Scrolling Headlines:

UMass football selected to finish fourth in MAC East preseason poll -

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Legislature overrides Baker’s UMass budget cut -

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Report: UMass football’s Todd Stafford arrested Saturday morning in Stamford, Connecticut -

Monday, July 20, 2015

UMass names Molly O’Mara newly-created associate director of athletics for communications and PR -

Monday, July 20, 2015

Baker approves state budget, UMass to receive $5.25 million less than legislature’s proposed figure -

Friday, July 17, 2015

UMass bathroom policy to provide comfort, safety for transgender and non-gender conforming students -

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Long-time UMass professor Normand Berlin, 83, dies -

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

UMass professor and poet James Tate dies at 71 -

Thursday, July 9, 2015

State legislators propose budget, UMass could receive almost $532 million -

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cause of death determined for UMass student Chloe Malast -

Monday, July 6, 2015

Nick Mariano, Zach Oliveri transferring from UMass men’s lacrosse program -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Four months after banning Iranian students from certain graduate programs, UMass announces new measures to ensure compliance with U.S. law -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Justin King sentenced to eight to 12 years in prison -

Monday, June 29, 2015

Two future UMass hockey players selected in 2015 NHL Draft -

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Supreme Court ruling clears way for same-sex marriage nationwide -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Former UMass center Cady Lalanne taken 55th overall by Spurs in 2015 NBA Draft -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Second of four men found guilty on three counts of aggravated rape in 2012 UMass gang rape case -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Boston bomber speaks out for first time: ‘I am sorry for the lives I have taken’ -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

King claims sex with woman was consensual during alleged 2012 gang rape -

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wrongful death suit filed in death of UMass student -

Thursday, June 18, 2015

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.

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