The Minutemen pulled off a much needed conference victory against Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday night, but it wasn’t pretty. Despite turnovers, scoring droughts, and shooting an abysmal 6-29 on three pointers, UMass managed to stay in the game and pull out a 62-57 victory over the Hawks at home.
Knee Jerk Reactions:
- Probably one of the weirdest first halves of UMass basketball in recent memory. The Minutemen started off in horrible form. Coach Martelli ran a zone defense from the get go which always seems to befuddle Coach Kellogg. The UMass guards’ attempts to beat the zone by launching 3’s did not work since they shot only airballs for the first 10 minutes of the half.
- Ultimately, the Hawks were leading by 12 with as little as 5 minutes left in the half, though we were lucky they weren’t up by more. Coach Kellogg was so mad that he spit on the floor of the Mullins!
- Then all of a sudden we got hot with Zach Lewis and CJ Anderson draining six 3’s in the last 5 minutes. Combine that with a few nice defensive stops and the Minutemen ended the half tied 29-29. It was pretty magical.
- Say all you want about how sloppy they played in the first half, you cannot say that this team lacks heart and determination. It’s great to see such a young team able to get past mental mistakes, airballs, and travels and get back in the game.
- Also good for the young team to pull out a close win on a big comeback, following up on the heels of last weekend’s close loss to Rhody.
- The second half didn’t look much better, with lots of missed shots (0-11 from 3!) but as they say, a win is a win.
- The starters had a pretty rough night offensively (1 point for Deeky, goose egg for Pipkins) but the depth of the squad proved to be a difference maker. The UMass bench outscored the Hawks bench 46 to 2. This included 23 points for Zach Lewis and a very nice 12 points for my boy CJ Anderson.
- I’ve probably said this before, but Holloway is the man! His energy on the court is infectious and when he gets hot it’s so fun to watch. Not to mention he’s always out there working hard for rebounds on both ends of the floor.
UMBR Game Ball:
Game ball was an easy choice this week: Zach Lewis. His offensive spark off the bench brought the Minutemen back from the brink of disaster as he ended the first half with four clutch threes. Not to mention he ended the game with 23 points and 3 steals. Great stuff from Zach.
UMBR Dunce Cap:
Hate to do it but the dunce cap goes to Deeky. Only 1 point and only 2 assists is underachieving to say the least. I’m not mad, I’m disappointed.
The Minutemen host Fordham on Saturday in Amherst. It’s the first weekend of second semester so hopefully student attendance is good. The Fordham Rams are coming off of a very nice (and surprising) overtime win over the VCU Rams. Fordham boasts 4 players averaging double figures points per game but don’t have much of a bench. Our depth will be our advantage so look for Coach Kellogg to push the pace especially since the Fordham starting 5 will be recovering from the overtime match Wednesday night.
Fun Fact: In 2008, the Fordham Women’s basketball became the worst team in NCAA women’s basketball history by finishing 0-29. As former Fordham student Donald Trump would say, “Sad”!