Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey falls to No. 6 UMass Lowell for third time this season -

February 18, 2017

UMass hockey breakdown in final minutes of the second period on route to 5-2 loss to UMass Lowell -

February 18, 2017

Notebook: Jack Gibbs stars as UMass men’s basketball team drops game to Davidson Saturday -

February 18, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops another close game, falls to Davidson Saturday afternoon -

February 18, 2017

Local blogger Larry Kelley dies in car crash, remembered by community -

February 18, 2017

REPORT: UMass football to name Ed Pinkham as next defensive coordinator -

February 18, 2017

UMass students skip class to stand in solidarity with undocumented immigrants and refugees -

February 18, 2017

NPR Education Correspondent Eric Westervelt talks on future of education -

February 18, 2017

Faculty of journalism department discusses failures of journalism during Trump era -

February 16, 2017

UMass hockey prepares for third and final match-up against No. 6 UMass Lowell on Saturday -

February 16, 2017

Panelists hold discussion on embodying global coalitions -

February 16, 2017

Journalist speaks on criminalization of youth in the United States -

February 16, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse heads to Florida in search of first win of 2017 -

February 16, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to get offense back on track against Ohio State -

February 16, 2017

Duquesne stomps UMass men’s basketball 96-66 in Pittsburgh -

February 16, 2017

UMass softball focuses on mental approach ahead of Madeira Beach Invitational -

February 16, 2017

UMass women’s basketball drops eighth straight in loss at Richmond -

February 16, 2017

‘50 Shades Darker’ steams up all windows in the nation -

February 16, 2017

’20th Century Women’ is a love letter to women across generations -

February 16, 2017

‘Santa Clarita Diet’ delivers on the laughs and the scares -

February 16, 2017

Maturing Minutemen

In a long college basketball season with a young, developing team, adversity can either bring out the best or the worst in players. For the Massachusetts men’s basketball team, it was the former as it overcame an unusual road trip to defeat St. Bonaventure on Wednesday night.

UMass coach Derek Kellogg saw the victory as more than just the second straight road Atlantic 10 win; he saw it as a sign that his team might be maturing and handling pressure better.

“I hope that it shows we’re maturing some, but tomorrow’s practice they could act immature again and then I’ll be feeling differently,” Kellogg said after the win.

“It’s just weird in college coaching, your highs and lows, your ebbs and flows of your team go from one extreme to the other sometimes. You try to get away from that where it’s more steady and then they play well or the way you want them to more often.”

Before one of their most significant games of the season, the Minutemen (12-7, 4-2 A-10) were forced to make an emergency landing on Tuesday night en route to St. Bonaventure.

After smoke was seen in the cockpit of the plane, flight attendants informed the passengers that an emergency landing was necessary.

For the UMass players, including senior guard Anthony Gurley, it was a surreal experience.

“It was pretty scary,” Gurley said after the win against the Bonnies. “You never know what’s going on when you’re that high in the air so it’s not easy to not panic.”

Despite arriving in Olean, N.Y., the home of St. Bonaventure, in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the Minutemen didn’t let the change in routine affect them that night.

“It could have been easy for it to be a distraction but myself and my teammates really showed that we were focused,” Gurley said. “We tried not to let the adversity that we were facing get in the way of what we had to do.”

Gurley scored 28 points on 9-for-17 shooting to help UMass win 78-69. Sophomore Javorn Farrell chipped in 16 points in the victory as the Minutemen shot 52.7 percent for the contest.

The defense, meanwhile, held the Bonnies to under 36 percent from the field while claiming a 39-32 edge in rebounding.

“This is a tough environment and the last couple days haven’t really been easy for us,” Gurley said. “We just stuck together as a family and as a team and we came out with the win.”

The victory gives UMass 12 wins in just its 19th contest this year, which matches its season win total for each of the past two years. In the A-10, the

Minutemen are taking care of business, defeating teams who are not in the top tier of the league. Their two conference losses this year have come to NCAA tournament-caliber programs in Xavier and Richmond.

With their win total, UMass has all but secured a spot in the postseason, something which it struggled to obtain in Kellogg’s first two seasons.

Nevertheless, the Minutemen have tough opponents still remaining on the schedule and will have to continue maturing if they plan on making a case to play deep into March.

Jay Asser can be reached at jasser@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment