Scrolling Headlines:

Pipkins’ double-double leads UMass men’s basketball over Western Carolina -

November 21, 2017

Luwane Pipkins leads the UMass men’s basketball shooting show in 101-76 win over Niagara -

November 19, 2017

UMass to face tough test with Niagara backcourt -

November 19, 2017

Hockey Notebook: John Leonard on an early season tear for UMass hockey -

November 18, 2017

Clock runs out on UMass men’s soccer’s dream season in NCAA opener -

November 17, 2017

2017 Basketball Special Issue -

November 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball prepares for transitional season in 2017-18 -

November 16, 2017

Author Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses how history and humanity is remembered -

November 16, 2017

CMASS completes seven-week discussion series -

November 16, 2017

UMass women’s basketball resets and reloads, looking to improve on last year’s record with plenty of new talent -

November 16, 2017

Matt McCall’s winding path to bring unity to UMass -

November 16, 2017

Carl Pierre is a piece to Matt McCall’s basketball program -

November 16, 2017

Why they stayed: Malik Hines, Chris Baldwin and C.J. Anderson -

November 16, 2017

McConnell chooses politics over morals -

November 16, 2017

Swipe right for love? Probably not. -

November 16, 2017

‘The Florida Project’ is a monument to the other side of paradise -

November 16, 2017

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ doesn’t have to be the best Marvel movie -

November 16, 2017

Thursday’s NCAA tournament rematch between UMass men’s soccer and Colgate will be a battle of adjustments -

November 15, 2017

Veteran belonging and the decline of American communities discussed by journalist and author at Amherst College -

November 15, 2017

‘UMass Cares About Cancer’ Hosts Blanket Making Event -

November 15, 2017

Minutemen host Temple in home season finale

Maria Uminski/Collegian

Maria Uminski/Collegian

It will not be an easy road to travel for the Massachusetts men’s basketball team heading into the postseason.

The Minutemen (15-12, 7-7 A-10) have two games left in their regular season, with the first being a showdown with No. 24 Temple on Wednesday night. The Owls are UMass’ first ranked opponent of the season.

“[The team’s] mindset [is] good, they seem to be ready for tomorrow night’s game,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said. “I’m interested to see the actual game tomorrow night against what I think is a very, very good team. They’ll be a formidable opponent by a long stretch”

The Owls (22-6, 12-2 A-10) enter the Mullins Center in second place in the A-10 table, a hair behind Xavier. Despite being in second place, Kellogg referred to Temple as a “benchmark” for the A-10 conference, as the Owls continue to perform well.

This year’s top performance is headed by senior forward Lavoy Allen, who just won A-10 Player of Week and Big 5 Player of the Week honors. Despite these accolades, Allen (11.2 points per game) is bested by two other scorers on the Owls including junior guard Ramone Moore (15 points) and junior forward Scootie Randall (11.6 points).

Kellogg cited Temple’s recent 17-point loss to No. 4 Duke Feb. 22 as an example of its athletic ability. The Owls stuck with the Blue Devils for the majority of the first half and the beginning of the second, until Duke pulled away with just over 17 minutes remaining.

“I think if you play well against a team that that’s good, obviously it gives you [confidence] that you can compete with some of the best teams in the country,” Kellogg said on Temple.

While the Owls are coming in fresh off a victory against George Washington, the Minutemen suffered a 72-51 loss to La Salle. Senior guard Anthony Gurley was held to four points, his lowest of the season.

“I think we’re just putting that behind us and looking forward to Wednesday night’s game,” Gurley said. “It’s going to be a big time game for us.”

With the recent loss, Kellogg said his team is ready to rebound against Temple.

“They’re on a mission, and I’m thinking we’re on a mission in our own right,” Kellogg said. “[They are] different missions, but at the same token, the same mission.”

Historically, the Minutemen are behind Temple in the series, 41-20, though they have won the last three home games between the two teams. However, the Owls won the last meeting between the two teams, 76-64, in Philadelphia, Pa.

These three-straight home victories add on to a 13-5 advantage that UMass holds over Temple. Not only are the 18 games the most played against any opponent at the Mullins Center, but the 13 home wins are the most against any single Minutemen opponent.

There is more on the line than just the home streak with Temple, however. If the Minutemen are victorious, and both Dayton and St. Bonaventure lose, then UMass would clinch a home game in the first round of the A-10 playoffs.

The final A-10 push will happen on Saturday, when the Minutemen play at Fordham in their last regular season game of the season.

Senior guard Gary Correia said the team has been thinking about how it wants to close out the season, which includes the Minutemen asking, “why not?”

“Why not finish out strong?” Correia said. “Why not finish out the season the way we started it? Why not figure out how we can win these last two and then win four in a row to get a berth into the NCAA tournament? Why not us? I mean, everybody else does it.

“Obviously somebody has to win four games, so why can’t it be us?” Correia continued. “So we’re just trying to figure out how to do that and see what happens from there.”

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

Leave A Comment