UMass Plays In Worcester For First Time Since 2000
UMASS (3-4) vs. HOLY CROSS (2-6)
UMass Plays In Worcester For First Time Since 2000
This will be UMass' first-game at the DCU Center (formerly known as the Centrum) since 2000. All-time UMass is 8-1 at the facility including winning the first eight contests. The Minutemen won their first-ever NCAA Tournament game at the Centrum knocking off Fordham, 85-58 in 1991.
UMass comes into the game with a 3-4 record after beating Quinnipiac in the first-ever meeting between the teams on Wednesday night. Ricky Harris (19) and Anthony Gurley (15) led the Minutemen as they have scored in double-figures in every game this season. Holy Cross is 2-6, winning their last two games in a row including an overtime thriller against Brown on Wednesday night.
The UMass Sports Network with Josh Maurer, Tim Kenney and Tim Collins will cover the game on WRNX 100.9 FM in Western Mass as well as WCRN 830 AM in Central Mass. The pregame begin 30 minutes prior to tip-off.
Harris & Gurley Leading The Way
Anthony Gurley has scored in double-figures in all seven games this season, with the first five off the bench and the last two as a starter. He is second on UMass in scoring with a 17.7 points per game average. He is also the top shooter with a 52 percent mark from the floor. He has at least 13 points in every game this season. He had 15 points in the win over Quinnipiac (12/2). Against No. 2 Michigan State (11/28), he tied his career-high with 24 points. That came on the heels of 19 vs. Rutgers (11/27). He had 21 points vs. Arkansas-Fort Smith (11/21). He also led UMass with 18 vs. St. Francis (11/24).
Right behind the two veterans on the scoring list are freshmen Freddie Riley (9.6) and Terrell Vinson (8.4). Each has three games this season with 10 or more points -- Vinson three in a row (Nov. 18-24).
UMass-Holy Cross Series
The teams in the middle of a three-game series with Holy Cross. The teams play at the DCU Center this year and return to the Mullins Center in 2010-11.
Last year's game was the first between the teams since a 2001 game at the Mullins Center. The last game between the teams hosted by Holy Cross was also at the DCU Center in 2000, won by the Crusaders, 67-56.
The all-time series has been all about streaks. Out of UMass' 18 wins, only five have not been part of a winning streak in the series. The Minutemen have posted winning streaks of two, five, two, and four to account for 13 of the 17 wins against Holy Cross.
Last Game vs. Holy Cross
Anthony Gurley tallied 14 points and six rebounds to give UMass three players in double figures. Holy Cross was led by RJ Evans' 17 points and eight boards. The teams traded the lead five times in the middle of the first half, but another 9-0 Crusaders run over a span of 5:39 gave them a 29-21 lead with 4:44 on the clock.
The Minutemen closed the half with a 6-1 spurt, capped off by Lowe finding Tyrell Lynch for a layup with one second left, to pull within three, 32-29, at halftime.
Holy Cross' Evans led all scorers with 10 points in the first half, while UMass was led by Gurley's seven. UMass outshot the Crusaders, 45.5% to 33.3% in the half, but trailed in rebounding, 21-16.
The Crusaders started the second half with two-straight hoops to take their biggest lead, 36-29, but the Minutemen came roaring back. The home team used a 7-0 run to tie the game, 36-36, and after Holy Cross retook the lead by four, a 12-0 run over a 2:12 span that gave UMass a 53-45 lead with 10:30 left. The run, finished off by a Matt Glass 3-pointer, was fueled by increased defensive intensity as the Minutemen switched to a full-court press and held the Crusaders without a field goal for 6:02.
UMass kept the pedal down for the rest of the game. Another Glass 3-pointer followed by a Lowe-to-Gaffney dunk led to a Holy Cross timeout and gave UMass a 67-51 lead with 5:25 remaining. At 3:32 the same duo brought the crowd to their feet when Lowe lobbed to Gaffney for the jam to make it 72-54 with 3:32 left.
Against The Patriot League
The program has never faced three Patriot League teams: American, Bucknell, and Lehigh. The Minutemen have enjoyed varied success against the five Patriot League teams they have faced: Army (0-7), Colgate (2-0), Holy Cross (18-36), Lafayette (0-1), and Navy (2-0).
UMass At the DCU Center/Centrum
Since the NCAA Tournament games, UMass has played many major non-conference games at the building. The Minutemen have beaten Boston College in the Commonwealth Classic in 1998 (75-45) for the last win in Worcester. UMass beat Maryland in 1997 (78-61), Memphis in 1996 (64-61), Louisville in 1995 (91-76) and DePaul in 1993 (79-69).
The Minutemen have split the two games against the host Crusaders in their backyard, winning in 1993, 97-80 and losing the last meeting, 78-65 in 2000.
Visiting The Commonwealth
UMass will be playing at Garden for the first time since 1999, when the Minutemen took on Boston College in the Commonwealth Classic. It is the second year in a row that UMass is playing a game in Springfield.
Harris Shoots Up 1,000-Point List
In the Cornell (11/18) game he passed three players on the all-time list including the two greatest stars in UMass history in Julius Erving (1,370) and Marcus Camby (1,387). He also went by Clarence Hill (1,369).
Against UAFS, he went by Edwin Green (1,393) with 18 points.
He is the 40th player to score 1,000 points in his career.
Harris has scored in double-figures in 71 of his 105 career games including 68 of the last 73 dating to his sophomore year.
Harris has continued to be prolific scorer in his career at UMass. In 2009, he was named a Third-Team All-Conference selection. In 2008, he was named the A-10 Chris Daniels Most Improved player.
Harris is leading returning scorer in the Atlantic 10 with a 18.2 scoring average and led the team in scoring in 18 of 30 games in 2008-09. He scored 20 or more in 10 games. Harris was fourth in the Atlantic 10. He dropped a season and career-high 35 points on BC (12/6/08). The 35 points were good for the 13th most in school history and only six behind the school record of 41 held by Billy Tindall on Feb. 10, 1968 vs. Vermont. It was also Harris' second ever 30+ point scoring effort.
Harris Rises on 3-Point Charts
Harris, who is tied Carmelo Travieso for the single-season mark for made treys with 104 (in 2007-08), is rising on the career charts. Harris stands fourth in career made 3-pointers with 227 and fourth in career attempts with 623. Among the players he passed last season was his current head coach Derek Kellogg (138). Next on both lists is Carmelo Travieso (245 of 666).
On the attempts list, Harris is fourth, passing Kellogg (362) early in 2008-09.
Harris' 87 made 3-pointers last season finished tied with James Life for sixth-most in a single-season.
On the single-season list of most 3-pointers attempted, Harris' 225 stands seventh-most in a season. He took 212 in 2003-04.
UMass Quick Hits For 2009-10
UMass has one of the youngest teams in the country as UMass features the top recruiting class in the Atlantic 10 with five freshmen. The Minutemen are also welcoming two transfers who will be eligible this season in Sean Carter from Oregon State and Hashim "Big City" Bailey from Memphis. Sophomore Trey Lang also returns to the team after not playing in 2008-09, giving UMass eight newcomers for this season's roster
UMass returns just 36.1 average points. In looking at it by percentages, UMass returns 49.1 percent of its scoring with Harris leading the way. UMass lost nearly all of its rebounding with the graduation of 2009 Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year Tony Gaffney, the final cut of the NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers. UMass has just 24.3 percent of its rebounding returning as Gaffney grabbed 10.2 per game.
UMass Alum Leading UMass
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.
Harris, Riley, Vinson Earn
In the first preseason men's basketball magazine, Lindy's, UMass men's basketball is being praised for the A-10's top recruiting class. Senior guard Ricky Harris is also gaining honors as he was named to the A-10's First Team and the league's "Most Entertaining" player.
Lindy's picks UMass to finish fifth in the A-10 behind Dayton, Xavier, Richmond and La Salle. The magazine mentions: "Ricky Harris is an absolute scoring machine and coach Derek Kellogg has a killer group of newcomers." It finishes with UMass "Will get better as the season progresses and will be a team nobody wants to draw in the A-10 Tourney."
Lindy's calls UMass' incoming class the "Best group of recruits" in the league. "Massachusetts coach Derek Kellogg made a name for himself as a recruiter under John Calipari at Memphis, and he proved that he could do it on his own at his alma mater in Amherst. He scored a key early pledge from Freddie Riley, and in the late signing period nabbed a big-time combo forward in Terrell Vinson. Aside from those two, Kellogg got pledges from a pair of small forwards in Sampson Carter and Javorn Farrell, as well as a super athletic power forward Raphiael Putney."
In the UMass team profile, Lindy's cites Anthony Gurley under "Keep An Eye On." The mag says: "Gurley will display his all-around talents in the backcourt, largely because he has to as the Minutemen do not have a true point guard with experience."
Bud Light Radio Show Hits Road In 2009-10
The Bud Light UMass Basketball Radio Show With Derek Kellogg is coming to a town near you in Western Massachusetts this season. Starting with the Nov. 11 show at Arizona Pizza Company in Hadley, the weekly radio show will be visiting more than a dozen locations during the 2009-10 campaign.
The show returns to its normal Thursday night time slot with the second show on Dec. 3 at Theodore's in Springfield. The Dec. 10 show airs live from Charlie's in Amherst and the following week on Dec. 17, the show moves to Paddy's in Springfield. After a short break for the winter holidays, the show resumes from Stackers in Amherst on Jan. 7.
Other locations scheduled to host shows include: Whip City in Westfield, Samuels in Springfield, Rafters in Amherst, Rumbleseat in Chicopee, The Harp in North Amherst, 350 Grill in Springfield, McCaffreys in Springfield and The Hangar in Amherst.
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