Kennesaw State played a feathery first half in the snowy confines of Amherst, but the Owls were no match in the end for the high-flying Minutemen. Owl heads were spinning with the game’s rapid pace and several alley-oops, leaving Kennesaw State wide-eyed in astonishment at the athleticism of UMass. In this instance at least, the bird was only the word if the word was “Loss”.
Knee Jerk Reactions
- UMass won the turnover battle in this matchup, which came as a surprise to anyone watching the first half. The Minutemen were just giving the ball away throughout the opening 20 minutes, which allowed KSU to stay in this game and even maintain a slim lead for a while.
- The win was a true team effort, with all 11 players participating in the game earning at least 10 minutes of time on the floor.
- Jarreau still isn’t back to his old self and can’t play a full game yet, but he took over down the stretch in the second half, reminding us of the player he can be when 100%. There was one scary play where we pulled down a rebound and came down on his foot a little weird. He limped for a few steps but then looked good as new.
- Luwane Pipkins tied the school record for most made 3-pointers in one game (8), and did it on better than 50% from beyond the arc (14 attempts). The kid was on absolute fire.
- Game started off with a grand total of 14 students in the student section. I know because I could count them. Maybe hit 25 max later on.
- Bison played his most minutes in a game so far this season, and didn’t let anyone down with 8 boards, 6 points, and 3 blocks. Really impressed with the progress he is showing after sitting out the first few games.
- We also saw some extended time with the 2 bigs lineup (Gresham and Baldwin), a look that UMass hasn’t been able to put on the floor in years.
- If Bison and DeJon keep throwing down insane alley-oops, we may need to come up with some kind of portmanteau name for the duo. Right now all I have is BisJon Gresharreau, so we’ll have to keep working on it.
- We also got to see the “fab 5” all on the floor at the same time to close out the game. Pipkins, Jarreau, Flowers, Gresham and Baldwin looked perfectly in sync with each other. The future is now!
- The UMBR staff finagled some courtside seats for the game. We couldn’t take too many pics due to the constant threat of getting bundled by a flying Owl, but we did risk injury by ignoring the ball long enough to take this.
That’s the sort of dedication you just don’t see out of anyone other than the UMBR.
UMBR Game Ball
PIMPKINS! 27 points and an absolute deluge of threes.
UMBR Dunce Cap
Might be time to mess with Seth a little. He made almost no impact in this contest. That’s the second game in a row where he’s disappeared.
UMass wraps up the Gotham Classic with a game against Rider on Thursday night. Not sure if there is a championship trophy for this tournament, or how it would be presented if there is, but I hope we find out.
Fun Fact: Rider is a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC), which was also formerly the home to two current Atlantic 10 programs: La Salle and Fordham.