Center. Be sure to come out and support the team, but if you can't, the contest will be televised on CN8...From the Mullins Center, have a great night and have a Happy Thanksgiving...GO UMASS!
8:44 p.m. After Jonathan Toles hit a shot to give Jacksonville State a one-point lead with eight seconds remaining, Anthony Gurley's three pointer was no good. Chris Lowe grabbed the rebound and looked to be fouled, but there was no call...It was a close play that could have gone either way, but it wasn't to be...The Minutemen drop a 75-74 heartbreaker.
8:41 p.m. It's NOT over yet...Brandon Crawford just hit a three-pointer and was fouled, so the four-point play has cut UMass' lead to one at 74-73. Now it's Ricky Harris' chance from the line.
8:39 p.m. There was SO much going on that just now, with 28 seconds remaining in regulation, there was the final media timeout. The Minutemen have been on fire...They've definetely flipped a switch as they're riding a 15-3 run and are up 74-69. At one point it was 13-0, making the score UMass 72, Jacksonville State 66, UMass' largest lead of the game (6).
Tony Gaffney will be at the line looking to ice the win at the charity stripe.
8:35 p.m. After Gary Corrreia hit a layup to make it 69-66, Ricky Harris' shoe came FLYING up in the air...On the ensuing possession, Harris played tremendous defense, forcing a missed shot...Coach Kellogg had to call a timeout so Harris could get his shoe. Ricky "one shoe" Harris!
8:33 p.m. Chris Lowe hits two-straight shots to give UMass a one-point lead, 67-66...its first lead since 17:49 of the second half, up 36-35. It's turning into a great atmosphere...let's hope the Minutemen can hold on! Jacksonville State has been fiesty all night and won't go away without a fight.
8:30 p.m. Ricky Harris cleans up a rebound and lays it in to pull UMass back within three at 4:26. Now the Mullins Center crowd is REALLY into it!!!
8:28 p.m. Tony Gaffney is keeping UMass in the game. He's scored UMass' last six points (two dunks and one layup)...He is up to 20 points and 11 rebounds, his third double-double in four games this season...The Minutemen are down 66-61 with 5:18 to go...Let's see if they can pull it out!
8:23 p.m. The Minutemen had a mini burst with two-consecutive threes by David Gibbs and Anthony Gurley, but the Gamecocks weathered the storm like they have been all night and are up seven, 62-55 with 7:41 remaining in regulation. Chris Lowe and Tony Gaffney each have 14 points to lead the way while still only six players have scored...
8:14 p.m. At the Under 12 timeout, not much has changed. The teams have been playing fairly even with neither gaining much over the other. Jacksonville State leads 50-45 with 11:52 to go...What's hurting UMass is its three-point shooting. After hitting 4-of-8 in the first half, it's only 1-of-7 so far in the second.
8:11 p.m. Some out of town score to pass along from the A-10...
Tony Gaffney continues to be all over the place. If (current Boston Celtics CSN announcer) Tommy Heinsohn was covering the game, he would certainly give his "Tommy Award" to Gaffney.
8:07 p.m. Some coaches have trouble keeping their jackets on, but UMass assistant Vance Walberg has taken off his jacket and tie...Don't see that often. Hopefully it leads to good luck!
8:05 p.m. The Minutemen are down 43-38 at the under 16 timeout. UMass has shown impressive spurts, but hasn't been able to put anything together. Tony Gaffney still (by far and away) leads the way with 14 points. The next highest, Ricky Harris, has seven. The Minutemen are only 1-for-6 shooting in the second half.
8:02 p.m. Jacksonville State responds with 10 straight points to take a 41-36 lead as Derek Kellogg calls a timeout...Still plenty of time (16:40) to go. The Mullins Center crowd seems stunned, not expecting Jacksonville State to be in the game, nevermind ahead. This shouldn't be surprising, though, as the Gamecocks head into the game at 2-1 with wins over West Alabama (by 21) and Georgia State (by 7) while losing to South Carolina by only 13...They're a good team.
7:57 p.m. The second half is underway. Tony Gaffney's defensive pressure continues with a blocked shot, while altering the next to lead into a Ricky Harris layup and a 36-31 UMass lead less than a minute into the half.
7:53 p.m. UMass has hit the floor...Three minutes until the second half...It's good to see Luke Bonner out supporting the team (as usual!). We wish him best in his recovery from injury.
7:46 p.m. The Maroon Platoon just had an odd contest in which two students ran to center court, put on flamingo shoes, and then had to go downcourt for the layup. Both did a great job...must be tough to run in those shoes!
7:40 p.m. A rapidly moving first half has completed with UMass back out in front, 34-31. Tony Gaffney has led the way with 12 points and six rebounds. Tyrell Lynch (6), Chris Lowe (5), Ricky Harris (5), Anthony Gurley (3), and David Gibbs (3) have UMass' other points.
The Minutemen are shooting 13-for-30 (43%) while Jacksonville State is 14-for-37 (38%). Rebounds are 22-19 while the Minutemen have dished out nine assists to the Gamecocks' eight. Lowe has rebounded nicely from a couple tough games with five assists to go along with his five points.
Also, be sure to tune into the live video or listen into WRNX for a special interview as Josh Maurer talks to head hockey coach Don "Toot" Cahoon after the HUGE 4-3 overtime victory over Boston College on Saturday night.
7:37 p.m. Tony Gaffney's energy continues to be outstanding...with just under two minutes remaining he snagged his fifth rebound of the game and went coast-to-coast for the slam, giving UMass a 32-31 lead, its first since 13-12. Gaffney's up to 11 points and five rebounds on pace for his third double-double of the year (and his career). The crowd has really gotten into it.
7:32 p.m. The final media timeout of the first half (3:51 to go) has arrived and the Minutemen are trailing by a pair, 31-29. David Gibbs just hit his second-career three-pointer to become the sixth different Minuteman to score...
A video clip of UMass' victory over #1 North Carolina 15 years ago was just played. It was one to remember, a 91-86 overtime win in UMass' first-ever game (and win) against a top ranked foe. Dick Vitale was one of the broadcasters for the game!
7:30 p.m. Former UMass great and fan-favorite Stephane Lasme just emailed Jason Yellin to let him know that he's watching the game video out in Serbia through All-Access! It's always great to hear from alumni who are interested in the program. We wish him all the best! And you too can watch live by clicking HERE
7:26 p.m. Jacksonville State is still up 22-20 at the third media timeout (7:28 remaining). The student section is lively with the pep band doing a sensational job as usual. The Minutemen are shooting 9-for-22 while the Gamecocks are 10-for-23.
7:23 p.m. Jacksonville State calls a timeout with 8:56 remaining in the first half (with the Minutemen still trailing, 20-18) as UMass scores five-straight. Tyrell Lynch has already tied a career-high of six points, this only 11 minutes into the game! It's already been his best collegiate game of his young career.
7:21 p.m. Derek Kellogg takes a timeout with Jacksonville State up 18-13 riding a 9-0 run the last 3:13...
7:18 p.m. Jacksonville State takes a 14-13 lead into the second media timeout (11:16 remaining in the first half). The Minutemen seemed to control play, but the Gamecocks are just hanging around. So far, three Minutemen have scored: Chris Lowe (5), Tony Gaffney (4), and Tyrell Lynch (4). The Minutemen are shooting 6-of-17.
That's a lot of shot attempts in the early going (about 2 per minute), but that's nowhere near the Texas Tech game the other night when the Red Raiders beat Eastern Central, 167-115. Texas Tech finished with 113 shot attempts (UMass is on pace for 80 in the game), so I can't imagine how up-tempo that game must have been since this one is being played at a frantic pace and still nowhere near the almost three shots per minute (just by one team!).
7:10 p.m. We're at the first media timeout with the Minutemen up 9-4. Tyrell Lynch has four points while Chris Lowe had three and Tony Gaffney has two. The Minutemen are 4-for-9 from the field in the early going.
7:08 p.m. One early observation is #5 of Jacksonville State, DeAndre Bray, who has to be one of the shortest players in college basketball. He is listed at only 5'6", which means he's probably even shorter. The shortest NBA player in history is Muggsey Bogues, who was only 5'3".
7:03 p.m. And the game has begun! UMass wins the tip and we're underway. Tyrell Lynch begins with a layup to give the Minutemen a quick lead. I do have to say the student section is pretty full and into the game. Essentially the whole endzone is full.
7:00 p.m. Here are tonight's starters. First for Jacksonville State:
6:58 p.m. A sensational video looking back at the team's NIT run is being played. The video starts with the highlights of UMass' huge 24-point comemback to beat Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. It then goes to the Semifinal game against Florida starting with an emphatic Tony Gaffney dunk and ending with an Etienne Brower three-pointer.
6:55 p.m. Also wanted to pass along that Mike Byrns, coach at Winchendon and UMass alum is here as well to support the Minutemen! The Minutemen are re-entering the floor through a huge UMass sign to the delight of the crowd! The Mullins Center video board is also playing the first of a season-long group of interviews in honoring the 100th year of UMass basketball, so be sure to look out for them at every home game! It's a really neat video montage with clips of interviews put together. This one focuses on Derek Kellogg and includes a number of interviews highlighted by former coach John Calipari.
6:48 p.m. The teams have cleared the floor and the color guard is at center court as the national anthem is sung. The crowd is filing in pretty nicely, considering it's a Monday night before Thanksgiving.
6:40 p.m. Some background on Jacksonville State...The Gamecocks play in the OVC (Ohio Valley Conference), which includes teams like Tennessee Tech, Murry State, Austin Peay. In total, the conference includes 10 teams.
Jacksonville State had the rare distinction of playing another team with the same name when it played South Carolina, falling 89-76 on Nov. 14. The A-10 has this situation come up when Fordham and Rhode Island meet...both named the Rams.
6:30 p.m. Derek Kellogg certainly has a ton of support highlighted by his former High School Coach at Cathedral (and former UMass broadcaster) Kevin Kennedy, who was one of the first fans in the building.
Also a reminder, prior to the game, there will be a brief ceremony and video looking b ack at least season's memorable run to the NIT Championship Game. The banner will also be unveiled. Remember to watch live through All-Access. The video stream has already started!
6:05 p.m. Hello from the Mullins Center! Justin Lafleur and Jason Yellin from Media Relations set to bring you live coverage of tonight's home opener vs. Jacksonville State. Both teams are on the court for their shoot-arounds. The doors just opened and some fans are beginning to pile into the building.
These two teams did meet two years ago at Jacksonville State the Minutemen won, 100-69. If you remember, that game was actually called by our very own Josh Maurer.
Back in a bit...
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