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UMass women’s lacrosse advances to quarterfinal of NCAA tournament -

May 16, 2016

UMass baseball outlasts Rhode Island in series finale behind strong pitching of Brandon Walsh -

May 15, 2016

Eileen McDonald’s overtime goal advances UMass women’s lacrosse in NCAA tournament -

May 14, 2016

12 UMass students face possible arrests in connection to an alleged bad LSD trip -

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UMass baseball falls in first-ever Division I matchup with UMass Lowell 7-3 -

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UMass baseball gets shut out in nonconference matchup with UConn -

May 10, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse tops Richmond, wins eighth straight Atlantic 10 championship -

May 9, 2016

UMass baseball salvages last game of weekend series with Richmond behind strong eighth inning -

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UMass women’s lacrosse beats St. Joe’s, advance to Atlantic 10 championship game -

May 7, 2016

Lack of offense plagues UMass baseball in game two of doubleheader with Fordham -

May 1, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse tops Davidson 12-5 on Senior Day -

May 1, 2016

Two arrested after report of aggravated robbery in Washington Hall last night -

May 1, 2016

Former UMass wide receiver Tajae Sharpe selected in fifth round of 2016 NFL Draft -

April 30, 2016

UMass basketball beaten badly on the glass in loss to Butler

Taylor C. Snow/Collegian

The game plan is simple for the Massachusetts men’s basketball team: Get a defensive stop, grab the defensive rebound, get on the fast break and convert transition buckets.

When one of those ingredients goes missing, it spells deep trouble, and that’s exactly what happened in UMass’ 73-62 loss to Butler on Thursday night at the Mullins Center.

The Bulldogs outrebounded the Minutemen 37-20, which included 17 on the offensive glass, as they continuously found ways to get second chances and prevent UMass from doing what it does best – get on the break and run. It was by far the Minutemen’s lowest rebounding output of the season and only the second time they have pulled down less than 30 boards in a game.

UMass coach Derek Kellogg had no answers and was left scratching his head during the postgame press conference.

“I’m not sure, honestly,” he said. “I mean, they just came up with balls. … When you don’t get any defensive rebounds or clean rebounds, we’re not gonna get any transition baskets, which happened tonight. I just think they out-toughed us.”

Early and often, Butler controlled the glass, as it got out to a quick lead – which it never relinquished – with the help of second-chance points. The Bulldogs finished with 17 second-chance points to just five for UMass, constantly frustrating a Minutemen team that was desperate to push the tempo.

At the head of it all was Butler center Andrew Smith, who grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds – including five on the offensive end. Time after time, Smith was able to either pull down the board or tip a miss out to open teammates, who did the rest of the work for him.

“As long as you can keep the ball alive, go ahead and do it,” Smith said. “I don’t really care if I can get the rebound or not. I mean, if you get a tap out to Rotnei (Clarke) or Kellen (Dunham), that’s as good as three points. That’s something we focus on and try to do.”

It was especially frustrating for UMass because, more often than not, it was able to get the initial stop before getting beat on the boards. Terrell Vinson said that over time that began to wear down on the Minutemen mentally.

“You don’t want them to get the offensive rebound and then you get your coach mad at you because you didn’t,” Vinson said. “It’s kind of frustrating and wears you down, but sometimes the game just goes that way when teams execute their offense well and they can kind of get their guys in the right rebounding position.”

And for a Minutemen team that thrives on getting the defensive rebound to jump-start their offense, it spelled defeat. They finished the game with just six fast break points and simply were never able to get in a rhythm.

A quick turnaround

UMass has no time to dwell on its loss to Butler as it has to travel to Rhode Island for its regular season finale on Saturday afternoon at the Ryan Center.

The Minutemen (18-10, 8-7 Atlantic 10) currently sit in seventh place in the conference standings. With a win, they could move up to as high as sixth place if Xavier loses to Butler on Saturday. A loss could potentially put them into a six-way tie at 8-8 in the standings depending on other results, and they can finish as low as 10th for next week’s A-10 Tournament.

As complex as the scenarios can be, Kellogg is just trying to make it simple. UMass hits the road Friday morning.

“We get on the bus, we have breakfast, we get on to practice, have dinner and really play,” Kellogg said. “It’s as much mental at this point. … We understand it was a missed opportunity with a great crowd. The fortunate thing is the season’s not over. We still have an opportunity in front of us.”

Stephen Hewitt can be reached at shewitt@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @steve_hewitt.

 

Comments
One Response to “UMass basketball beaten badly on the glass in loss to Butler”
  1. tom massetti says:

    Unfortunately Mr. Kellogg, your chances at an NCAA berth ARE over! No effort, hustle or toughness, and you wonder why nobody cares!Once again another lost opportunity with a great
    crowd and fantastic student support you lay anotherr EGG!

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