OLUMBUS, Ohio — Welcome to the '80s.
Not since the 1980-81 season had a University of Massachusetts men's basketball team opened a season 1-5, but that's where the Minutemen sit today. Yesterday's 54-51 loss to Ohio State kept UMass in basketball freefall, and marked the first time since the 1990-91 season — John Calipari's second — that the Minutemen had lost five straight.
Ken Johnson just waits for Kit Rhymer to give him a block offering. Johnson swatted 9 in the game.
The seventh-game test this year? Only tomorrow against Connecticut, which took a No. 15 ranking into Saturday's win over Arizona.
But UMass continues to learn that its biggest opponent is itself, and in last night's game before 17,258 at Value City Arena, it was more of the same.
"We have stretches of five or six minutes every game that absolutely kill us," said Bruiser Flint, now saddled with his longest losing streak as coach. "In the first half, we played tentative.
"I told our guys when they're facing a shot-blocker, they have to take it to his chest and chin," Flint said. "If Ken Johnson gets to feeling it, he'll block every shot."
Johnson, the Buckeyes' 6-foot-11 senior center, had nine blocked shots — the most ever by one player against a UMass team. Seven came in the first half, when Ohio State (5-2) held UMass to 5-for-30 shooting and built a 26-13 lead.
Johnson also scored 16 points with seven rebounds as Ohio State won a 39-37 rebounding battle. UMass has lost on the boards in every game.
This one set some UMass records for futility under Flint, including the 13 points in one half. In the first half, UMass shot 16.7 percent, and the game figure was 24.5 percent — both low-water marks in the coach's five years.
UMass hit six of its last 11 shots, but still finished 15 of 59. Yet the Minutemen still had an outside chance in the final seconds.
Trailing 52-47 with 27.6 seconds left, UMass took possession, but point guard Shannon Crooks inexplicably pulled the ball out after driving the lane. The Minutemen used 16 seconds before shooting, and after Kitwana Rhymer missed the second of two foul shots, Micah Brand hung on the rim and was called for an "indirect technical," a new rule that distinguishes inadvertent technicals from those called for unsportsmanlike actions, allows the team on offense to maintain possession and doesn't assess a personal foul on the offending player.
Crooks hit a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left, making it 52-51. Brent Darby hit two free throws with two-tenths of a second left, and Monty Mack's 85-foot heave was well short.
"I wish I could explain it," Flint said about Crooks' decision to dribble back out of the lane with time running out. "He not only pulled it out but picked up his dribble — that's what surprised me. A little brainlock, but those things happen."
Mack was 6 for 19 for the second straight game, but finished with 22 points.
"I don't think it's too late to take something out of games like this," Mack said. "One thing I like is the way we knuckled down on defense in the second half. We've just got to do that from the jump."
Like many opposing coaches, Ohio State's Jim O'Brien said it's not as bad with the Minutemen as it seems.
"I told our guys before the game that their record doesn't show how good a team they are," O'Brien said. "If UMass plays as well as they did tonight, they'll win a lot of games."
But if UMass loses tomorrow, it will be the first six-game losing streak since 1986-87.
"Playing tough teams in tough places should help us become a better team," Flint said. "Will that happen? That remains to be seen."
OLUMBUS, Ohio — It took the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team a full half to stop being intimidated by Ohio State shot-blocker Ken Johnson, and by then it was too late.
"I played kind of tentative in the beginning, and he blocked seven shots in the first half," UMass center Kitwana Rhymer said after Johnson had finished with nine blocks in the Buckeyes' 54-51 win at Value City Arena. "But we won the second half, so obviously, playing against him can be done."
Not easily, though. Johnson's nine blocks are a record for an opponent against UMass, breaking the mark of eight by Texas center Chris Mihm last season.
Often overlooked while Scoonie Penn and Michael Redd made up Ohio State's backcourt, Johnson has emerged as a star. Last year, he blocked 5.37 shots per game, the fifth highest single-season average in NCAA history.
Rhymer hit six of nine shots in a 16-point, 10-rebound, five-block performance of his own against Providence Thursday. He finished with seven points on 2-for-10 shooting, with 13 rebounds and four blocks last night.
"The way I see it, I'm as good or better than he is, so I told myself to stop playing like I'm scared of him, which I'm not," the 6-10 Rhymer said.
UMass coach Bruiser Flint said the Minutemen were fading away from Johnson as they shot in the first half, as opposed to attacking the basket as they did later. Johnson also had 16 points and seven rebounds.
Flint said he's not considering using shooting guard Monty Mack at the point, even though Mack worked out at point guard during some early practices.
The idea was broached after a questionable decision in the final seconds by point guard Shannon Crooks, who drove the lane but then pulled back out, costing UMass valuable seconds while trailing 52-47.
"No, we're not doing that," Flint said of the Mack experiment. "Monty would have probably done the same thing, to be honest about it."
UMass hit 15 of 18 free throws, its best showing this season. The Minutemen also tied their season low in turnovers (15) and season high in blocked shots (seven).
Next year's UMass-Oregon game might be played at the Springfield Civic Center, according to UMass athletic director Bob Marcum. The teams played this season at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore., and will meet next year at either Worcester or Springfield.
Guard Sean Connolly, formerly of Bishop Fenwick High School of Peabody, had four points in 21 minutes for Ohio State. Connolly, the 1998 Massachusetts high school player of the year, sat out last season after transferring from Providence.
Winston Smith's six rebounds were one short of his career high . . . The Minutemen scored only two points (on a Rhymer basket) in the first 8:30 and trailed 12-2 . . Ohio State is now 33-3 in three years at Value City Arena . . . UMass held Buckeyes' guard Brian Brown, who had been averaging 16.3 ppg., to eight on 3-for-10 shooting . . . With 22 points last night, Mack has 1,713 in his career and could pass all-time UMass No. 3 scorer Lorenzo Sutton (1,731) tomorrow against UConn . . . If the Minutemen lose tomorrow, their 1-6 start will be the worst since an 0-16 breakout in 1979-80, when they finished 2-24.
OLUMBUS, Ohio — The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team continues to amaze, and yesterday at Ohio State, it was no different.
The Minutemen made a 54-51 loss seem lopsided, a game they never really had a chance to win. Oh, they tantalized us at the end, but whenever a key turnover, missed shot or defensive breakdown was required to keep the Buckeyes in command, UMass was there to oblige.
The right journalistic thing to do is to rip this team. Then you talk to the coach and players, who are genuinely decent people, and the temptation is always to pull back.
So let's just leave it at this: there is talent here, but right now, this is a bad basketball team. It doesn't mean these are bad players. But from the moment they missed 14 of their first 15 shots, the Minutemen were headed to defeat last night.
"We waste so much energy trying to come back," forward Micah Brand said, "that we don't put the whole 40 minutes together."
"Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy," guard Monty Mack said.
Blame Bruiser Flint, blame the schedule, blame the players, blame them all. But as noble as the effort remains — and it's there every night — UMass basketball has taken on a certain fraudulence, if only because the Minutemen are touring America like a big-time program, when it's clear they are not.
Last night was a perfect example. Ohio State is everything UMass aspires to be, playing in a building twice the size of the Mullins Center, with more fans, more money, a higher profile and prettier cheerleaders.
Since UMass no longer measures up, the Minutemen instead supply the worthy opposition, going far and wide to lose by respectable scores.
But you can't pin it all on the schedule, which is currently the nation's 24th toughest. Athletic director Bob Marcum says the UMass schedule fluctuates as third- or fourth-toughest among Atlantic 10 teams.
Besides, losing to Holy Cross takes some starch out of the scheduling argument.
The opposition is tough, maybe too tough, but this was also supposed to be the year of talent and depth. Yet newcomers Eric Williams and Jackie Rogers are struggling, and Jameel Pugh hasn't left the bench.
Willie Jenkins hit two 3-pointers against Holy Cross, which is almost worth a game ball these days. In three games since, Jenkins has played a total of 15 minutes.
"You can't put Willie in a game like this," Flint said after yesterday's loss. "My older guys are making mistakes, so you're certainly not going to put a freshman out there."
But Bruiser, if your older guys are already making mistakes . . . well, never mind.
One excuse making the rounds is that if freshman Anthony Anderson had been academically eligible, UMass finally would have had its natural point guard, and all would be well. That would have required Flint to hand the ball to a freshman and say "run the show." We'll never know if that would have happened, but recent history allows fair room for doubt.
Besides, it's far beyond who is playing and who isn't. For many reasons, UMass basketball has been holding on to a national image by its fingernails, and the grip has slipped. The Minutemen have become a name without a game.
"We need to get that feeling during a game that we can win it," Flint said. "I still think we'll be OK."
Maybe. This is, after all, UMass basketball.
Wait until the Atlantic 10 games. We can always count on that. Oh, by the way, did anyone notice that Fordham beat St. John's the other day?
OLUMBUS, Ohio - Five straight losses. Six straight games getting out-rebounded.
Micah Brand tries to reel in the rebound.
There you have these 1-5 Minutemen, who played roughly one half of good basketball yesterday and were still in position to beat Ohio State yesterday, instead of losing, 54-51.
``I think we're our own worst enemy,'' said senior captain Monty Mack, who scored a game-high 22 points. ``We hold ourselves back, with the way we play sometimes.''
Let's count a few of the ways.
Buckeyes center Ken Johnson, the leading shot blocker in the nation last year, finished with an overpowering nine-block, 16-point, seven-rebound performance.
Minutemen timidity - particularly during a first half in which they shot 17 percent from the floor and scored the lowest 20-minute point total (13) of any Bruiser Flint-coached team - had a lot to do with Johnson's day.
``The key to the game was the way we shot in the first half, and the fact that we played tentative against Ken Johnson,'' said Flint. ``You have to go up in his chest and let him know that you came to play tonight. If he senses that you're tentative, then he will block everything that you put up.''
Move forward to the stretch, when the Minutemen gradually climbed out of their 26-13 halftime hole.
A Mack 3-pointer cut the Ohio State edge to 50-47 with 1:29 left. Buckeyes freshman Zach Williams answered with a drive for a 52-47 lead with 1:09 left.
A turnover from each team followed, before Shannon Crooks took an inbounds pass and indecisively started downcourt with 27.6 seconds on the clock.
He drove - apparently beating his defender - pulled up, dribbled back to the outside and pulled up again with the entire UMass bench on its feet screaming at the point guard to look at the clock and shoot.
Instead, Crooks heaved a pass to Winston Smith, who then struggled to get off a 12-footer against two defenders. Luckily for UMass, center Kitwana Rhymer grabbed the offensive rebound and drew the foul.
He hit the first of two to cut the Ohio State lead to 52-48.
The problem? There was 9.1 seconds left in the game. Crooks' confused dribbling killed 15 seconds that his team desperately needed.
``I asked him, `Did you know how much time was left?' and he said yes,'' said Flint. ``But he said he was trying to decide whether to drive or shoot a (3-pointer). The crazy thing about it is that we went over situations at the end of practice (Saturday).
``But that happens sometimes - a little bit of brain lock,'' said Flint.
Though Flint has talked in the past of giving Mack a share of the point guard duties, he shot down the idea yesterday.
``Oh no. I'm not doing that,'' he said. ``He might have done the same thing in that situation today.''
Crooks made a solid attempt at restitution when, with 1.9 seconds left, he drained a trey from the left corner to cut the Buckeyes' lead to 52-51, the tightest margin of the game.
But Brent Darby, fouled on the inbounds pass, hit both free throws. This left Mack with two-tenths of a second to heave an ill-fated, full-court shot at the buzzer.
Minuteman forward Micah Brand was 2-for-8 on field goal attempts, scoring a total of six points. Brand was awarded the game's sole technical foul as the frustration and mistakes continue. Consider, for example, the elbow thrown by forward Jackie Rogers at Darby with 2:47 left, and the score holding at 49-44, courtesy of a Smith trey. Darby hit the first of two free throws.
Rogers committed a similar foul, at a similar juncture, during a Dec. 2 loss to Oregon.
They are their own worst enemies, indeed.
OLUMBUS, Ohio - If the University of Massachusetts had come into Sunday's game against Ohio State 3-2 or even 2-3, the 54-51 loss could have been written off as an understandable one against a tough opponent on the road.
But leaving Value City Arena, the Minutemen didn't have much cause for optimism despite battling most of the way back from a 13-point halftime deficit.
With 27.6 seconds left in the game, UMass had the ball, trailing 52-47. Junior point guard Shannon Crooks drove into the lane, but instead of shooting or kicking the ball out, he pulled back to the top of the key and picked up his dribble, wasting about 13 valuable seconds.
"I wish I could tell you what happened," UMass coach Bruiser Flint said. "I asked him if he knew how much time there was. He said yes, but he said he didn't know if he wanted to shoot a three or take it to the basket."
Crooks finally dished the ball to Winston Smith, who missed a 3-pointer. Kitwana Rhymer grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled with 9.1 seconds left. Rhymer hit the first free throw and missed the second, but Crooks grabbed the rebound. However, he missed a shot from the baseline.
Micah Brand tried for a put-back dunk and missed, but hung on the rim. He was whistled for an indirect technical foul. Under a new rule, that differentiates between lesser and more severe fouls, the Buckeyes were assessed one foul shot, which Bryan Brown missed. By that same rule, the ball went to the Minutemen, who had the possession arrow.
They rushed the ball up court and Crooks hit a three from the right corner with 1.9 seconds left, cutting the score to 52-51.
Monty Mack fouled Brent Darby on the inbounds pass. The Buckeye guard made both free throws and Mack's desperation three was short, allowing Ohio State to eke out the win.
Mack was the only Minuteman who scored in double figures (game-high 22 points), while Rhymer had seven points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Ken Johnson's 16 points led the Buckeyes and he disrupted UMass' offense all game long, blocking nine shots, the most ever by a UMass opponent.
"We played tentatively against Johnson," Flint said. "You have to take it to the chest, right to the chin and let them know you came to play. If you take fade-aways, he will block every shot."
The fifth straight defeat is the longest losing streak for the Minutemen under Flint and the first five-game winless stretch since January 1990 in John Calipari's second season. It's the first time the Minutemen have been 1-5 since the 1980-81 season. UMass hasn't lost six straight since 1987. The Minutemen will try to avoid equaling that dubious run Tuesday in the UGame against Connecticut at 7 p.m.
The dubious record book entries continued to mount for the Minutemen as they scored just 13 points in the first half, eclipsing the 16 they notched against Texas last year as the worst scoring half under Flint.
In the first half, more UMass shots hit Johnson's hand than the bottom of the basket. He turned back six Minuteman attempts and the back rim took care of most of the rest.
UMass was lucky to trail by only 13 at the break. In addition to their field-goal problems, the Minutemen had eight turnovers and attempted only three free throws (making two).
As UMass was missing 14 of its first 15 field-goal attempts, the Buckeyes took a 12-2 lead just under nine minutes into the game, with Johnson delivering eight of the points. Brown caught fire late in the half as Ohio State (5-2) extended its lead to 26-13 at halftime.
"The key to the game was that we shot 16 percent (16.7) in the first half," Flint said. "We did that because of Johnson. We missed some from three feet away. We got the ball where we wanted it, but we have to make them."
In the second half, UMass got within seven points five times but didn't get any closer until a 3-pointer by Smith made it 49-44 with 3:06 to play, igniting the final frenzy.
"We did a good job getting back into it in the second half," Flint said. "But we need to play 40 minutes of basketball and we haven't done that yet this year."
Mack said he believes the team still can turn the corner.
"If we do the things we need to do and play like we did in the second half, we can be the team I know we can be," Mack said.
hen his young team wasn't mentally tough enough to fight through its fatigue and fell by three points to Valparaiso in Alaska two weeks ago, coach Jim O'Brien was not a smiling tourist.
Yesterday, then, was a sign of progress for his Ohio State men's basketball team. It was halting progress marred by missed opportunities. It was anxious progress when an 11-point lead with less than 10 minutes left was shaved to three with 1:29 to go. But it was documented progress when the final horn sounded in Value City Arena and the Buckeyes had a 54-51 victory over Massachusetts.
"Coach O'Brien was telling us that none of the teams we've played get as down and dirty and guard us like UMass did tonight,'' guard Brian Brown said. "We needed a game like that under our belts before going into games like St. John's and Kansas and the Big Ten. I think this is a great win for our program and for our young guys to get some hard, tough experience.''
Ohio State (5-2), which will host St. John's on Wednesday and Kansas on Dec. 23, was taken to the wire for the first time since losing its last two games in the Great Alaska Shootout. It led 26-13 at halftime thanks to Ken Johnson's 10 points and seven blocked shots but then saw the Minutemen (1-5) rally behind Monty Mack, who scored 17 of his game-high 22 points in the second half.
Johnson finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and nine blocked shots, but he was the only Buckeye to score more than eight points. Ohio State shot just 39.2 percent for the game and made just one of seven three- point shots.
"We're constantly telling our guys that you can't count on what's going to happen some games on the offensive end,'' O'Brien said. "But the thing you can count on, that you have direct control over, is how hard you play and how well you guard.''
Massachusetts, in losing its fifth straight, shot just 25.4 percent, a figure weighted down by a futile first half in which it had more shots blocked (seven) than go in the basket (five). It was the fourth straight Value City visitor to score fewer than 20 points in the first half.
"The key to the game was we shot (16.7) percent in the first half,'' UMass coach Bruiser Flint said. "We played tentative against Johnson. That really disappointed me. I kept telling them you've got to go at shot blockers. You've got to take it to their chest and right through their chin and let them know you came to play, and we didn't do that. The second half we did it, and we made baskets.''
Massachusetts outscored the Buckeyes 9-3 in the first 3:37 of the second half to nearly halve its deficit. Meanwhile, it negated Johnson at the other end of the floor by overplaying his left shoulder to prevent him from striding into his sky hook.
"That's something I'm not used to,'' he said. "I'm always looking for the double team and finding the open man.''
The gap got smaller after a fast-break basket by Boban Savovic gave Ohio State a 48-39 lead with 6:13 remaining. Massachusetts narrowed its deficit to 52-51 with 1.9 seconds left as the Buckeyes hurt themselves with some ill-advised shots by Brown trying to take the offense on his shoulders, a couple of turnovers and just two made free throws in six chances. Zach Williams made the team's only field goal in the final six minutes.
After Micah Brand was whistled for an indirect technical foul -- a new NCAA rule -- for hanging on the rim while going for an offensive rebound, Brown was given one free throw with 42 seconds left. UMass was awarded the ball after he missed it, however, because the possession arrow was pointing in its favor, and Shannon Crooks' trey from the right corner cut the Buckeyes' lead to one point.
After another timeout, Brent Darby was fouled on the inbounds pass and made two free throws with two-tenths of a second left. Mack's 70-foot lob came down just short of the rim at the buzzer.
"We shouldn't have let it get as close as it was,'' Brown said, "but they're a good team.''
"One thing I was a little bit disappointed in,'' O'Brien said, "was I think we lost a little bit of our composure on the offensive end. You need to be scoring when it's really, really tight at the end, and I didn't think we did a good enough job of doing that.
"But I also believe you have to give them credit. Those guys were tough. They guarded us very tough.''
or an offensive player, the admission often comes through clenched teeth.
"We're a defensive team,'' Boban Savovic said.
A defensive team? When a shooter says it, the words practically sting his lips on the way out. He wants to believe his team is going to live in triple digits, wants to believe that the nets are going to have to be changed every couple of days to keep them from wearing out.
Sooner or later, though, he learns the truth. Better sooner than later.
"We don't have any stars on this team who are going to score 20 or 30 points a game,'' Savovic said. "Every day, it's going to be somebody else. And if our offense doesn't go good for us and we play good defense, we still have a chance to win the game.''
This Ohio State team has a chance to win a lot of games, but if it isn't obvious by now, it certainly should be: It isn't going to be easy.
When 46 of 72 points walked out the door with Scoonie Penn, Michael Redd and George Reese after last season, OSU coaches began a search for offense that hasn't stopped. Seven games into the search, the offense is still more of a faucet than a waterfall: drip, drip, drip.
"We talked about it all during the preseason, about how we've got to find where we're going to score some, and that continues to be an area of concern,'' OSU coach Jim O'Brien said. "But as long as we continue to guard the way we have, we'll continue to win some games.''
He isn't kidding. The Buckeyes won yesterday, 54-51 over UMass, with their dripping offense still in serious need of a plumber. It was a win because the defense kept the other guys' offense plugged up, a win only because the OSU defenders made the Minutemen shooters look worse shooting the ball than they did.
OSU center Ken Johnson defended the basket like it was Fort Knox, swatting so many attempts away that UMass players altered shots even when Johnson seemed to be in another time zone, which partially explains their 16.7 percent first-half shooting from the field.
And when the other team is shooting 1 of 15, as UMass was at one point, your offense doesn't have to be good. It wasn't. Johnson was the Buckeyes' only double-figure scorer with 16.
"In the first half we fade away, and that kid will block everything,'' UMass coach Bruiser Flint said. "If he feels it and he thinks you are a little tentative, he will block everything you put up, every single shot. We shot 19 percent (sic), but he must have blocked eight of them.''
Truth be told, Johnson's supporting cast actually had a role in that. The big man finished with nine blocks, seven before halftime. But the Minutemen didn't really light it up in the second half -- they shot 34.5 percent -- and the ball- hawking, in-your-shorts OSU defenders had a lot to do with that. Even the zone that the Buckeyes played at various times was aggressive.
"We've been struggling some offensively,'' Brian Brown said. "We know every night isn't going to be a good one offensively. If we're not scoring, we have to make sure they don't score.''
Not every team buys into that philosophy, which is one reason that so many of them end up on the wrong side of .500. O'Brien, to his credit, seems to have closed the sale with this group.
"'When we don't put the ball in the basket,'' freshman Zach Williams said, "we have to have nights like tonight where we dig in on defense and make teams shoot poorly.''
That described yesterday, certainly, but it doesn't necessarily support the theory that wins are about to come in globs and bunches. The Buckeyes had seven steals, clogged passing lanes and contested nearly every shot. But when the game moved inside the final three minutes, the visitors were always only a shot or two from the lead.
When you think of what could have happened, when you think about a bomb or two that might have turned a defensive gem into a gut-busting loss, you know that there are times that even great defense is not enough. You still have to score to win.
"The defense has got to get us through,'' O'Brien said. "Then when we have games where we get it done defensively and we're a little more efficient on offense, those are games where we give ourselves more of a chance to win.''
O'Brien knows how to deliver a sales pitch, and his pitch yesterday was a convincing one. UMass made only 15 of 59 shots from the field (25.4 percent) and was still a play or two from escaping Value City Arena with a victory. If this OSU team is going to be successful, defense is probably going to have to be the most important part of the equation.
"I think so,'' O'Brien said. "What happens if we had only held them to 30 percent of their shots? Maybe we don't win.''
|Ohio State Buckeyes||54|
|at Ohio State|
MASSACHUSETTS (51) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Smith 32 1-6 0-0 3-6 3 3 3 Brand 28 2-8 2-2 1-2 0 4 6 Rhymer 33 2-10 3-4 5-13 0 3 7 Mack 38 6-19 6-7 1-3 0 2 22 Crooks 30 2-5 4-4 2-5 5 3 9 Depina 14 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 0 Rogers 15 2-6 0-1 1-2 1 4 4 Blizzard 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Jenkins 5 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Williams 4 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 0 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 200 15-59 15-18 14-32 10 21 51 _______________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.254, FT-.833. 3-Point Goals: 6-16, .375 (Smith 1-1, Mack 4-9, Crooks 1-3, Depina 0-1, Jenkins 0-1, Williams 0-1). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 7 (Rhymer 4, Brand 2, Crooks). Turnovers: 15 (Crooks 4, Rhymer 4, Brand 2, Depina 2, Mack 2, Rogers). Steals: 3 (Crooks, Rhymer, Smith). OHIO ST (54) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Williams 22 3-7 0-1 0-3 0 3 6 Johnson 34 6-11 4-4 3-7 1 3 16 Connolly 21 1-5 1-2 0-0 1 0 4 Brown 37 3-10 2-3 1-5 4 3 8 Savovic 34 1-3 1-2 3-8 0 3 3 Darby 28 1-5 4-6 0-3 4 0 6 Dudley 6 2-5 0-0 0-1 0 2 4 T Martin 18 3-5 1-2 3-5 0 4 7 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 200 20-51 13-20 10-32 10 18 54 _______________________________________________ Percentages: FG-.392, FT-.650. 3-Point Goals: 1-7, .143 (Connolly 1-3, Brown 0-1, Savovic 0-1, Darby 0-2). Team rebounds: 7. Blocked shots: 11 (Johnson 9, Brown, Savovic). Turnovers: 14 (Johnson 5, Brown 4, Connolly, Dudley, Savovic, T Martin, Williams). Steals: 7 (Brown 3, Johnson 2, Connolly, Darby). __________________________________ Massachusetts 13 38 - 51 Ohio St 26 28 - 54 __________________________________ Technical fouls: Massachusetts 1 (Brand). A: 17,258. Officials: Jim Burr, Tim Higgins, Reggie Greenwood.