Scrolling Headlines:

REPORT: UMass football’s Da’Sean Downey faces two assault charges in connection with February fight -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football Media Day: Catching up with Joe Colton -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Creating turnovers, forcing mistakes the focus for linebacking corps -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jurors hear police interview, read text messages by defendants in third UMass rape trial -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

‘Living at UMass’ app aims to make move-in weekend a breeze -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass rape trial halts abruptly, opening statements delivered Tuesday -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Jamal Wilson returns from injury with confidence he is ‘main guy’ at running back -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Freshmen Sekai Lindsay, Andy Isabella impressing at running back -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass ranked in top 25 for LGBTQ students -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass football fall camp day five: Rodney Mills looks to continue bringing versatility to tight end position -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Route 9 Diner to reopen under new ownership -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rising UMass sophomore dies unexpectedly -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

UMass football fall camp day four: Veteran offensive line boasts chemistry, looks to improve run blocking -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A colorful UMass homecoming -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Potential nighttime and weekend parking fee at UMass tabled -

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

UMass football fall camp day three: Ex-quarterbacks A.J. Doyle, Andrew Verboys continue transitions to new positions -

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

UMass football fall camp day two: Defensive secondary hopes experience, added depth brings greater consistency -

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

UMass football kicks off day one of fall camp Monday -

Monday, August 17, 2015

Cyr: The time to start talking football is back again -

Monday, August 17, 2015

UMass football adds series with USF, Maine to future schedules -

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Late surge by Minutemen comes up short

BballA 1

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

The Massachusetts men’s basketball team was almost there.

A big second half comeback, improved shooting, and stout defense nearly came together for the Minutemen against Xavier Wednesday night at the Mullins Center.

UMass (8-14, 2-6 Atlantic 10), however, couldn’t hold off a strong shooting performance from Musketeers (16-6, 8-1 A-10) guard Jordan Crawford, falling 87-79 on Leaman Legacy Night.

Crawford, the leading scorer in the A-10, scored a game-high 25 points, going 8-for-15 from the field and 5-of-8 from deep.

“I thought that was a good Atlantic 10 battle, Xavier was really good in the first half, pulling out to a 17-point halftime lead,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “Our guys regrouped at halftime and put a little scare into them, and I thought we played tough and really made plays and shared the basketball.”

The Minutemen started firing on all cylinders at the beginning of the second half, causing three steals in the first four minutes while shooting 5-for-7 on the other end of the court.  UMass went on an 12-2 run with two 3-pointers from senior guard Ricky Harris, one from junior guard Gary Correia and a three-point play from redshirt junior Hashim Bailey.

Harris had 24 points, going 11-of-20 from the field, but struggled from beyond the arc, going just 2-of-8 from 3-point range.

“That was as good as he’s played in the second half all year,” Kellogg said. “He shared the basketball, he was working and scrapping on defense, and at times I thought he was the best player on the floor in that half.”

Correia, as well as Harris, saw extensive time at the point guard position, as sophomore David Gibbs broke his foot in Monday’s practice and will likely be out the remainder of the season.

Harris made a lay-up in transition to tie the game at 62, followed by a made free-throw from Anthony Gurley to put the Minutemen up one with nearly seven and a half minutes to play.

Both teams exchanged leads eight times over the next three minutes, but Green put the game out of reach with back-to-back 3’s followed by a three-point play by forward Jamel McLean (14 points, 11 rebounds) that put the game out of reach quickly for UMass.

Kellogg started three freshmen against the Musketeers, including forwards Terrell Vinson and Javorn Farrell and guard Freddie Riley. Riley added 10 points, while Farrell and Vinson added 12 and 11 respectively.

The Minutemen were outrebounded, 36-32, by the Musketeers, but shot a respectable 43 percent from the field.

After tough losses against two of the best teams in the league, the Minutemen face Rhode Island on Saturday.

“The league this year is as good as it’s ever been,” Kellogg said. “Top to bottom, I don’t know when it’s ever been this good, they have six teams in our league in the NCAA tournament,” Kellogg said.

The Minutemen have not won a conference game at home since Jan. 6, when they defeated Fordham, 78-76.

Even with the way UMass played down the stretch, Kellogg wants to see his team’s hard work turn into victories.

“I’m going to keep preaching to my guys, we can’t settle for not coming out on top, but at the same token, it is a little bit of a process right now,” Kellogg said.

David Brinch can be reached at dbrinch@student.umass.edu.

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