Men's Basketball Returns To Mullins For Towson Matchup
Nov. 29, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. -
UMass returns to the Mullins Center on Wednesday night to host Towson after playing three games in three days in the Bahamas at the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Minutemen went 1-2 in the tournament, defeating Utah 89-75 and falling to #22 Florida State (73-53) and the College of Charleston (85-61). UMass enters the Towson game with a 5-2 record, which includes three wins at home. The Minutemen started the season 4-0. The UMass Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will also be holding another Toys For Tots drive at the game where fans will be able to donate a new toy for Shriners Childrens Hospital in Springfield. Toys without latex or foam are preferable due to allergy concerns.
The game can be heard on the UMass Sports Network on 100.9 FM KIX in Western Mass. and 830 AM WCRN in Central Mass., 1510 AM The Zone in Eastern Mass., and 95.9 AM WATD on Boston's South Shore. "Voice of the Minutemen" Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney will call the action. Live audio and Gametracker will be available on UMassAthletics.com.
The Minutemen opened the season on Nov. 11 with a 85-67 victory over Elon in just the second game in the last 18 years at the historic Curry Hicks Cage, UMass' home from 1932-1993. On Nov. 14, UMass opened the Mullins Center with a 83-67 win over Northeastern and improved to 3-0 with a 79-58 win over NJIT at home on Nov. 17. UMass beat Boston College on Monday, 82-46 in the most lopisded score ever in the series between in-state rivals.
THANKSGIVING IN THE BAHAMAS
The Minutemen came back from the loss against Florida State and beat Utah the next day 89-75. Sophomore Jesse Morgan had an impressive performance from beyond the arc and finished the game with five three pointers out of an attempted six. Chaz Williams was also a key factor in the game as he scored 14 points and dished out seven assists.
On the final day of the tournament, UMass faced College of Charleston who ran away with the lead in the second half and won 85-61. At halftime, the Cougars had just a four point advantage over the Minutemen, however some sharp-shooting by Charleston and a breakdown of UMass defense gave the Minutemen their second loss of the season.
SERIES WITH TOWSON
This will be the first time the Minutemen face the Tigers at the Mullins Center, as the last meeting they had was at the Curry Hicks Cage.
BLOWOUT WIN IN COMMONWEALTH CLASSIC
Chaz Williams scored a game-high 16 points, dished out five assists, and had three steals. Freddie Riley (14), Cady Lalanne (11), and Jesse Morgan (11) completed the Minutemen's quartet of double figure scorers.
Besides forcing 23 turnovers while allowing just 11, the Minutemen also dominated the glass, winning the rebounding battle 46-31. The UMass bench outscored BC's 35-8.
The 36-point win beats the previous biggest margin of victory in the UMass-BC series, a 30-point Minutemen victory on Dec. 12, 1998 in Worcester. It is UMass' biggest victory over any opponent since beating La Salle by 37, 100-63 on March 5, 2008.
The victory was UMass' first over BC since 2007 and first over a BCS conference school since Dec. 13, 2008 (Kansas).
GOOD AS ADVERTISED
Williams scored 14 points and tallied 7 assists in the 89-75 win over Utah at the Battle 4 Atlantis on Nov. 25. He also had a UMass career-high 5 steals.
Williams scored a game-high 16 points and dished out five assists with three steals to lead UMass to a 36-point victory over Boston College, the biggest margin of victory ever in the series on Nov. 21.
Williams recorded the first double-double of his career in Nov. 14's win over Northeastern, tying career-highs with 20 points and 10 assists. He spurred a key UMass run in the second half with an assist on a fastbreak followed immediately by a pair of lay-ups of his own on the break.
Williams, in his first game in a UMass uniform in the win over Elon, led all scorers with 18 points to go with a game-high eight assists, six rebounds and three steals in 32 minutes.
BRINGING THE PRESSURE
The Minutemen forced 19 turnovers and turned it into 31 points in their lone win at the Battle 4 Atlantis on Nov. 25.
In its 36-point win at Boston College on Nov. 21, UMass turned 23 Eagles turnovers into 28 points and outscored them 28-6 over the final 10:30 of the game.
In the win vs. Northeastern (11/14), UMass forced 21 turnovers and scored 26 points off turnovers. Sampson Carter led the defense with three steals.
The Minutemen held the Huskies to just 38 percent shooting in the game, including a 9.1 percent mark from behind the arc.
In the opener vs. Elon, UMass forced 25 Phoenix turnovers and scoring 34 points off those turnovers, including 12 fast-break points. Jesse Morgan led the defensive charge with a career-high five steals in 17 minutes. UMass finished with 14 steals total.
UMass has received strong shooting performances from the bench in the past few games. Leading the secondary players is Sampson Carter, who shoots 53 percent from the field and has contributed 60 points so far this season.
Post player Cady Lalanne has been the top sharpshooter this season, shooting 62 percent through seven games.
Jesse Morgan is shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc and has netted 11 three-pointers so far this season, 5 of which come from the win over Utah on Nov. 25.
SEASON-OPENING WIN AT THE CAGE
The Minutemen used a new running and pressing style and a raucous Cage crowd to force 25 Elon turnovers, scoring 32 points off those turnovers. Jesse Morgan led the charge on defense with a career-high five steals.
In his first game in a UMass uniform, Williams, a transfer from Hofstra, was the catalyst all night for the Minutemen, grabbing six rebounds and coming up with 3 steals to go with his 18 points and eight assists.
Vinson recorded the fourth double-double of his career, leading all players with 11 rebounds.
LALANNE TAKES PRESEASON A-10 HONOR
Joining Lalanne on the All-Rookie Team are Dezmine Wells (Xavier), Jerrell Wright (La Salle), Justin Martin (Xavier), Alonzo Nelson-Odada (Richmond) and Anthony Lee (Temple).
Lalanne joins the Minutemen following becoming eligible per NCAA rules after attending UMass as a student in 20010-11. The 6-8 bigman played his high school ball at Oak Ridge in Orlando, Fla. and his AAU basketball with the Florida Rams.
UMASS BASKETBALL AIRS IN BOSTON
WBIN-TV, the only locally owned and operated TV station in the Boston/Manchester market, reaches all major cable and satellite outlets in the greater Boston area. The UMass schedule on WBIN began on November 5 when the UMass hockey team beat No. 1 Boston College at the Mullins Center. UMass basketball's Nov. 14 Northeastern game also aired on WBIN.
"We're truly excited to have reached an agreement with WBIN" said Pam Batalis, General Manager for Nelligan Sports. "In addition to providing a platform to showcase UMass Athletics, this partnership will increase the exposure and value to our current and future corporate partners by providing an avenue to reach University alumni and college sports fans located within WBIN's footprint."
UMASS SIGNS FLORIDA CENTER BERGANTINO
"Tyler exemplifies exactly the type of person and player we want at UMass," Kellogg said. "He is an extremely high-character young man and plays the game at a high level at both ends of the floor. My staff, the team, the UMass community and I are all very excited to have Tyler joining the UMass basketball family."
At 6-9, 240 lbs., Bergantino is a physical force inside and possesses rapidly improving skill and touch around the basket. He enters his senior year at Nature Coast the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,150 career points. Bergantino is coming off a junior campaign in which he led all of Hernando County with averages of 17.9 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.8 blocked shots. That followed up a sophomore season in 2009-10 in which he posted averages of 14.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and 5.2 blocks.
UMASS LED BY ONE OF ITS OWN
Kellogg is not the only current head coach from the UMass rosters in the mid-90s as Tony Barbee is in his second year as the head coach at Auburn. In his first season with the Tigers, Barbee's squad went 11-20 overall and 4-12 in the SEC after taking UTEP to the NCAA Tournament the previous season. Alum Harper Williams was named to Barbee's staff this summer. The pair were at UMass' Nov. 17 win against NJIT in Amherst.
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.
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