Men's Basketball

LIVE BLOG: Men's Basketball Hosts BC In Commonwealth Classic

Anthony Gurley is a Boston native.

Anthony Gurley is a Boston native.

Dec. 6, 2008

AMHERST, Mass. -

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    After beginning the season with five of six games away from the Mullins Center, UMass returns home to the friendly confines of the Mullins Center where the Minutemen will play four of the next five in Amherst. The Minutemen host state-rival Boston College in the Commonwealth Classic this Saturday at 8:30 p.m. The game serves as the backdrop for the first of six nights where UMass will celebrate the 100 Years of UMass Basketball. Throughout the game the department will recognize the players from the Classic Era of 1899-1959. At halftime, a ceremony will be held to honor the returning players on hand.

    10:51 p.m. It wasn't to be as Tyrese Rice clinched BC's win with two free throws. Final score: BC 85, UMass 81. The players of the game were Ricky Harris (35 points!) and Tony Gaffney (15 points, 18 rebounds, and nine blocks)...What can you say, it was an UNBELIEVABLE effort by the Minutemen...Such a spirited building...So much to build on.

    For the complete recap and stats, be sure to check back to!



    From the Mullins Center, thanks for tuning in. The Minutemen are back home Wednesday to host the Holy Cross Crusaders at 7 p.m. Have a great rest of the weekend. Good night!

    10:49 p.m. The Minutemen played great defense preventing the throw in and forcing BC to call a timeout. Let's try this again...

    10:47 p.m. Here's the situation...after Ricky Harris was fouled and hit one-of-two from the line, Coach Kellogg called timeout. Three seconds to go down by two, it's not over...Just ask the fans here...They learned their lesson after seeing people leave after regulation and the Minutemen work their magic...Let's see what happens.

    10:45 p.m. Ricky Harris' three-point attempt to tie the game rimmed in and on...OH so close. It was halfway down! Still not over...

    10:44 p.m. Tony Gaffney just missed two free throws and the Minutemen had to foul...BC will be shooting free throws with 25 seconds remaining up by one...Even if both are made, UMass will still have a chance.

    10:38 p.m. Coach Kellogg is HOT. The Minutemen haven't gotten one call while the officials have called a number of fouls on the Minutemen...79-78 BC with 2:32 remaining in the OT session. As the end of regulation showed, a TON of time to go. This building is ELECTRIC! It's so loud, we can't even here when the whistle is blown.

    10:35 p.m. This is the third overtime game between BC and UMass. The Minutemen are 0-2 all-time...hopefully that trend can reverse! It's currently 75-74 BC with four minutes remaining in the extra session.

    10:31 p.m. WOW! All I can say is WOW! Believe it or not, this game is headed to OT! The Eagles' Reggie Jackson missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Chris Lowe was fouled and missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but none other than Tony Gaffney tipped it in to make it 74-74. A last-second desperation heave wasn't to be and OT, here we come!

    Just shows you that the game is not over until it's over. A BUNCH of UMass fans that left when it was 74-69 will be surprised when they turn on their car radio and hear that the game is still going on!

    10:27 p.m. Chris Lowe just hit a three to make it 74-72 BC. Some fans started leaving when it was 74-69, but this one is still FAR from over. Seven seconds is a lot of time. UMass will go for the steal, but if they can't will foul, and the Eagles will be shooting a 1-and-1.

    10:23 p.m. We're down to the final seconds...With 23.6 seconds to go, the Minutemen trail 72-69...Let me tell you, not too long ago when Tony Gaffney had a monster dunk, this place was as loud as I remember it being. Either way, what an effort for the Minutemen! BC is taking the ball out...let's see what happens!

    10:12 p.m. The teams keep trading punches...BC is up 66-64 with Anthony Gurley going to the line after the under-4 media timeout...

    A bunch of notes to pass along: First, Ricky Harris has tied his career-high with 30 points and is one made three pointer away from his career high set in the NIT Championship Game vs. Ohio State last year. Chris Lowe has 10 assists, the second time this year in double figures (and eighth in career). Meanwhile, Tony Gaffney is on the fringe of a triple-double (9 points, 9 rebounds, 8 blocks)...WOW!

    10:07 p.m. The Eagles are riding a 7-0 run to take a 60-54 lead and in the process silencing the crowd. Still over seven minutes remaining so PLENTY of time.

    10:02 p.m. BC has extended this lead a bit...but when saying extended, that shows how close this game has been. The Eagles currently lead, 58-54 at the under-eight timeout (7:55 remaining). The stat that sticks out is three-pointers vs. two-pointers. UMass has shot 9-for-21 (43%) from three, but only 10-for-27 (37%) from two. Ricky Harris has been on fire (5-for-8) from three...Do you hear Harris, for THREE?!

    9:57 p.m. Tony Gaffney keeps being well, Tony Gaffney...Or is it Stephane Lasme? Gaffney is up to 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 blocks. Triple double coming?! The last triple double for UMass was by Chris Lowe last season.

    Ricky Harris is up to 25 points, including 5-for-8 from three...the 22nd time in his career with 20 or more points. His career high is 30 on Jan. 23, 2008 at Saint Joe's.

    I guess you may want the score...It's UMass 54, BC 53 with 9:36 remaining in the second half.

    9:54 p.m. This back-and-forth affair has continued as with 11:14 remaining in the half, BC now leads, 51-48...BC has impressed from the field (21-for-46) while UMass has struggled at 17-for-45, but has found a way to hang tough. 7-for-18 shooting from long range has definetely been a big help. This is a BARN BURNER! Long way to go...

    9:51 p.m. The officiating doesn't seem to be going UMass' way. Coach Kellogg rarely complains to the officials, but has oftentimes tonight...It hasn't been enough to make much of a difference on the scoreboard, though. More of a nuisance than anything.

    9:48 p.m. There is a short delay as Tony Gaffney bloodied his nose. I didn't see what happened, but it seemed like it was inadvertent. Tyrell Lynch is in, but Gaffney is already back at the scorer's table ready to check in.

    9:47 p.m. The attendance tonight is 6,792 SCREAMING UMass fans ... This game is heating up, still a one point UMass lead (45-44) and Coach Kellogg is fired up!

    9:42 p.m. BC took a 38-35 lead, but UMass STORMED right back and is up 43-40 with 15:20 remaining in the second half. Maybe the Minutemen have the luck on their side as on consecutive trips down court, they received favorable bounces on three-pointers. First, Ricky Harris hit the front rim and went directly in the air before dropping through. Then it was Anthony Gurley who got the friendly roll from a three in the corner. Gurley is up to 14 points, one more than his other previous game vs. BC (with Wake)...The trio of Harris, Gurley, and Gaffney have now score 93% of the team's points (all but three points).

    9:40 p.m. Bob Marcum, the former UMass Athletic Director from the Glory Days in the '90's is also here to root on the Minutemen this evening. BC has hit a few shots and is now up by one, 38-37...This is bound to be an exciting finish!

    9:34 p.m. The second half is UNDER WAY!

    9:28 p.m. Back with some stats...

    Ricky Harris (12 points), Anthony Gurley (9), and Tony Gaffney (8) have scored 29 of the team's 32 points (a WHOPPING 91%)...Gaffney is on his way to another double-double (and maybe even triple double?!?!) with six boards and four blocks.

    The Minutemen are shooting 11-for-32 from the field and 4-for-13 from behind the arc. BC has converted on two more field goals (13-for-32) while shooting 2-for-9 from three point range.

    Five minutes until the start of the second half!!!

    9:18 p.m. As we hit halftime, UMass leads 32-29...Tony Gaffney fittingly ended a sensational 20 minutes with a layup with less than a second remaining...What a way to end!!!

    BC was up by three at the half in last season's game, but the Minutemen had a big second stanza for the win. Let's hope the same thing doesn't happen and UMass can hold on!!!!!!

    During the halftime intermission, the Classic Era is being commemorated with a special video...A TON of the Classic Era players are back and at center court...Here is the complete list:

    Don Akerson, Frank Barous, George "Trigger" Burke, John Edgar, Dick Eid, Ray Gunn, Paul Kollios, Ned Larkin, John MacLeod, Connie McDonough, Ed McGrath, George Morin, Alex Norskey, Bill Prevey, Bill Stephens, and William Walsh.

    Back in a bit with some stats!

    9:16 p.m. Matt Glass is continuing to impress, this time contributing with his first drawn charge of the year (and fifth for the Minutemen).

    9:10 p.m. It's good to see Matt Glass doing well...In limited action (less than 10 minutes), he has three rebounds and is competing exceptionally well...

    Tony Gaffney's former teammate (at UMass and BU) Etienne Brower is in attendance as is former walk-on Nana Ampim...UMass definetely misses them, but is glad to have them back supporting the 2008-09 squad tonight!

    9:07 p.m. Updating the game status, the Minutemen hold a 26-25 lead with 3:40 to go in the half...Good news: Chris Lowe has four assists and only one turnover. Whenever he goes, so does the Minutemen, so let's hope he can keep it up and lead UMass to a big win! There is definetely a huge buzz in the building.

    Tony Gaffney is all over the stat sheet with six points, five rebounds, three blocks, two steals, and an assist ... That's a LOT to type!

    9:04 p.m. Tony Gaffney has definetely become a HUGE fan favorite. On two straight possessions, he cleaned up the rebound and SLAMMED it home to up UMass' lead to 26-20.

    8:58 p.m. The Mullins center isn't quite sold out, but it's pretty packed. Definetely a great showing! ... There are so many students that they've extended around the corner and into section Q.

    At the under 8 timeout (6:51 remaining to be exact), The Minutemen have their largest lead of the game at 22-17. Tony Gaffney continues to be all over the place...Another block sprung UMass up court and ended when Ricky Harris stuck a three. Harris is on fire with 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting (2-for-4 from three).

    During that timeout, the Mullins Center played a "look back" with a snippet of an Al Skinner interview...The UMass fans are definetely appreciative of all that Skinner means to the program.

    Gaffney block, Harris three to break 17-17 tie.

    8:51 p.m. With 10:11 remaining in the half, UMass is now up 17-13...The Minutemen are riding an 8-0 run, and 15-4 dating back to when it was 9-2 BC.

    Here are some stats...
    UMass is shooting 6-for-15 from the field, 3-for-9 from three point range. BC is 6-for-12 and 1-for-4 from long range. The Minutemen are led by Anthony Gurley with seven points, Ricky Harris has five, David Gibbs had three, and Tony Gaffney has two. UMass has caused six turnovers as well.

    8:47 p.m. Coach Kellogg and the Minutemen are really into it...They have an extra spring in their step...Anthony Gurley is up to seven points in the first seven minutes. He's had success vs. the Eagles before, scoring 13 on Jan. 9, 2007 with Wake Forest...UMass up 14-13.

    8:41 p.m. At the first media timeout (15:53 to go in the first half), BC holds a slim 9-7 lead. The Eagles jumped out to the quick 6-0 advantage, but the Minutemen responded. A highlight was when Tony Gaffney had an emphatic block which sprung Ricky Harris on a rush up court and the subsequent layup...

    At the final whistle, Derek Kellogg was as angry as I remember seeing him at an official. Chris Lowe forced an errant shot, but the refs originally ruled that it was tipped...Maybe his argument worked because the Minutemen were given possession out of the timeout.

    8:35 p.m. And we're underway...
    The game starts on an interesting note as Tyrell Lynch battling for positioning with BC's Joe Trapani and the referees had to get in between to reposition the two.

    8:32 p.m. UMass alum ('74) and Head Coach of Boston College Al Skinner got a nice hand when the Eagles were introduced. This game marks the first time in 27 years that two UMass alums faced off as head coaches in a Minuteman game. The last time was back on Dec. 3, 1981 when Tom McLaughlin ('73) lost his first game as UMass coach to his former teammate, Rick Pitino ('74) who coached Boston University to a 91-65 win in Boston.

    Tony Gaffney by far got the biggest hand for the Minutemen...His hard work and extra effort is well appreciated!!!

    8:30 p.m. Today is a big day for BC athletics. Its football team already lost the ACC Championship Game to Virginia Tech this afternoon. The BC hockey team is currently losing to Boston University, 2-0 at the end of the second period...Hopefully the Minutemen can make it an 0-3 day for the Eagles! We shall see...around five minutes until tipoff.

    8:25 p.m. The Minutemen hit the court!!!

    Starters are in...
    For BC,
    #4, Tyrese Rice
    #11, Corey Raji
    #12, Joe Trapani
    #15, Rakim Sanders
    #52, Josh Southern

    And for UMASS!!!
    #5, Ricky Harris
    #12, Anthony Gurley
    #14, Chris Lowe
    #24, Tony Gaffney
    #25, Tyrell Lynch


    8:20 p.m. As tipoff nears, the Mullins Center is filling up rapidly as one endzone is full and students are starting to fill in the other. Whitney Williams, who is a shortstop on the UMass softball team (which beat BC 8-0 and 9-0 last year by the way!) just performed a rousing rendition of the national anthem! Great job!

    Also of note, Dean Meminger is here with Chris Lowe's dad, Chris Lowe Sr. Meminger led Marquette past UMass in the 1970 NIT and played in the NBA in parts of six seasons.

    8:10 p.m. The Minutemen just hit the floor for their final tuneup before the game...As you may know, this is an extra special game for redshirt sophomore Anthony Gurley. He is a Boston, Mass. native who went to Newton North High school. He is poised for a breakout game.

    In other news, Luke Bonner was out at about 6:00 shooting around...He was draining three's left and right and looks to be getting closer to a return.

    7:45 p.m. Welcome to the UMass basketball blog here on Justin Lafleur and Jason Yellin here to bring you all the tidbits to make the game more enjoyable.

    The students are definetely ready for the game as a good number came in when the doors opened at 7:30. It should be a good turnout!!!

    Just some background on the UMass/BC rivalry across all sports over the past few years:
    When looking at the past two calendar years, UMass owns an impressive 16-7-1 record against the Eagles across all sports (7-5 in 2008 and 9-2-1 in 2007).

    The highlight wins of 2008 were baseball's victory in the Beanpot Championship Game on April 15 at Fenway Park and hockey's thrilling 4-3 overtime win over Boston College just two weeks ago. Softball also impressed, outscoring the Eagles by a combined score of 17-0 in two wins.

    2007 was highlighted by men's soccer's 2-1 upset win over BC in the NCAA Tournament on its way to a College Cup Appearance. The Mass Attack hockey team was undefeated at 2-0-1 in the 2007 calendar year. One of UMass' losses came in football, where the FBS Eagles were challenged by UMass' FCS team on Sept. 29, in a 24-14 BC win at Alumni Stadium. The Minutemen, who play with only 63 scholarships in the former Division I-AA, were within 17-14 in the fourth


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