UMass Hosts Maine To Start 4-Game Homestand
UMass Returns Home, Hosts Maine To Start Homestand
Wednesday's game will be broadcast live on CBS 3 Now (Comcast Channel 293) with streaming video on UMassAthletics.com. The UMass Sports Network will carry the game on 100.9 FM WRNX in Western Mass, 830 AM WCRN in Central Mass and 95.9 FM WATD in Eastern Mass and the South Shore.
Prior to Saturday's 76-71 loss to Boston College at the TD Garden, UMass was one of the final 22 undefeated teams in NCAA Division !.
At 7-0, UMass had its best start to a season since the 1995-96 Final Four season, when UMass started 26-0 on the way to a 35-2 mark. The 7-0 beginning equaled the seventh-best start in the 102 year history of UMass basketball.
The loss to BC also saw the end the longest win streak for UMass since 1998. The seven-game run was the longest since the Minutemen won 10 games in a row from Jan. 3-Feb. 1, 1998.
Series History With Maine
This year's game will mark only the third appearance by Maine at the Mullins Center, where UMass holds a 2-0 advantage. This will also be the 32nd time the schools have played in Am herst, with the Minutemen holding a 27-4 advantage in those games.
In that game in 2003, Rashaun Freeman scored a then-career-high 23 points as UMass survived a strong second-half surge by Maine to beat the Black Bears 67-60. Maine, which trailed by 10 in the first half, went on a 9-0 run midway through the second half to take the lead. A pair of 3-pointers by Mark Flavin sparked the rally, which put the Black Bears ahead 52-49 with 8:05 to play. Anthony Anderson then hit his only hoop of the night on a three-point play, Chris Chadwick followed with a pair of foul shots, and Freeman added a layup to put the Minutemen ahead 56-52.
Here's a look at a few other memorable games in the series: Back in 1975, the Minutemen beat Maine, 106-101, in the first game in UMass history where both teams reach the 100 point mark in the same game.
In 1968, the Redmen defeat Maine, 106-81 to improve to 7-0 on the year (5-0 in conference). In the game, Joe DiSarcina hands out 15 assists, a record that still stands today.
Way back in 1961, Doug Grutchfield and Kirk Leslie combine for 45 points in UMass' 101-66 thumping of Maine. Grutchfield finish with 23 for his fifth-consecutive game scoring 22 or more points.
Best Starts In UMass History
UMass also had a 7-0 mark in 1968-69.
Here are the best starts at UMass: 1995-96 (26-0); 1933-34 (12-0 undefeated season); 1970-71 (11-0); 1973-74 (9-0); 1925-26 (9-0); 1977-78 (8-0); 2010-11 (7-0); 1968-69 (7-0); 1975-76 (6-0); 1971-72 (6-0); 1956-57 (6-0).
The program started 5-0 in 1991-92 (Derek Kellogg's freshman season) and 1930-31.
Ramped Up Defense
The shooting defense has been stellar with grit and intensity. Opponents are shooting just .397 for the season with super efforts in a three-game span from Nov. 20-24, limiting New Mexico State to .333; TCU to a dreadful .298 and AIC to .345.
From 3-point range, opponents are just .313 from beyond the arc.
The Minutemen are second the Atlantic 10 in turnover margin with a +4.88 per game, forcing opponents into 141, compared to just 102 miscues for UMass.
Interestingly, UMass' opponents are just .611 from the foul line, one of the best free throw defenses in the NCAA.
Better Shot Selection
From 3-point range, UMass is 35.2, again with several strong efforts. UMass has made more than 45 percent three times: 45.0 vs. Rider (11/12), 50.0 vs. AIC (11/24) and 47.4 vs. Holy Cross (11/27). Anthony Gurley (58.8) and Gary Correia (53.8) lead the charge in taking more selective treys and hitting them. Correia has actually made seven of his last 10 over four games.
Gurley, A Big Man On Campus
Gurley scored his 1,000th career point with his final field goal against Rider and now has 1,141 in his career with 199 coming at Wake Forest and 941 at UMass. He led UMass in scoring in the first six games this season including 24 vs. Holy Cross (11/27), 22 points vs. AIC (11/24) and 18 points in the win over Sacred Heart (11/17). He now has scored in double-figures 57 times in his career and has reached 20 points 14 times, four times this year, most recently vs. Boston College (12/4) with 22.
Gurley scored a career-high 31 points to serve a part of the two-headed offensive attack in the big rally against Rider (11/12) With 31 points in the opener, Gurley tallied the most points by a UMass player in a season debut since Marcus Camby netted 32 against Kentucky in the 1995-96 season opener. Gurley was named to the Atlantic 10 Weekly Honor Roll on Nov. 15 for his performance.
Junkyard Dog Farrell Returns With Vengeance
Even more important is his defensive intensity. Farrell has helped UMass to allow just 58.9 points in his games.
Ready Freddie Nets Career-Best
He added 10 points vs. TCU for his second game this season in double-figures and added 17 in 17 minutes vs. Holy Cross (11/27).
UMass Calls Upon Sampson
Matt Climbs The Hill, Adds Energy
Return To The Cage, a Huge Success
UMass "extended" its winning streak at the Curry Hicks Cage to 15 games with a 17-year gap. The streak spans back to the 1991-92 season as the Minutemen won their final 14 games before moving to the Mullins Center in Feb. 1993.
First Undefeated Tournament Since 1995
This year, UMass swept the Hall of Fame Tip-Off with wins over Rider (77-67), New Mexico State (71-57), TCU (67-48) and AIC (83-56). It marked the first four-game sweep in a tournament in school history.
34-POINT SWING IN WIN OVER RIDER
LAGUERRE SIGNS NLI WITH UMASS
"I am excited to have Jordan join our growing UMass basketball family," said third-year head coach Derek Kellogg. "I have truly enjoyed watching Jordan play over the last few years as he has become quite a player and a person. Jordan has a tremendous competitive nature and an intensity on the floor that will push us to win basketball games. He is a great addition to the building process of UMass basketball both on and off the court."
The Manchester, N.H., native averaged 14 points per game as a junior and is expected to take an even more dominant role in the offense this season.
"It's close to home. They have a good environment and I really like the coaches and players," Laguerre said about coming to UMass. "I've gotten to play with them over the last couple years, and I'm really looking forward to going there and getting stronger physically and as a player."
FORBES IN THE NBA WITH NUGGETS
"He's an NBA player," Denver forward Carmelo Anthony said. "He's got an NBA body, a guy who's willing to learn. He's just a good addition to the team."
At UMass, Forbes was named the 2007-08 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference selection. Forbes had a sensational senior season in 2007-08, finishing as the A-10's co-scoring champion with 610 points (20.3 ppg) along with Temple's Dionte Christmas. The New York native led the Minutemen to the NIT Championship game at Madison Square Garden, averaging 14.8 points in five NIT games, 17.5 in NIT Final Four, and was named to the NIT All-Tournament Team.
Close To Home
UMass will also play three games down I-91 in Springfield. Two in the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off on Nov. 20 and 22 along with a regular-season home game vs. La Salle on Jan. 15. UMass has played home games in Springfield in each of the last three seasons since Kellogg was hired in 2008.
The Minutemen will play at the TD Garden for the second year in a row, against Boston College on Dec. 4 as part of the Boston Tip-Off Classic. That game will air on Comcast SportsNet New England as part of a doubleheader with Drexel, coached by former Minuteman bench boss Bruiser Flint, battling Northeastern in the first game. The event will benefit the Boston Children's Hospital.
UMass also plays two road games within 90 miles at Quinnipiac in Hamden, Conn. on Dec. 1 and at Central Connecticut on Jan. 3 in New Britain, Conn.
UMass Alum Leading UMass
Kellogg is not the only current head coach from the UMass rosters in the mid-90s as Tony Barbee is in his first year as the head coach at Auburn. Coaching at Texas-El Paso last season, Barbee led the Miners to the NCAA Tournament.
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.
FOLLOW THE TEAM ONLINE
Your first and Number 1 source is UMassAthletics.com. The official website of the UMass teams features news, stats, profiles, videos, photos, auctions, live audio, live video and so much more. Visit tonight when you get home for a complete recap story, box score, video highlights, photo gallery and postgame press conference from this and every game.
Our daily blog "Just Take A Minute" has all the latest news from the media along with special information. Its updated several times each day.
Follow the teams and Coach Kellogg on Twitter. Get the news instantly for all Minuteman and Minutewoman teams by following @UMassAthletics. For the latest on the basketball team and Coach, follow him at @CoachKellogg.
The UMass Facebook page is very active, become a fan today at Facebook.com/UMassAthletics. You can also follow Coach Kellogg on his Facebook.com/CoachKellogg account.
Also, UMass has a very comprehensive YouTube page with video highlights, features, interviews and press conferences. Visit today at YouTube.com/UMassAthletics.
KELLOGG'S MISSION 1000
As part of MISSION 1000, UMass head coach Derek Kellogg, his staff and players hand-delivered season tickets to patrons throughout Western Massachusetts. They were greeted with excitement of fans from Amherst to Springfield.
UMass' exhibition game vs. Brandeis on Nov. 4 was a benefit for The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Fans brought 2 cans of nonperishable food to the Mullins Center to gain admission in place of a ticket price. More than 1,000 cans were donated.
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