Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s track and field takes first, men fourth at Joe Donahue Games -

January 20, 2018

Sanzo: UMass’ game vs. St. Louis is a sign of what it is without its grit -

January 20, 2018

UMass men’s basketball gets blown out by Saint Louis, 66-47 -

January 20, 2018

UMass hockey shuts down No. 8 Northeastern with 3-0 win -

January 19, 2018

Matt Murray hands Northeastern its first shutout of the season -

January 19, 2018

Minutewomen stunned by last-second free throw -

January 19, 2018

UMass hockey returns home to battle juggernaut Northeastern squad -

January 18, 2018

Slow start sinks Minutemen against URI -

January 17, 2018

UMass three-game win streak snapped in Rhode Island humbling -

January 17, 2018

Trio of second period goals leads Maine to 3-1 win over UMass hockey -

January 16, 2018

Small-ball lineup sparks UMass men’s basketball comeback over Saint Joseph’s -

January 14, 2018

UMass men’s basketball tops St. Joe’s in wild comeback -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s track and field have record day at Beantown Challenge -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s basketball blows halftime lead to Saint Joseph’s, fall to the Hawks 84-79. -

January 14, 2018

UMass hockey beats Vermont 6-3 in courageous win -

January 13, 2018

Makar, Leonard score but UMass can only muster 2-2 tie with Vermont -

January 13, 2018

Pipkins breaks UMass single game scoring record in comeback win over La Salle -

January 10, 2018

Conservative student activism group sues UMass over free speech policy -

January 10, 2018

Report: Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team -

January 10, 2018

Prince Hall flood over winter break -

January 10, 2018

Rivalry with URI gets tense

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

Just when the Massachusetts men’s basketball team could use a win to pick up its spirit, it heads to Rhode Island to take on its highly competitive rival.

This will be the 136th meeting between the sides, the longest series in UMass basketball history. Since the rivalry’s beginning in 1908, the Minutemen hold a 78-57 advantage over the Rams, including a 64-54 victory earlier this season on Jan. 30.

“Every game we’ve played them has been a nail-biter, a down-to-the-wire [game] except for one here or there,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “I think the people in the area [and] kids on both teams realize that this is a game.”

In the last 11 contests between the two sides, six have been decided by three or fewer points. This includes the 2009-10 regular season conclusion that saw then-senior Ricky Harris score a layup with 3.5 seconds left to push the Minutemen (13-11, 5-6 Atlantic 10) into the A-10 tournament.

Last season’s epic conclusion was one of the 34 games that UMass has won against URI (16-9, 7-4 A-10) in the last 47 meetings. This includes series sweeps in 2000, 2001, 2005 and 2008, which is something the Minutemen will look to do again on Saturday.

Conversely, URI leads the series in games played in Kingston, R.I., with a 35-28 edge over the Minutemen. As far as playing in the Ryan Center, which opened in the 2002-03 season, the teams have split the eight games competed inside.

Kellogg’s record against the Rams as a coach stands at 3-2, while as a player, he went 9-1 between 1992-1995.

With the season winding down and both teams in the thick of the action for A-10 playoff spots, the rivalry is sure to be raised to another level, as fans from both sides will look to give their team the edge.

Kellogg explained that last season the fans even gave his wife Nicole a hard time.

“She’s bringing Max [their son] with her this time in case there’s any trouble,” Kellogg said. “Last year they were on her a little bit. I don’t know if they knew she was my wife or not.”

Other than heckling, the URI fans are surely going to be out to get at UMass seeing as the game that took place at the Mullins Center had a heavy amount of Minutemen fans, drowning out any URI attendees.

“When you go there, to hear how the fans respond to you, you know there is a rivalry and guys are working to get better,” Kellogg said.

Guard Gary Correia, who hails from Providence, R.I., called the URI fans “crazy.” Despite how he may feel about the fans’ reaction to the game, Correia can raise his head high as he is 5-2 against the Rams since he’s joined the Maroon and White.

“I just want to have that hanging over their heads, knowing I won more than I lost against their guys,” Correia said. “[It] would be nice to end my career that way.”

Correia’s ties to URI date back to being a sophomore at his high school, Northfield Mount Hermon School, where the Rams offered him a scholarship to play for them after he graduated.

Although the senior still thanks URI coach Jim Baron for giving him the opportunity, he admitted he is currently playing for the right team.

“I decided to go a different direction and I’m happy where I’m at and happy with the team and I just want to finish my career out well,” Correia said.

Correia played well against George Washington last Saturday, posting 15 points in the 59-51 loss. Most recently against the Dukes, however, Correia made couldn’t repeat the impact performance, putting up four points and four assists.

Kellogg and the rest of the Minutemen will look to have their starting point guard amp up his game at URI, where Correia said his family would be watching him play.

With four regular season games (two home, two away) after the URI contest, UMass will surely be competing to a higher degree as it takes on its rival on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Herb Scribner can be reached at hscribne@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment