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December 17, 2011 - Quinnipiac vs. UMass


UMass Athletics

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Minutemen return to the court, face Quinnipiac
By Matt Vautour, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 12/17/2011

AMHERST - With final exams taking priority this week, the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team's practice schedule was a little chaotic.

But since Thanksgiving, UMass' schedule between games and travel has made practicing regularly a challenge. So coach Derek Kellogg welcomed the practice time even if it was inconsistent as the Minutemen prepared for Saturday's 7 p.m. game against Quinnipiac at the Mullins Center.

“It's been pretty good. Guys were busy with finals, but we got a couple pretty good days in,” Kellogg said. “They seem like they got refreshed mentally and physically, and I'm hoping they play that way. … It's important to get back to the building blocks of what made you successful. When you get a little bit of time you have to break it down and get back to what made you successful.”

Senior big man Sean Carter said the time has been used productively.

“We needed practice time. That's what we've been missing for a while. We had to work on some defensive things and it's been a nice little stretch,” he said. “We had been getting away from a few things. We just needed the repetition.”

UMass has won its past two games with the Bobcats, but they haven't come easily. Anthony Gurley's shot at the buzzer last year was goaltended to give the Minutemen a 66-64 win. In 2009, UMass built a double-digit lead and held off a late push to win 62-58.

The Minutemen won't miss Justin Rutty, who had 13 rebounds in each of the previous meetings, but Ike Azotam is playing a similar role. The 6-foot-7 sophomore from Boston is averaging 10.9 boards, 10th-best in the nation, to go with his 13.4 points per game. He's had at least 14 rebounds in four different games, including 18 against Yale.

Quinnipiac leads the nation with 44.1 rebounds per game and 17.2 offensive rebounds per game. UMass is 12th at 41.8 rebounds per game and ninth in offensive rebounds with 16.0.

Keeping the Bobcats off the offensive boards is critical if UMass wants to run on offense.

“When we haven't rebounded the ball it's hindered our chances to break out and get our offense going,” Kellogg said. “That's a focal point.”

James Johnson, who averaged 12.0 points in the two previous games against UMass, is averaging 17.0 points per game this season.

After opening the season 2-4, the Bobcats (5-4) have won three straight over Bryant, Hartford and Vermont to bring momentum into the Mullins Center.

Matt Vautour can be reached at Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at

Springfield Republican

Game Thread

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UMass Athletics

Minutemen Continue Home Dominance, Beat QU, 72-67
For the second-straight game, and sixth time this season Chaz Williams led the Minutemen in scoring, with 14 points.
From UMass Athletics, 12/17/2011

AMHERST, Mass. - UMass continued their home dominance, Saturday night, as they were able to beat Quinnipiac, 72-67. The Minutemen had three players in double-figures led by Chaz Williams with 14 points and seven assists. UMass is now 5-0 in games at the Mullins Center this year. They will look to continue their home winning streak as they welcome Davidson back on Thursday Dec. 22 with tip-off set for 7:00 p.m.

Also in double-figures for the Minutemen were Terrell Vinson with 13 points and eight rebounds and Raphiael Putney with 12 points.

Quinnipiac's Ike Azotam finished with his seventh double-double of the season recording a game-high 22 points and 13 rebounds. James Johnson also finished with 22 points.

The Minutemen opened up the second half with a 21-1 run, which lasted just over the first five and a half minutes of the half. Over that period the Minutemen shot 8-for-12 from the floor, while the Bobcats missed their first seven shots.

Quinnipiac was able to cut the game to three going on a 16-4 run over the last nine minutes of the half. But the Minutemen were able to put the game away with clutch free throw shooting over the last 15 seconds of the game.

Both teams came out-of-the-gate in the first half with hot shooting from beyond the arc. The Minutemen closed out the half 5-for-9, while Quinnipiac shot 5-for-10. QU's Johnson led all-scorers in the opening half with 14 points, 12 of which coming from three-point land. Williams led UMass in the first half with 8 points and 4 assists.

The Minutemen shot 38% from the field, including 8-for-23 from beyond the arc. Quinnipiac shot 41% from the floor, 6-for-17 from three.


  • UMass' 5-0 start at home equals team total wins in non-conf games at home last year (5-4) and is last 5-0 start at home since 2007-08 (team went 8-0 at home that season in non-conference games).
  • Jesse Morgan and Raphiael Putney both started their third straight for the Minutemen.
  • Putney scored in double figures for second straight game (sixth time this season and ninth of career), finishing with 12 points, two shy of his career high.
  • Chaz Williams scored in double figures for the 10th time in 12 games this season.
  • It marked Williams' sixth time as team's high scorer and second straight.
  • Terrell Vinson posted his fourth game in double figures of the season and 24th of career.
  • With eight boards on the night, Vinson was the team's leading rebounder for the fourth time this season.
  • Tonight's contest against the Bobcats was the Minutemen's third straight game decided by five points or less.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

Early second-half dominance propels UMass men's basketball over Quinnipiac
By Matt Vautour, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 12/18/2011

AMHERST - In what's becoming a familiar script for the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team, the Minutemen built a big lead early in the second half Saturday night, but had to battle through a few anxious moments late before escaping with a win over Quinnipiac.

Despite the late charge by the Bobcats, UMass held on for its third straight win, 72-67, before 2,890 fans at the Mullins Center.

Minuteman coach Derek Kellogg said he was pleased with the result, but not his team's inability to put an opponent away.

“I told them 'That was a nice win but you have to have a little more killer going out there and trying to really win the basketball game,'” Kellogg said.

Trailing 40-36 at halftime, UMass (9-3) surged out of intermission on an 18-0 run that knocked Quinnipiac on its heels. The lead reached 16 before the Bobcats (5-5) started chipping way.

The Minutemen did not make a field goal in the final 6 minutes, 22 seconds as Quinnipiac slashed an 11-point deficit to three capped by Ike Azotam's putback with 58.5 seconds left.

A turnover by Chaz Williams gave the Bobcats a chance to tie the game with 19 seconds left. But James Johnson drove the baseline and missed his shot. The rebound pinballed off a couple of legs and skidded toward the Quinnipiac bench. Javorn Farrell dove on the loose ball and called time-out to save possession for UMass with 17.5 seconds left.

Williams, who made key free throws at the end of the Dec. 9 win over Siena, went to the line Saturday and missed both shots when one would have stretched the Minutemen's lead to four. But Sean Carter tapped the rebound out to Raphiael Putney who was fouled with eight seconds left. The sophomore, who had 12 points, made both free throws to complete the win.

“I was just thinking, 'knock down the free throws,'” Putney said. “I had the opportunity to come to the line and seal the game for my teammates.”

Williams, who is Putney's roommate, was pleased to have his teammate pick him up.

“I was real excited. That's my roommate,” Williams said. “Tonight he went out there and sealed the deal. It was a great feeling. We needed those.”

Williams led UMass with 14 points and seven assists. Terrell Vinson added 13 points and eight rebounds. Five of his points and three of his rebounds came in the second-half opening run.

The Minutemen will host Davidson at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Bobcats coach Tom Moore, a Worcester native, shook his head at the early second-half run from which his team never recovered.

“We outscored them for 35 minutes by 17 and got outscored in five minutes by 22,” Moore said. “I expected a couple runs, but I didn't think it would be that big.”

Quinnipiac entered the game as the nation's leading rebounding team, but UMass stayed with the Bobcats on the glass early in the first half. But once Quinnipiac started controlling the rebounds, it pulled ahead.

With the Minutemen leading 19-15, the Bobcats scored seven straight points which swelled into a 12-2 run that put them ahead 27-21.

James Johnson had 14 of his 22 points in the first half. Azotam had 12 points and six rebounds before intermission and finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

Williams helped keep UMass in the game with eight of its last 12 points of the first half, including a runner with 5.9 seconds left that brought the Minutemen within four at halftime.

Matt Vautour can be reached at Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at

Terrell Vinson answers challenge by Chaz Williams in win by Minutemen
By Matt Vautour, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 12/17/2011

AMHERST - With the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team trailing by four at halftime Saturday night, Minuteman sophomore point guard Chaz Williams pulled Terrell Vinson aside and challenged the junior forward to make an impact in the second half.

Vinson delivered. He scored five of his 13 points and three rebounds in the 18-0 run by UMass to start the second half en route to a 72-67 win over Quinnipiac.

“I told him at halftime he's got to step it up,” Williams said. “Being the player that he is, he responded perfectly well, That was a different side of 'TV' tonight. He gave us a spark and the rest of the troops just followed.”

Minuteman Coach Derek Kellogg agreed.

“It was exactly what we were looking for,” Kellogg said. “He made a couple nice defensive plays and his presence really made a difference, That was one of the better games or at least halves that he's played in a long, long time.”

Vinson, who scored in double figures in the first three games of the season had not reached 10 points again until Saturday.

“I was in a little bit of a funk. That definitely felt like the best game I played in a while,” Vinson said.

BAY STATE SUCCESS - UMass is now 7-0 this season in games played in Massachusetts with those wins coming in four different buildings. In addition to being 4-0 at the Mullins Center, the Minutemen are 1-0 in the Curry Hicks Cage, Conte Forum and MassMutual Center.

NEXT UP - UMass (9-3) is off until it hosts Davidson (6-3) at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Mullins Center. The Wildcats play Kansas at 9 p.m. Monday in Kansas City.

Davidson is 1-1 against Atlantic 10 teams, having defeated Richmond and lost to Charlotte.

MISCELLANEOUS - Freddie Riley's three free throws made and five attempted for the Minutemen were both career highs.

UMass senior Matt Hill did not suit up for the game with a knee injury which is not considered serious. Hill has appeared in just two games this season.

Former Minuteman Chris Kirkland (1997-2000) was among the 2,890 in attendance.

Springfield Republican

Boston Herald

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Box Score

Official Basketball Box Score
Quinnipiac vs Massachusetts
12/17/11 7:00 p.m. at Amherst, Mass. - Mullins Center

VISITORS: Quinnipiac  5-5
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN 
04 AZOTAM, Ike........  f  10-17  0-0    2-4    6  7 13   3  22  0  1  3  1  33  
35 JACKSON, Jamee.....  f  2-7    0-0    1-3    1  2  3   0   5  1  3  2  1  33  
01 HEARST, Zaid.......  g  1-3    0-1    0-1    0  0  0   2   2  6  0  0  1  16  
02 JOHNSON, Dave......  g  1-8    0-3    2-2    3  4  7   2   4  2  4  0  0  27  
03 JOHNSON, James.....  g  8-17   5-9    1-2    0  2  2   4  22  4  2  0  1  36  
05 GAUSE, Nate........  -  1-1    0-0    0-1    0  1  1   1   2  0  1  0  0  3  
10 YOUNG, Garvey......  -  2-6    1-4    0-2    2  7  9   4   5  3  2  0  0  33  
15 JACKSON, Alex......  -  0-0    0-0    1-2    1  0  1   0   1  0  0  0  0  2  
21 CONTI, Evan........  -  0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   2   0  0  1  0  0  3  
23 DRAME, Ousmane.....  -  1-4    0-0    2-2    4  4  8   4   4  1  2  1  0  14  
TM TEAM...............                          2  1  3     
   Totals.............  - 26-64   6-17   9-19  19 28 47  22  67 17 16  6  4 200  

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 16-29 55.2%   2nd Half: 10-35 28.6%   Game: 40.6%
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-10 50.0%   2nd Half:  1-7  14.3%   Game: 35.3%
F Throw % 1st Half:  3-7  42.9%   2nd Half:  6-12 50.0%   Game: 47.4%  

HOME TEAM: Massachusetts 9-3

                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
33 VINSON, Terrell....  f  5-12   2-4    1-2    4  4  8   2  13  1  0  0  2  26  
34 PUTNEY, Raphiael...  f  4-9    2-5    2-2    0  5  5   3  12  2  0  1  1  23  
54 CARTER, Sean.......  c  1-2    0-0    2-4    4  1  5   4   4  0  1  1  0  24  
03 WILLIAMS, Chaz.....  g  5-15   1-4    3-8    0  2  2   1  14  7  2  0  2  35  
05 MORGAN, Jesse......  g  2-6    1-4    0-0    1  4  5   2   5  4  4  0  1  22  
00 FARRELL, Javorn....  -  2-5    1-2    2-4    1  2  3   4   7  2  3  0  2  21  
01 ESHO, Maxie........  -  2-6    0-0    0-2    1  1  2   0   4  0  0  1  1  10  
04 RILEY, Freddie.....  -  1-6    1-4    3-5    1  4  5   3   6  2  1  0  1  23  
10 LALANNE, Cady......  -  3-5    0-0    1-1    4  1  5   0   7  0  1  0  0  16  
TM TEAM...............                          2  0  2    
   Totals.............  -  25-66  8-23  14-28  18 24 42  19  72 18 12  3 10 200  

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 14-34 41.2%   2nd Half: 11-32 34.4%   Game: 37.9%
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  5-9  55.6%   2nd Half:  3-14 21.4%   Game: 34.8%
F Throw % 1st Half:  3-6  50.0%   2nd Half: 11-22 50.0%   Game: 50.0% 

Officials: Tim Kelly, John Hughes, Joe DeMayo
Technical fouls: Quinnipiac-Drame, Ousmane. Massachusetts-None.
Attendance: 2890
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Quinnipiac....................   40   27  -   67
Massachusetts.................   36   36  -   72

Points in the paint-QU 32,UMASS 28. Points off turnovers-QU 15,UMASS 18.
2nd chance points-QU 15,UMASS 13. Fast break points-QU 2,UMASS 11.
Bench points-QU 12,UMASS 24. Score tied-3 times. Lead changed-4 times.
Last FG-QU 2nd-00:58, UMASS 2nd-06:23.
Largest lead-QU by 6 1st-08:47, UMASS by 16 2nd-14:37.

Play by Play

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