UMass Decides Not To Host Temple In Springfield
By M. G. Missanelli, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer, 2/8/1992
The city that houses the Basketball Hall of Fame will have to do without Temple this year.
After further review, athletic officials at the University of Massachusetts have decided to leave the basketball game against Temple on Feb. 16 at their tiny home court, the Curry-Hicks Cage, rather than move it to Springfield, Mass.
University officials, including head coach John Calipari, had considered moving the game to the Springfield Civic Center, where it likely would have drawn a sellout crowd of 8,469 - about 4,000 more than capacity at Curry- Hicks. That would have brought about $35,000 more to the university's athletic program.
“But the logistics just didn't work,” said Calipari. “We had to worry about transporting our students 25 miles each way. The Civic Center sells alcoholic beverages, and suppose somebody would have gotten hurt? We charge our students a fee to watch our games, and that fee goes a long way toward supporting the program. We felt we owed something to our students.
“As much as we wanted the extra revenue, the bottom line was that we didn't feel the whole thing was worth it.”
While the Minutemen are a tidy 5-0 at the Springfield Civic Center in the last three years - they even beat Oklahoma this year - the bottom line is that Curry-Hicks might offer one of the biggest home-court advantages in Division I.
Massachusetts hasn't beaten Temple there yet, but two years ago, the Owls needed triple overtime to prevail, 83-82.
Calipari disagreed with speculation that the university changed its mind on the Civic Center only after the Minutemen lost to Temple at McGonigle Hall two weeks ago - the 21st straight time the Minutemen had lost to the Owls.
But the coach said he and the administration might have been swayed by a chant that circulated among students while the Minutemen were finishing a conference victory over Rutgers last week. The chant: “Temple in the Cage, Temple in the Cage!”
“It was obvious to us that the students wanted it there,” Calipari said.
Temple of doom
UMass aims to beat Owls for first time
By Joe Burris, Boston Globe Staff, 2/14/1992
AMHERST – John Calipari will try to downplay the significance of the game. The University of Massachusetts basketball coach doesn't want his team to have Temple on the temples, so he will urge them to treat Sunday's matchup as if it were just another game.
Of course, that might be difficult since:
- UMass has never beaten Temple in 21 tries. Two of the last five losses were by 2 points and one was a 1-point, triple-overtime decision.
- UMass' worst loss to Temple since 1989 (Calipari's first year) was Jan. 28, when the Owls routed the Minutemen, 83-61, in Philadelphia. The Minutemen played so poorly that, as of earlier this week, Calipari hadn't watched the film and hadn't decided whether to show it to his players. “Why make yourself mad?” he said. “That was one of the worse losses we've had in my four years here.”
- In the closing seconds of Saturday night's game against St. Joseph's, UMass fans began chanting, “We want Temple!” The Curry Hicks Cage ticket office had planned to issue the 2,500 tickets for the game to students on a first-come, first-served basis yesterday morning.
By midnight Wednesday, more than 1,000 students were lined up in bitter cold outside and the decision was made to let them into the cage. Calipari provided coffee, hot chocolate and doughnuts and bought them 100 pizzas. Tickets were distributed, the students returned to their dorms and word quickly spread; by 6:30 a.m. yesterday, the game was sold out.
- UMass is 19-2 (7-3 in the Atlantic 10). A win over Temple would give UMass 20 regular-season wins for the first time since 1975-76.
The Minutemen have five games remaining after Temple, and it's likely that they will clear the 20-win mark regardless of Sunday's outcome. But it would prove more fitting to reach the milestone by pulling out a thorn that has been stuck in UMass' side since the series began in 1983.
“We've got the whole week to think about them,” said UMass' second- leading scorer, Harper Williams, “and I think we'll probably think about them the whole week.”
“The funny thing is that it doesn't matter how much better Temple plays before us or after us; when they play us, they're at their best game,” said Calipari, who added that former UMass football coach Jim Reid will be seated on the Minutemen bench during the game. Reid knows all about defeating a long- time nemesis. Two years ago, the UMass football team beat Delaware for the first time since the series began in 1958.
Calipari believes he can get his team to look past the losing streak, as Reid did two seasons ago. “We'll treat it like the Oklahoma game,” he said. ''It's a big game; if we win, it's great because we're not supposed to. If we lose, hey, it won't be like it hadn't happened before. We'd be 0-22.”
Temple (12-8, 8-4 in the Atlantic 10) is coming off a 73-72 double- overtime win over Penn State Sunday and has been playing well lately. Regardless, the Owls always seem to play well against the Minutemen.
“One of their players said it's as if UMass is the new kid on the block, trying to make it big and the Owls are the big boys in the league,” said Calipari. I don't think they treat our game differently teamwise, but their kids get up for us individually.“
Among the individuals UMass has had trouble against are 6-foot-8-inch forward Mik Kilgore and 6-9 forward Mark Strickland. Newcomers Eddie Jones and Aaron McKie hurt the Minutemen in the January game.
“Kilgore always hurts us, and Aaron McKie had a good game against UMass leading scorer Jim McCoy,” said Calipari. “Harper and Strickland is also a key matchup.”
Calipari is pleased that McCoy is playing true to form in coming on strongly at the end of the season. Last week, McCoy scored 21 points against St. Bonaventure and 25 against St. Joseph's, hitting a combined 17 of 29 from the floor and 16 of 17 from the foul line.
From the UMass Basketball 1992-93 Media Guide, published by UMass Athletics
Ten years, 21 games…and…no longer counting. The Minutemen defeated Temple for the first time ever in the history of the competition between the two schools in convincing fashion at the steamy, sold-out Cage.
The difference was UM's control of the paint. First, the Minutemen outrebounded the Owls 45-30. Second, UM has 32 points in the paint to Temple's 15. Third, UMass had nine blocked shots, five from Harper Williams.
UM's swarming defense held the Owls to 32 percent shooting, 25 percent in the second half when Temple went scoreless for 7:32 after making its first basket after intermission. In that time period, UM used a 12-0 run to open a 42-37 lead.
Jim McCoy led all scorers with 18 points, but it was Williams' 15 points (13 in the second half) and nine rebounds that sparked UM to victory. Lou Roe impressed off the bench with seven points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes.
UMass ends the drought
Minutemen beat Temple
By Joe Burris, Boston Globe Staff, 2/17/1992
AMHERST – A school of salmon yesterday shrugged their fins and decided to swim downstream. Flocks of birds flew north for the winter. And don't tell anyone, but for three hours yesterday, you didn't have to pay taxes.
What prompted this sudden shift in the natural order of things?
University of Massachusetts 67, Temple 52.
It took 10 seasons and 22 games, but UMass finally pulled off the one Atlantic 10 Conference win that had evaded it. In the 21 previous contests, Temple threw size, muscle and a slow, irritating offense at the Minutemen, and always – always – came out on top.
But yesterday, before a sellout crowd that was so loud it made the paint on the Curry Hicks Cage ceiling chip and fall onto the court, UMass (20-4, 8-3 in the Atlantic 10) finally solved the Temple maze.
The Minutemen did it by attacking Temple's swaying, 2-3 zone with 32 points in the paint (compared to Temple's 15). They did it with pressure defense, double-teaming leading scorer Mik Kilgore (a perennial pain for UMass) to keep him to 2 points, 12 below his average. They did it with a 10-0 run at the start of the second half to turn a 34-30 deficit into a 40-34 lead with 15:56 to go. And they did it with big shots, the biggest a 3-pointer by Anton Brown with 6:46 left – and just a second before the 45-second clock expired – to put UMass up, 54-45.
Temple (13-9, 8-5), which trailed most of the game, led, 32-30, at halftime and scored the first hoop of the second half to go in front, 34-30. But the Owls could not build on the lead, shooting just 25 percent from the floor in the second half. Temple center Frazier Johnson and guard Aaron McKie, who scored 8 points apiece in the first half, were non-factors in the second. Johnson scored just 2 after halftime and spent most of the time on the bench with foul trouble, while McKie was scoreless.
Thus, leading, 54-45, with five minutes to play, UMass began milking the clock and the Owls began fouling. The Minutemen hit 13 of 18 free throws and put the game out of reach when Temple missed seven of nine 3-point attempts down the stretch.
When the buzzer sounded, hundreds of UMass fans ignored a public address announcement to stay off the court after the game. Some 20 minutes after the game, the UMass band was still playing and many of the fans were still on the court.
While UMass head coach John Calipari downplayed the victory, his players made no bones about its significance. And why not? It was cloudy in Amherst, but inside the Cage the reign came down.
“This is the biggest win of my career,” said UMass senior forward Jim McCoy (18 points). “The monkey is finally off of my back. I'm ready to leave the university now.”
“It feels good to win this game,” said senior forward Will Herndon (8 points). “I said that it was going to happen during my career, and it did.”
With 20 wins (including blowouts of Oklahoma, Iowa State and Xavier), the Minutemen are probably two victories away from at least an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament. Although he said his team must finish strong to assure that, Calipari likes his team's chances.
“The kids have found out that, if they come together, they can beat anyone,” said Calipari, who has led his team to back-to-back 20-win seasons, a first at UMass since 1975-76 and 1976-77. “There are about 10 teams in the nation that we can't play with; anyone else, I'd say, 'Let's play.' ”
“Give UMass credit, they did a great job of ball control,” said Temple coach John Chaney.
“Last year down the stretch we would have missed those free throws,” said Herndon. “Not this year.”
An NCAA tournament bid (UMass hasn't been since 1962) is perhaps the only elusive piece in the Minutemen 1991-92 puzzle. The big piece marked “Temple victory” was finally put in place.
|Fast break points||8|
|Points off turnovers||8|
|Second chance points||6|
|Points in the paint||15|
|Fast break points||12|
|Points off turnovers||14|
|Second chance points||17|
|Points in the paint||32|
|Score by Periods||1st||2nd||OT1||OT2||OT3||Final|
|Officials||Tim Higgins, Bob Donato, Gerry Donaghy|
|Technical Fouls||Temple (Mark Strickland), UMass (bench)|