Coverage from:
The Boston Globe
The Daily Hampshire Gazette


UMass wins 7th straight
By Jim Utter, The Boston Globe Correspondent, 1/23/98

DAVIDSON, N.C. - Massachusetts was on the rebound all night against Davidson.

The Minutemen banged their way inside for a 48-26 rebounding advantage while holding Davidson to 36.1 percent shooting and ran past the Wildcats, 82-66, last night a before a noisy Belk Arena crowd of 4,417.

It was the seventh consecutive win for UMass (13-5), which started the season 6-5, and left the Minutemen with a perfect mark (7-0) this month. The Minutemen also established a season high for points.

''I always say if you don't have post pressure, you're sort of a fraud,'' coach Bruiser Flint said. ''We did a good job getting the ball inside to keep them at bay.''

UMass never trailed and ran out to as much as a 21-point lead late in the second half. The Minutemen held off Davidson (8-9) late in the game as the Wildcats twice cut it to 14 in the final two minutes.

''We certainly saw why Massachusetts is such a talented team,'' said Davidson coach Bob McKillop. ''They've earned their reputation as one of the best teams in the country right now. They certainly should be ranked among the Top 25. They demonstrated their talent and their toughness.''

Forward Tyrone Weeks led the UMass inside attack with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Center Lari Ketner added 14 points and 12 rebounds.

''Davidson was a little physical out there tonight,'' said Ketner. ''I didn't realize they were that physical. They came out to show us this wasn't going to be no easy win for us.''

For a while, it looked like it might.

Massachusetts scored the first 6 points of the game and raced to a 15-5 lead with 12:23 remaining in the first half.

Davidson got within 8, 17-9, before Ketner scored 6 straight - 2 on a two-handed slam - to put UMass up, 23-9, with 10:18 left in the half.

The Minutemen ran their lead to 15, 26-11, before Davidson seemed to get its offense in gear.

The Wildcats put together an 8-3 run to pull within 8 again, 33-25, with 4:33 left in the half.

Massachusetts picked up 4 points on free throws to build a 12-point lead, only to see it slip back to 8 when Landry Kosmalski scored on consecutive layups for Davidson.

Jonathan DePina nailed a 3-pointer and Monty Mack added two free throws to give the Minutemen a 42-29 lead at halftime.

Davidson thrice got within 9 points in the first six minutes of the second half, but each time UMass responded by getting the ball to a post player inside. The result was a layup and four three throws.

The Wildcats never got closer than 13 the rest of the game.

''We really were never able to get ahead enough for me to feel safe,'' Flint said. ''They can shoot those threes. That will always keep you in a game.

''But I thought we did a decent job running our stuff.''


UMass offense heats up
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 1/23/98

DAVIDSON, N.C. - The University of Massachusetts turned in its best offensive performance last night since beating George Washington on Jan. 10, as the Minutemen pulled away from Davidson, 82-66, at Belk Arena.

The Minutemen cleared the 80-point plateau for just the second time all year in their final non-conference game. The 82 points were the most UMass has scored all season, and the Minutemen have now won seven straight, the longest winning streak in the head coaching career of Bruiser Flint.

UMass improved to 13-5 (5-0, Atlantic 10), while Davidson slipped to 8-9 (4-2, Southern Conference).

In the opening minutes UMass was sloppy, turning the ball over five times but the defense was strong. Highlighted by a one-handed alley oop by Mike Babul from Jonathan DePina and a backboard shaking two-handed dunk by Lari Ketner, the Minutemen cruised to a 24-9 lead just 10:10 into the first half. The Minutemen let their lead slip below double digits just once the rest of the game as they rolled to the easy victory.

Davidson didn't have an answer for the Minutemen's inside game. Tyrone Weeks had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Ketner also had a dozen boards to go along with his 14 points and three blocked shots.

UMass outrebounded the Wildcats, 48-26 including 23 on the offensive boards. Davidson coach Bob McKillop gushed about Weeks and Ketner after the game.

"Lari Ketner is a lottery pick. He is not only big, strong and mobile, but he handles the double team well and has a great back to the basket game," McKillop said. "Tyrone Weeks is also an NBA player. He makes the short jumpers and does what he has to do."

UMass guard Monty Mack, who had 15 points, said "Our plan was to post the ball and go from there. If they doubled teamed then we'd kick the ball outside."

Despite the fact that the Wildcats didn't have the bulk to take on the Minutemen inside, Davidson played a lot of the game with a man-to-man defense, which caught the Minutemen by surprise.

"Davidson was a little physical," said Ketner, who was asked if he thought the Wildcats had played dirty in the paint. "No. It was just physical. Cincinnati played dirty. This was just physical."

Flint was pleased with the performance.

"We play smashmouth basketball," he said. "It was ugly at times, but hey ... we're winning games."

Davidson's perimeter game wasn't much better largly due to the struggles of top gun Mark Donnelly. Usually a 15.6 points per game scorer, Donnelly couldn't seem to solve the defense of Babul and Chris Kirkland.

Ketner gave Minutemen fans a bit of a scare with 4:18 remaining in the first half, when a foul by Stephen Marshall sent him crashing to the floor holding his ankle. Ketner returned to the Minuteman lineup three minutes later, and said after the game that he still felt some pain.

Flint was unsympathetic. "I knew he was all right," Flint said, adding a joking reference to Ketner's predecessor. "People think those things are worse than they are. He's not as bad as Camby though. Marcus would have stayed out of the rest of the game."

The Minutemen return to conference play at 2:30 Saturday, when they take on Virginia Tech at Cassell Colosseum. The Hokies are coming off a 73-66 loss to Rhode Island last night in Kingston.


Massachusetts Minutemen 82
Davidson Wildcatss 66
at Davidson

MASSACHUSETTS (82)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Babul           25   1-2   2-2   1-2  1  2    4
Weeks           32   5-9   6-8  7-12  1  3   16
Ketner          27   5-8   4-6  3-12  0  2   14
Clarke          22   2-3   2-2   0-2  2  3    7
Mack            36  5-17   4-4   0-2  2  3   15
Depina          25   3-6   1-2   0-1  4  4    8
Cruz             2   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Kirkland        13   4-7   0-0   2-4  0  0    8
Basit           18   1-6  8-11   4-6  0  0   10
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 26-58 27-35 17-41 10 17   82
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.448, FT-.771. 3-Point Goals:
3-8, .375 (Clarke 1-2, Mack 1-5, Depina 1-1).
Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 6 (Ketner 3,
Weeks 2, Basit). Turnovers: 13 (Mack 3, Babul 2,
Clarke 2, Depina 2, Weeks 2, Basit). Steals: 5
(Weeks 2, Babul, Depina, Mack).

DAVIDSON (66)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Kosmalski       27   2-6   2-2   3-5  0  4    6
Donnelly        30  3-15   3-5   1-1  1  2   10
Holmes          29   5-7   0-0   2-4  2  1   12
Ton             30   1-5   4-5   1-1 10  4    7
Halbauer        19   2-6   0-0   1-1  0  2    5
Armstrong       10   1-4   0-0   1-1  0  0    3
Burns            6   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Erege           18   4-6   1-2   2-5  0  5    9
Bergmann         1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Ebong           15   1-2   4-4   0-3  1  4    6
Marshall        14   3-9   0-0   3-3  0  3    8
Allenspach       1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 22-61 14-18 14-24 14 25   66
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.361, FT-.778. 3-Point Goals:
8-24, .333 (Donnelly 1-8, Holmes 2-3, Ton 1-2,
Halbauer 1-2, Armstrong 1-3, Burns 0-1, Marshall
2-5). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 4
(Donnelly, Holmes, Erege, Marshall). Turnovers:
11 (Halbauer 2, Kosmalski 2, Ton 2, Armstrong,
Donnelly, Ebong, Holmes). Steals: 6 (Holmes 2,
Ton 2, Donnelly, Erege).
__________________________________
Massachusetts      42   40  -   82
Davidson           29   37  -   66
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 4,417. Officials:
Frank Scagliotta, Jim Haney, Robert Donato.

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