Men's Basketball

 
No. 22/20 UMass Welcomes NIU To The Mullins Center

Dec. 13, 2013

#22/20 Massachusetts (8-0) vs. Northern Illinois (3-4)
 Date  Saturday, Dec. 14 at 3:00 p.m. (EST)
 Location  Amherst, Mass. | Mullins Center
 Tickets  866-UMASS-TIX |  Ticket Info
 TV  watch NBC Sports Network | Channel Finder 
 Radio   105.5 FM WEEI (Springfield), 1440 AM WVEI (Worcester); 95.9 FM WATD (South Shore) Listen Online | Use the TuneIn App for Mobile Devices to listen
 Online Video  None 
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 Game Notes  Massachusetts Notes | NIU Notes | News Clips | 2013-14 Media Guide

 Game Notes

• No. 22/20 UMass returns to action (and the Mullins Center) from final exams to play host to Northern Illinois on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
 This is the 105th season of UMass Basketball. UMass has an all-time record of 1,215-1,071 (.537) in 2,286 games. UMass is 448-308 (.593) in conference games, including a 284-288 in Atlantic 10 play. The Minutemen have claimed 15 regular-season conference championships and five tournament titles.
 The 2013-14 season marks the sixth for head coach Derek Kellogg ... Kellogg starred as a point guard for the Minutemen from 1992-95, playing for coach John Calipari ... Kellogg spent a year as a graduate assistant with Bruiser Flint at UMass, two years at George Mason with Jim Larranaga and eight at Memphis with Calipari, culminating with the 2008 NCAA Runner-up season ... UMass' win totals under Kellogg have gone 12, 12, 15, 25 and 21 last season with a second-consecutive NIT appearance.

#FILLTHEENDZONE FOR NIU
• With students away on winter break following exams, UMass Athletics is offering two special ticket options for this Saturday's men's basketball game against Northern Illinois at 3 PM in the Mullins Center. The Minutemen are looking to #FillTheEndZone by offering a special $8 general admission ticket in the student section. The offer is good until 3 PM Friday so act fast.
 Additionally, UMass Athletics also invites non-UMass undergraduate students (with valid ID) to join us on Saturday for free. Show your ID and get a free student section ticket. This special offer will last all winter break giving those students the opportunity to check out other home basketball and hockey games from Dec. 14 through Jan. 14, 2014.

The Last Meeting
Massachusetts64
Northern Illinois59
December 29, 2012
DeKalb, Ill.
Massachusetts Holds Off Northern Illinois For Fifth-Straight Win
Maxie Esho scored a season-high 14 points to lead four players in double figures as Massachusetts defeated Northern Illinois, 64-59, at the NIU Convocation Center Saturday.

SERIES HISTORY WITH NORTHERN ILLINOIS & THE MAC
• Saturday's contest will be the third all-time with Northern Illinois. UMass won the initial meeting, 102-87, on Nov. 10, 2007 at the BTI Tip-Off Classic in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and last year's 64-59 in DeKalb, Ill.
 UMass is 11-5 all-time and has won five-consecutive against current members of the Mid-American Conference. The record against those schools includes: 1-0 vs. Akron, 1-0 vs. Buffalo, 3-0 vs. Eastern Michigan, 0-2 vs. Kent State, 1-0 vs. Miami (Ohio), 2-0 vs. Northern Illinois, 2-0 vs. Ohio and 1-3 vs. Toledo. 
 This will mark the second of four games this season against MAC schools. UMass is contractually obligated to play two games at home and two on the road as part of the football program's membership in the conference. The four opponents and their locations are determined by the MAC, and are the same as last season with the home-and-home locations switched. The Minutemen won all four games a year ago, defeating EMU and Ohio at home, and Miami (Ohio) and Northern Ill. on the road.

JUST WIN BABY!
• At eight games, UMass is riding its longest winning streak in more than 15 years and the longest stretch in the Derek Kellogg era.
 The next longest streak prior to the current stretch was in 1997-98 when the Minutemen won 10-consecutive games from Jan. 3-Feb. 1 under Bruiser Flint.

BEST STARTS IN UMASS HISTORY
• With a win on Saturday, UMass would continue the best start since the 1995-96 season. A 9-0 start would equal the fourth-best start in the 105 years of UMass basketball. UMass also started 8-0 in 1977-78. Currently, at 8-0, UMass also had the same mark in 1977-78 and was 7-0 in 1968-69 and 2010-11.
 Back in 1995-96, UMass started with a school-record 26 consecutive wins on to the way to a 35-2 season and an NCAA Final Four appearance.
 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).

UMASS RETURNS TO ASSOCIATED PRESS & COACHES POLLS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1998
• Despite securing a road win and a home victory over the then-No. 9 RPI team in the country, UMass dropped one spot in the Associated Press poll to No. 22 this week. The Minutemen received 326 points, their most this season after collecting 274 the week prior. UMass rose two spots in the coaches poll, coming in at No. 20 with 192 points.
 When the Minutemen debuted in the rankings this season, it ended a drought that dated back to Nov. 1998 in each poll.
 UMass has appeared in the AP Poll 80 times previously and is 117-29 all-time as a ranked team. The Minutemen have been ranked in the top 10 48 times, the top five 31 times and No. 1 15 times (32-4).

WILLIAMS PICKS UP A SLEW OF HONORS AFTER CAREER GAME OF 32 POINTS, 15 ASSISTS
• Chaz Williams was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week for the second time this season after he averaged a double-double with 22.0 points and 11.5 assists in wins at Eastern Michigan and No. 9 RPI-ranked BYU - the Minutemen's first games as a ranked team in 15 years.
 He netted 12 points and eight assists in the game at EMU, in UMass' first true road game of the year. Williams came back on Saturday and had a phenomenal game, posting career-highs in points (32) and assists (15), while committing just one turnover. His 32 points are the second-most in the A-10 this season, while his 15 assists tied the school record and are the fourth-most in league history. His assist-to-turnover ratio for the week was 7.7. He shot 52 percent from the floor, 46 percent from outside and was 14-of-15 from the foul line.
 Williams is the first Division I player with at least 32 points and 15 assists in a non-OT game in the last 15 seasons. The only other player to reach those totals in a game in that span was Antawn Dobie (LIU) in 2003 in a double-overtime win versus St. Francis (NY).
 He was also named the National Player of the Week by CBS Sports.com, NBC Sports.com and Dick Vitale's PTPer of the Week.

UMASS PLAYING WITH A LEAD... A LOT
• Part of the UMass formula for success through seven games has been to not fall behind. In 320 minutes, the Minutemen have trailed for a total of 43:00 - just 13.44 pct. of the season.
 Furthermore, UMass has used its pressing, attcking style to wear down opponents and pull away in the second half. UMass has only trailed for 10:26 of the second half this year, with 5:46 coming in the opener against BC and 4:40 last Tuesday at Eastern Michigan. They are outscoring teams by an average of 39.0-34.9 in the first half and 45.5-39.6 in the second half.

SCORING POINTS IN BUNCHES
• UMass is averaging 84.5 points per game, which places it first in the Atlantic 10 Conference and 25th nationally. The Minutemen set a school record when they surpassed 80 points in each of their opening five games. They have since accomplished the feat in six of eight games.
 The Minutemen are coming off a season-high 105-point effort against BYU, which also featured a 50-point performance in each half for the first time.

HIGH SHOOTING PCT. A BIG REASON FOR THE WINS
• Through eight games, UMass is shooting .478 percent from the floor. That leads the A-10 and is tied for 64th in the country. UMass has shot better than the opponents in every game and over 43 pct. seven times.
 The Minutemen have attempted at least 19 free throws six times and are coming off their highest shooting game of the season - 26-of-31 for .839 versus BYU. UMass' season highs for makes (33) and attaempts (43) both came in the win over Nebraska.

MAKING A LIVING AT THE FREE THROW LINE
• UMass is shooting 73 percent from the free throw line through eight games. That figure ranks second in the Atlantic 10 Conference and 77th nationally.
 The Minutemen have attempted at least 19 free throws six times and are coming off their highest shooting game of the season - 26-of-31 for .839 versus BYU. UMass' season highs for makes (33) and attaempts (43) both came in the win over Nebraska.

GETTING OFFENSIVE ON THE GLASS
• One of the stronger parts of the play of UMass through the opening seven games has been its ability to control the offensive glass, and capitalizing on those opportunities. Despite grabbing a season-low five against BYU, UMass has averaged 13.8 offensive boards per game and turned those into 16.0 points per contest. The Minutemen have grabbed at least 17 rebs over the last four games and five times overall (season-high 20 in the opener against BC).
 One of the biggest beneficiaries has been junior C Cady Lalanne. He leads the team with 42 offensive rebounds (40 percent of the team's 110 this season) and has scored 47 points off them for 5.9 ppg. That is 39.2 percent of his scoring on the year.
 Senior F Sampson Carter is also among the opportunistic ones as his 10 offensive boards have netted him 10 points - or 9 percent of his scoring.

DECEMBER UNDER KELLOGG
• UMass is 22-12 (.636) in the month of December under Derek Kellogg and has won 15 of its last 17. The Minutemen have claimed their last seven dating back to a home loss to Miami (Fla.) on Dec. 1 of last season. UMass has gone 5-1 each of the past two Decembers with both losses to the Hurricanes.
 Things won't be easy as three of their remaining four opponents currently have a winning record and the group has a combined 23-11 (.676) mark.

PROVIDENCE GAME TO SERVE AS BASKETBALL'S CAMPUS SESQUICENTENNIAL CELEBRATION GAME
• The University of Massachusetts Amherst is celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding as Massachusetts Agricultural College in 1863 following the passage of the federal Morrill Act. The year-long anniversary celebration included a series of events for Founders' Week in the Spring of 2013 as well as, programs and activities highlighting important historical milestones, events and people.
 Tuesday's ice hockey game against Denver and the men's basketball game against Providence on Saturday, Dec. 28, will see be when those events take part in the celebration.


 

 

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