Scrolling Headlines:

UMass tennis rallies past St. Johns to give Red Storm first loss of season -

February 10, 2016

UMass community grieves for beloved friend and mentor James Tilley -

February 10, 2016

Amherst Board of Health votes against reinstating College Pizza’s food establishment license -

February 10, 2016

Top 25 Notebook: Duke gets back on winning track taking down No.13 Louisville Monday -

February 10, 2016

Battle of the bottom: UMass women’s basketball travels to La Salle Wednesday -

February 10, 2016

UMass hockey averts crisis in 4-3 overtime thriller against AIC -

February 10, 2016

Steven Iacobellis and Austin Plevy rekindle their relationship on the ice -

February 10, 2016

My generation may be ‘Feeling the Bern’, but I’m still with Clinton -

February 10, 2016

Favoritism in the school system -

February 10, 2016

The perfect Valentine’s Day treat: Dark chocolate ganache -

February 10, 2016

Eat, sleep, strap on a fitness band, repeat -

February 10, 2016

Storify: Sanders, Trump both record large victories in Granite State -

February 9, 2016

Dear UMass Administration: Practice what you preach -

February 9, 2016

Student-run political groups gear up for the Massachusetts primary -

February 9, 2016

UMass prepares for matchups with AIC, Northeastern -

February 9, 2016

Football, social Goods, and choice -

February 9, 2016

Rihanna makes her biggest artistic statement on ‘Anti’ -

February 9, 2016

Berthiaume Center recognized with top entrepreneurship award -

February 9, 2016

Massachusetts club hockey holds on for 5-4 victory over Montclair State -

February 9, 2016

A-10 Notebook: Davidson, George Washington earn conference wins -

February 9, 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!

Leave A Comment