Coverage from:
The Philadelphia Inquirer
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The Boston Herald - notebook
The Springfield Union-News
The Springfield Union-News - notebook
The Daily Hampshire Gazette
The Daily Hampshire Gazette - notebook


Owls get grinding win over UMass
Temple scratched its way into the tournament final with its inside game, hitting only 3 of 18 three-pointers.
By Mike Jensen, The Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer, 3/11/2000

That was vintage Temple Owls basketball down at the First Union Spectrum last night. Forget about jump shots. They weren't dropping. If the Owls were going to get past Massachusetts in the Atlantic Ten Conference semifinals, they were going to have to win it ugly.

Photo
Kevin Lyde tries to get away from Kit Rhymer's pressure.
Of course, John Chaney's teams have always reveled in winning ugly.

"That's the type of game we usually win. It was like an old Blank Brothers game," Owls assistant coach Nate Blackwell said, reviving a nickname Chaney used to have for his guards in the 1980s.

On a night when only one Owls player, Mark Karcher, hit a three-pointer - and even he didn't make any after halftime - Temple roughed out a 54-47 victory over equally tenacious UMass to advance to tonight's A-10 final.

Trying to win their first conference title in a decade, and remain in contention for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, the Owls (25-5) will face St. Bonaventure, the 56-50 winner over Dayton in the other semifinal.

"We started gaining momentum toward the end, but we had to grind out the win the whole game," said Owls guard Lynn Greer, who was held to a single point, a season low, in 12 minutes.

"You've got to win some horrible games," point guard Pepe Sanchez noted.

Temple's offense got into such a rhythm playing against man-to-man defenses that a lot of teams lately have taken to playing zone against it. Last night, the Owls made only 3 of 18 three-point shots (16.7 percent). Instead, they looked inside. Kevin Lyde was a big beneficiary, ending up with a season-high 15 points to lead the Owls.

Overall, Temple made 15 of 22 shots (68.2 percent) from inside the arc.

After Karcher made 3 of 5 three-pointers in the first half, his specialty after halftime became feeding the ball inside, finding seams in the UMass zone that way.

At the other end, Temple clamped down. Ahead by 37-35 with 10 minutes remaining, the Owls were up by 46-37 with 4 minutes, 27 seconds to go. During that time, Sanchez seemed to have camouflaged himself as a UMass player, picking up three of his four steals in a four-minute span.

Temple had a much easier time with UMass in their two regular-season meetings, but the Minutemen (17-15), headed for the NIT, kept getting better at figuring out how to handle the Owls.

Their first time, playing straight man-to-man, the Minutemen were buried in Amherst on Feb. 1, losing by 75-48. UMass tried out a zone at the Liacouras Center on Feb. 26 and was up for a half before Temple got hot and ran away, 72-54.

Quincy Wadley missed all five three-point shots he tried, but drove to the lane effectively and made all four two-pointers he tried. He talked about how the zone the Minutemen employed had improved since the last time Temple faced them.

"They were reading and feeding off each other," Wadley said. "Bumping down. We were able to confuse them the first time we played [against their zone]."

At the other end, Wadley said it helped that Monty Mack (16 points on 5-for-14 shooting) was basically the only threat. The Owls have gotten used to looking for Mack over the last three seasons.

Cleaning up inside, where he grabbed four offensive rebounds and turned three of them into baskets, Lyde was a perfect 6 for 6 from the field and, maybe more notable, was 3 for 4 from the foul line, after going 3 for 3 from the line the night before against Virginia Tech. It's too soon to say this is a trend, but Lyde was shooting 41.5 percent from the line going into the tournament. He said he understood what he had to do to be on the court at the end of games.

"I've been working real hard on it, shooting with the coaches, after practice and during shoot-arounds," Lyde said.

Blackwell thought there were some similarities between this group of shooters and that of his era.

"Coach claimed that we could never shoot straight," Blackwell said, talking about himself and fellow guards Howie Evans and Ed Coe.


Owls' ugly win a beaut
By Mike Kern, The Philadelphia Daily News Sports Writer, 3/11/2000

The numbers didn't add up. But maybe this Temple team is good enough they don't have to.

Photo
Quincy Wadley looks for options in front of Mike Babul.
The Owls were 3-for-18 from beyond the arc last night. That can mean a lot of things, most of them bad, because coach John Chaney loves to play the game through his guards. And when they're making shots, the Owls can beat anybody.

This time, his four perimeter guys would have had serious trouble beating Bill Cosby in a game of H-O-R-S-E. And Chaney's always telling us to judge his sixth-ranked club on how it plays when the ball's not going in the basket. So. . .

The Owls went 15-for-22 from two-point range, which might be some kind of record for them. And beat Massachusetts, 54-47, at the First Union Spectrum, to reach the Atlantic 10 title game for the 11th time in Chaney's 18 seasons.

Since when did the Owls worry about style points, anyway?

"It was a horrible game for us," said Pepe Sanchez, who failed to score a field goal for the first time this season, and just the second time in his four-year career. "You've got to win some horrible games to be a champion."

That's the Temple we've learned to appreciate.

It was the 11th time the Owls (25-5) have held an opponent to fewer than 50 points this season, and only the seventh time they failed to reach 60. They'd lost four of those previous six. Perhaps that actually makes this a good sign.

"It lets you know what kind of team you have," said Quincy Wadley, who finished with 12 points. "We know every night, the guards aren't going to make all the baskets. That's impossible. That's not reality. We showed a lot of character as a team.

"We feel we're ready for any challenge. We still have games we have to win. That's what matters. The big guys stepped up for us. We're fortunate to have them. It's not the first time they've carried the load for us. We'll probably need them again."

Kevin Lyde made all six of his shots, and just as impressive, three of four free throws. His 15 points were one off a career high. He also had six rebounds, four at the offensive end, despite playing only 26 minutes because of foul problems. Lamont Barnes, who finished with four personals, was 4-for-6 in his 25 minutes.

Their caddie, Keaton Sanders, had three boards and a steal in 15 minutes off the bench.

"It was an ugly game," Lyde said. "The defenses worked hard. We had to do the little things to win.

"We try to play aggressive. On different nights, different people have to come through. We try to do the things we need to do as a team. It can't always be just the guards. Everyone understands that."

The Owls, now 11-7 in A-10 semifinals, will play St. Bonaventure tonight at 6 o'clock, trying to win the conference for the first time since 1990. The Bonnies, who advanced with a 56-50 win over Dayton in the nightcap, haven't been in the finals since 1984.

Temple had beaten the Minutemen (17-15) twice, by 27 and 18. In the last meeting, UMass led by three at halftime. This time, it was 27-23, Owls, at the break. With 10 1/2 minutes left, their lead was two. Lyde and Barnes were sitting next to Chaney with three fouls. Chaney went with his small lineup.

UMass coach Bruiser Flint countered by coming out of his zone. The Minutemen picked up four fouls in a little less than a minute. Lyde and Barnes soon returned. Lyde immediately scored on a putback.

He later turned a pretty feed from Mark Karcher into a dunk. Karcher, who had 14 points, made four conseuctive passes that led to baskets or trips to the foul line. By 4:27, the margin had grown to nine. The Minutemen, who have National Invitation Tournament written all over them, got no closer than six.

Karcher was the only Owl to make a three-pointer (3-for-6). He had three steals, Sanchez four. It almost made you forget sixth man Lynn Greer took just three shots and went without a field goal for the first time this season.

UMass got 16 points from Monty Mack, who took 14 shots, and 12 from Kitwana Rhymer, who took four. Kris Kirkland was held to six points, nine below his average, and compounded matters by commiting six turnovers.

"My thing to my guys is, 'Let's be in New York [for the NIT Final Four]," Flint said. "We played our best basketball of the season these last three games. Now let's go out and do it again."

The Owls obviously have a much more ambitious agenda. The destination they have in mind is Indianapolis. First, they will try to beat the Bonnies, who beat them by one and lost to them by 17. Then they will wait for the NCAA Selection Committee to dispatch them to one of eight subregionals, probably as a No. 2 seed.

"I'm getting a lot of mixed signs," said Chaney, who's lost five straight times in the finals since 1993, including last year's three-point buzzer-beater to Rhode Island. "Some of them are real terrible. That's not good right now. It's that time of year, when teams are very excited. To beat a team three times. . .You saw how much UMass was mentally ready. It's cynical to suggest that this game meant nothing.

"It's important for us to gain some momentum. Certainly, teams at the top tend not to play their very best sometimes, I guess."

Difference is, the really good ones still find a way. The numbers don't lie.


UMass takes a fall
By Mark Murphy, The Boston Herald, 3/11/2000

PHILADELPHIA - They can't blame it on preparation. UMass attacked Temple with as much patience as any team has mustered against the Owls this season.

Photo
Anthony Oates and Mike Babul watch helplessly as Temple shut the door on the Minutemen.
But no one plays the slowdown game better than the No. 6 Owls, who beat the revitalized Minutemen in last night's Atlantic 10 semifinal game, 54-47.

The Minutemen (17-15) will now wait for Sunday night and a call from the NIT selection committee.

UMass made its final run with 1:42 left, when Monty Mack, stunted for most of the night against Temple's matchup zone, finally broke loose for a trey with 1:42 left that cut the Temple edge to 49-42. Quincy Wadley hit a pair of free throws at the other end before Shannon Crooks cut the lead again to 51-44 with 46 seconds left.

But as slow and measured as Temple's climb was, the Minutemen were simply too strapped for time. Mark Karcher missed two free throws with 46 seconds left, but the Minutemen bungled the ensuing inbounds play when Pepe Sanchez managed to tip the inbounds pass out of bounds. A Kirkland miss was answered by two Sanchez free throws.

Mack, who finished with 16 difficult points, came back with another trey that cut the Temple lead to 52-47 with 16 seconds left.

But one Lynn Greer free throw later, Kirkland rimmed out UMass' final chance from the baseline.

The prime nemesis for the Minutemen last night was Kevin Lyde, who scored the majority of his 15 points off offensive rebounds.

Temple took its first six-point lead on a Lamont Barnes layup and then, after Rhymer answered with a layup, on a Lyde backdoor dunk with 6:38 left for a 43-37 edge.

Temple's slow climb continued. With the Minutemen struggling to move the ball or to free up shots for Mack, the Owls put together a 5-0 run for a 46-37 lead before Mack stepped up with a baseline jumper to stop the bleeding with 4:12 left.

The relief was only temporary. Quincy Wadley pulled up for a 10-footer for a 48-39 Temple lead with 2:40 left.

Considering UMass' growing offensive trouble, with Mack taking only three shots over the first 18 minutes of the second half, the Owls had built an impregnable lead.

The first half was slow and deliberate on both sides, and nothing changed over the early portion of the second half.

Temple continued to struggle with foul trouble, with Lyde picking up his third quickly, and heading back to the bench - a bonus for UMass, considering the damage the 6-10 center was doing on the offense glass.

But the lead continued to be just a hair out of reach for the Minutemen. Rhymer's turnaround from the baseline cut the Temple lead to 34-33 with 13:14 left, only for the margin to move back up on three Karcher free throws.

Crooks penetrated to hit a 10-footer that cut the Temple lead to 37-35, only for Lyde to put back a Wadley miss for a 39-35 Temple lead with 9:29 left.


Shaky Crooks steels himself
UMass Notebook
By Mark Murphy, The Boston Herald, 3/11/2000

PHILADELPHIA - Shannon Crooks is the first to admit that his game has been a frenzied combination of nerves and forced issues this season.

As the player annointed by Bruiser Flint to run the UMass offense, Crooks has often fallen into the trap of attempting to do too much when simplicity would have been just fine.

But make no mistake about his importance in UMass' ability to stay alive long enough to play Temple last night in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 tournament at The Spectrum.

His shooting, as well as his control, were key elements during the Minutemen's first- and quarterfinal-round wins over Duquesne and George Washington.

Crooks shot a combined 15-for-23 from the floor in those two games.

He also averaged 4.5 assists and 19.5 points in that stretch - a far cry from the 8-for-36 he shot during the Minutemen's two season-ending losses to George Washington and St. Bonaventure last week.

The George Washington loss, in particular, grated at Crooks' sense of pride.

He had missed a dunk during a crucial stretch in the second half and was whistled for a charge with 15 seconds left.

``My head just got out of it,'' he said. ``I got mad with the world, I allowed some off-court situations to get into my head when I went out there to play, and everything just went wrong.

``I had a very long talk with (Flint) afterwards, and he told me how important it was for me to play (under control), because the team was feeding off of me,'' said Crooks. ``I just told myself to let the game come to me, and things started to happen for me.

``I concentrated on talking to the guys on the floor, and being mature.''

Victim advocate The long list of highly ranked victims played into Temple's motivation last night.

Losses suffered over the last two days by Cincinnati, Stanford, Tennessee and Ohio State all boosted the No. 6 Owls' hopes of earning a top seed in one of the four NCAA regionals next week.

That was the case, anyway, if the Owls were able to beat UMass last night, and thus avoid this humbling national trend.

But that said, the sight that chilled John Chaney and his players the most was that of Cincinnati's Kenyon Martin being helped off the floor with his leg in a temporary cast.

``If I have one fear, it's the fear of an injury happening to one of my players,'' Chaney said.

There was no joy in the Temple camp in that respect.

As one of only two teams that beat the Bearcats this season, the Owls had come to admire Martin - the clear-cut front-runner for player of the year.

``He's the one who directs everything they do,'' said Sanchez.

``They're able to do everything because of him. He gives out orders on defense, and arranges them.''

Chaney streaks Chaney is on the verge of taking his 11th straight team into the NCAA tournament - the third highest postseason run among Div. 1 coaches.

Lute Olson is about to take Arizona to its 16th straight NCAA tournament, and Indiana's Bobby Knight is on the verge of his 15th. Chaney is next on the list.

Overall, Temple is also fifth on the list for consecutive appearances as a program.

Not counting this year's event, North Carolina is first with 25, Arizona second at 15, Indiana third at 14, UCLA fourth at 11, and Temple and Kansas tied for fifth with 10 each. . . . Chaney is sixth among active Div. 1 coaches with a .734 (605-219) winning percentage, behind Roy Williams (.809), Jerry Tarkanian (.807), College of Charleston's John Kresse (.803), Rick Majerus (.744) and Jim Boeheim (.740). Olson (.733), Nolan Richardson (.733), Bob Huggins (.729) and Knight (.726) fill out the top 10.


UMass: Minutemen fall short in semis
By Ron Chimelis, The Springfield Union-News, 3/11/2000

PHILADELPHIA The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team was supposedly playing with house money last night, its NIT portfolio tremendously bolstered 24 hours earlier.

Photo
Chris Kirkland gets the pass by Pepe Sanchez.
But the Minutemen still had NCAA tournament ideas, even if nobody else gave them much of a chance. The only way to get there was by winning the Atlantic 10 tournament, and last night at the First Union Spectrum, they came surprisingly close to getting past the biggest obstacle.

In giving sixth-ranked Temple all it could handle in a 54-47 semifinal defeat, UMass again showed itself as a team that deserves a postseason spot and is playing well enough to last for a while, assuming it gets a berth.

"I wanted to go to the NCAAs, but if it's the NIT, let's go all out there," said Monty Mack, who scored 16 points in a vain effort to keep alive the hope that UMass would win the A-10 tournament and grab the league's automatic NCAA berth.

"We played our best ball in the last three games," said UMass coach Bruiser Flint, who may have rescued his job this week. "I hope we can continue to do it.

"Everybody wants to make the NCAA, but there are about 320 teams out there, and about 230 don't go anywhere," said Flint, preparing to wait for tomorrow night's NIT selection announcement. "I think we've earned a spot."

Last night was the third and by far hardest victory this season over UMass for Temple (25-5), which meets St. Bonaventure tonight for the Atlantic 10 title. The Bonnies beat Dayton 56-50 in the other semifinal.

Last night, Temple could never fully shake UMass (17-15), which was appearing in its first semifinal appearance since 1996, when the Minutemen won their last A-10 title. UMass had lost in the quarterfinals three straight years, but got over that hump with Thursday's 86-68 rout over George Washington.

That victory was considered essential to the NIT chase, and appeared to leave UMass with little to lose last night. Even so, the Minutemen played to win as six players five starters and Winston Smith were the only ones used until the final two minutes, and every starter except Mike Babul played 39 or 40 minutes.

UMass, which trailed 27-23 at halftime, stayed close by giving Temple a taste of its own medicine zone defense. And the Owls had trouble coping.

"Teams that used to play man-to-man are now playing us zone, but this team (UMass) was using zone, press and man back and forth," Temple coach John Chaney said. "That made it very hard for us."

"We're comfortable in the zone," UMass center Kitwana Rhymer said of a defense the Minutemen use only occasionally. "It involves strategy, patience and communication."

The defense bottled up Pepe Sanchez, the Atlantic 10 Player of the Year whose 0-for-4 night produced the senior point guard's second career game without a field goal. The other came as a freshman.

Sanchez finished with three points, three assists and three turnovers.

Temple was still clinging to a 37-35 lead when center Kevin Lyde, who had been out with three fouls, returned and scored off a rebound with 9:28 left. Lyde, who led Temple with 15 points, dunked with 6:37 left to make it 43-37.

Forward Lamont Barnes also had foul trouble which is uncommon for Temple's zone-playing defenders and picked up his fourth with 5:36 left. But Barnes scored from inside to make it 45-37, and the Owls finally had some breathing room.

At 46-39, Mack missed a 3-pointer, Quincy Wadley hit a jumper, and Temple kept control.

"It was just the little things," UMass forward Chris Kirkland said. "We turned the ball over a little too much (13 times), and they got some offensive putbacks. If we'd cut down on that, it might have been different."

"With Temple, you know it will be a low, low scoring game, and the only way to beat them is to control tempo and not turn the ball over," Babul said. "For the most part, I think we did a great job."

Lyde, Mark Karcher (14 points) and Wadley (12) led Temple. For UMass, Rhymer was perfect with 4-for-4 shooting from both the field and the line and scored 12 points.

Point guard Shannon Crooks, 15 for 23 in his first two tournament games, again ran the offense patiently but shot 4 for 12 and scored nine points. UMass, which shot 65.9 percent against GW, settled for 39 percent against Temple, but hit 11 of 12 free throws and made 54 of 65 (83 percent) in the tournament.


Waiting begins for an invitation
UMass notebook
By Ron Chimelis, The Springfield Union-News, 3/11/2000

PHILADELPHIA Now they must wait.

With last night's 54-47 Atlantic 10 Conference semifinal loss to Temple at the First Union Spectrum, the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team will sit through tomorrow's NCAA tournament selection show, waiting for the remaining teams to be placed in the NIT where the Minutemen feel they will receive a spot.

UMass (17-15) is expected to receive a first-round road game in the 32-team field. The NIT opens next week (probably Wednesday), and UMass is on spring break, reducing the chance of a decent home crowd.

Temple is an NCAA tournament lock and possible No. 1 seed. Dayton expects to be selected, and St. Bonaventure believes its A-10 quarterfinal win over Xavier wrapped up a spot, so UMass and Xavier may be the only Atlantic 10 teams in the NIT field.

Virginia Tech (16-15) and George Washington (15-15) are also eligible after finishing at least .500.

UMass is considered an attractive NIT team because its name retains national recognition, despite a power rating of 116th entering the A-10 tournament. The Minutemen, whose 86-68 quarterfinal win over George Washington was seen as crucial to its NIT hopes, would also bring fans to Madison Square Garden if the Minutemen are among the final four teams.

Siena has been mentioned as a possible first-round destination.

Meanwhile, Temple's hopes of capturing an NCAA tournament No. 1 seed rose with losses by Cincinnati (which also lost star center Kenyon Martin to a broken leg) and Ohio State. The selection committee is permitted to consider key injuries.

REUNION:

Last night was the fifth UMass-Temple A-10 tournament meeting in eight years, but first since 1996. The Minutemen beat the Owls in four straight finals from 1993-96.

If Temple wins tonight's final, the Owls will match UMass for the most championships in the tournament's history.

RECRUITING UPDATE:

Raheim Lamb's Boston English team and Anthony Anderson's Lynn English club reached their respective Eastern Massachusetts high school sectional finals. Lamb scored 32 points in a Division I South game against North Attleboro, where Mike Babul played.

Lamb, a forward, has signed with UMass. Point guard Anderson, who will play in today's Division II North final, has given a verbal commitment.

ET CETERA:

Bill Cosby, who holds degrees from both Temple and UMass, posed for pictures with the Minutemen band before the game. The Coz has been at the tournament all week . . . UMass coach James "Bruiser" Flint, who grew up in Philadelphia, always goes by either his nickname or occasionally, by James. Last night's public address announcer, however, introduced him as "Jim Flint."


UMass earns respect in Temple loss
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 3/11/2000

PHILADELPHIA - When the University of Massachusetts lost to Temple, 72-54 on Feb. 26, the Owl fans jeered Minuteman coach Bruiser Flint as he left the court.

"You're gonna get fired Bruiser," they yelled.

Friday night as Flint walked off the court on the short end of a 54-47 loss to No. 6 Temple in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament, the fans had come off him a bit.

"See ya next year," they shouted.

UMass didn't win the Atlantic 10 Tournament, but with two wins and a well-played loss against a potential NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed, the Minutemen won a lot of respect. The difference in fan jeers marked the change in perception toward Flint and his team.

"We played our best basketball of the season down here," Flint said. "I thought we played three really good games. We just came up short tonight, but our effort was good and I hope we can continue it."

The Minutemen will find out if a 17-15 record is good enough to earn them a National Invitation Tournament bid. The 32-team field will be released late Sunday night. The Owls will take on the winner of the Dayton-St. Bonaventure late game Saturday for the A-10 crown.

Senior guard Monty Mack shared Flint's pride.

"We lost the last three games of the regular season and we came down here and turned it around," Mack said. "We came down and went all out. I think everybody is proud."

When Shannon Crooks hit a pull-up jump shot in the lane with 10:34 left, the Minutemen trailed only 37-35 with 10:34 left in the game. But Temple took advantage of foul trouble to UMass center Kitwana Rhymer. With Rhymer forced to be tentative defensively, big men Kevin Lyde and Lamont Barnes both had free reign inside as they equally shared an 8-2 run that extended the Owl advantage to 45-37 with 4:54.

"I couldn't really do as much as I wanted," Rhymer said. "I had to keep my hands straight up so I wouldn't get a foul and it stopped my shot blocking."

Eight points isn't an insurmountable advantage even for the Minutemen on most nights, but Temple's defense made it stand up. UMass cut the lead to five twice in the final minute, but the Owls made enough free throws to win.

Mack led the Minutemen with 16 points, while Rhymer added a dozen. Lyde had 15 points and six rebounds, while Mark Karcher finished with 15.

Temple coach John Chaney was impressed by the Minutemen's effort.

"You could tell how mentally ready Bruiser's kids were to play," Chaney said. "They played hard out there."

Karcher's 3-point shooting over an otherwise effective UMass zone allowed Temple to hold off the Minutemen in the first half. Tied 21-21 with just over three minutes left in the first half, the junior forward buried a bomb from right corner as the shot clock wound down to make it 24-21.

Mike Babul answered with an athletic tip-back in traffic to make it 24-23, but Karcher bulls-eyed another bomb, this time from the left corner, with 12.6 left to make it 27-23 at intermission.


Flint believes team deserves NIT
By Matt Vautour, The Daily Hampshire Gazette Staff Writer, 3/11/2000

PHILADELPHIA - After finishing the regular season and conference tourney with a 17-15 record, University of Massachusetts coach Bruiser Flint thinks his team deserves an invitation to the National Invitation Tournament.

"I think we should," Flint said. "I don't want to say I'm confident and then be wrong, but I think we deserve to go."

The 32-team field will be announced late Sunday after the NCAA Tournament brackets are released.

The Minuteman players are hoping for a chance to play in the postseason.

"I wanted to go to the NCAAs, but I'll take the NIT," senior guard Monty Mack said. "As long as we're still playing."

UMass has previously been in eight NITs: 1970, '71, '73, '74, '75, '7, '90 and '91.

The Minutemen made it to the NIT Final Four at Madison Square Garden in 1991 before losing to Stanford, 73-71.

If the Minutemen get selected, they would likely play on the road. To keep expenses low, the NIT committee tries to schedule regional matchups in the first round. If that holds true, Siena, Rutgers and Georgetown are potential first-round opponents for UMass.

ROOTING FOR TEMPLE... With his own team out of NCAA Tournament consideration, Flint said he'll root for the Owls.

"I told those guys to win it all," Flint said. "I told Coach (Chaney) that I'll be praying for him. I hope he gets his chance. There's nothing like going to the Final Four. He's got a great chance. I hope they go not just for Coach Chaney but for the league. If you have a team in the Final Four it tells you what kind of league you have."

RECRUITING UPDATE... UMass' top remaining recruiting priority, Barton County Community College 6-8 power forward Jackie Rogers, was interview by JUCOJunction.com this week and he told them what he like about UMass.

"I like their press, plus they are losing a four-man (Chris Kirkland), and that's a lot of minutes for me. Pretty much anywhere I go they want me to play a lot of minutes right away," Rogers said. "Coach (Tony) Barbee of UMass is right now ... keeping up with me and calling me to make sure that I have my grades, making sure that I am doing good in school. I like that type of stuff. He is showing me that he wants me over there and that they need me over there."

Rogers plans on visiting UMass shortly. He will decide between UMass, Louisville and St. Bonaventure.

WHILE CATHOLICS COULDN'T EAT MEAT FRIDAY, big-name teams seemed to be on the menu. UMass couldn't make Temple join the ranks of Tennessee, Indiana, Florida and North Carolina on "Upset Friday."

A STREAK-STOPPER ... Temple's win ends UMass' four-game postseason winning streak over its rival. The Minutemen beat the Owls in four consecutive seasons from 1993-96 in the Atlantic 10 Tournament Final.

Temple won the previous two postseason meetings in 1994 and 1990.

HEY BILL, COULD YOU BUILD ME A STADIUM? Temple undergrad and UMass grad school alum Bill Cosby was at the Spectrum for Friday's game. Cosby, an Owl fan, wore an Atlantic 10 T-shirt for the game and cheered for both teams. He took a picture with the Minuteman band and pretended to steal a cymbal in the middle of a song.

UMass athletic director Bob Marcum talked with the Jell-O pitchman, but there was no word whether Marcum asked him about funding an upgrade for the football stadium.


Massachusetts Minutemen (E3) 47
Temple Owls (E1) (#6) 54
Atlantic-10 Tournament Semi-Final
at the First Union Spectrum,
Philadelphia PA

MASSACHUSETTS (47)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Kirkland        40   2-9   2-2   0-8  2  3    6
Babul           27   1-2   0-0   2-5  4  4    2
Rhymer          39   4-4   4-4   3-4  0  4   12
Mack            39  5-14   2-2   0-1  1  4   16
Crooks          40  4-12   1-2   0-1  2  3    9
Depina           1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Blizzard         1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Smith           13   0-0   2-2   0-1  1  1    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 16-41 11-12  5-20 10 19   47
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.390, FT-.917. 3-Point Goals:
4-18, .222 (Kirkland 0-3, Mack 4-12, Crooks 0-3).
Team rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 2 (Kirkland,
Rhymer). Turnovers: 13 (Kirkland 6, Mack 3,
Babul, Crooks, Rhymer, Smith). Steals: 2
(Kirkland, Rhymer).

TEMPLE (54)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Karcher         37  4-12   3-6   2-5  5  2   14
Barnes          25   4-6   0-0   1-4  0  4    8
Lyde            26   6-6   3-4   4-6  0  3   15
P Sanchez       40   0-4   3-4   0-4  3  2    3
Wadley          37   4-9   4-5   0-2  0  1   12
Greer           12   0-3   1-2   0-0  0  0    1
K Sanders       15   0-0   1-2   1-3  0  0    1
Rollerson        8   0-0   0-0   0-0  1  1    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 18-40 15-23  8-24  9 13   54
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.450, FT-.652. 3-Point Goals:
3-18, .167 (Karcher 3-8, P Sanchez 0-2, Wadley
0-5, Greer 0-3). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots:
1 (Lyde). Turnovers: 10 (Karcher 3, P Sanchez 3,
Barnes, K Sanders, Rollerson). Steals: 12 (P
Sanchez 4, Karcher 3, Barnes 2, Greer, K Sanders,
Wadley).
__________________________________
Massachusetts      23   24  -   47
Temple             27   27  -   54
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None. Officials: Jody Silvester,
Joe Mingle, Glenn Mayborg.

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