March 17, 2012 - UMass vs. Seton Hall

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UMass Athletics

Daily Hampshire Gazette

UMass faces Seton Hall Saturday in second round of NIT
By Matt Vautour, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 3/17/2012

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - The University of Massachusetts and Seton Hall squared off was in a preseason controlled closed scrimmage. Per NCAA rules, there were no fans allowed in the gym.

The gym will be full Saturday at 11 a.m. when the Minutemen (23-11) and Pirates (21-12) meet again in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.

Faded behind the content on Seton Hall's athletic website is a picture of the Prudential Center, the shiny state-of-the-art new arena in Newark, N..J., where the Pirates play most of their home games, but this one won't be there.

UMass and Seton Hall will play at 2,600-seat Walsh Gym. The Pirates' win there over Stony Brook Tuesday was the first men's game in the little gym since 2000. The capacity is less than two-thirds of Curry Hicks Cage (4,058).

The winner advances to the quarterfinals where it will play the winner of Drexel and Northern Iowa. UMass coach Derek Kellogg liked his team's approach heading into the game.

“They're in a good frame of mind and they want to keep playing. It feels good to be playing in March. I think the guys feel that way,” said Kellogg, who said the players have rallied around senior Sean Carter, who is playing to extend his college career. “Sean is a senior in his last prize fight and he's done a good job of fighting through and the rest of the guys have followed.”

Like Mississippi State, Seton Hall was one of six teams the NCAA Selection Committee considered for its last at-large spot to the NCAA tournament, a spot that was eliminated when St. Bonaventure earned the Atlantic 10's automatic bid.

The Pirates were wildly inconsistent this season. They beat Virginia Commonwealth, Saint Joseph's, Auburn, Wake Forest, Dayton, West Virginia and then-No. 8 Connecticut as part of their 15-2 start. But they followed that with six straight losses. Other than pounding then-No. 8 Georgetown 73-55 on Feb. 21, the Pirates didn't have a signature win down the stretch.

“When they're playing well they're a top 25 team, but they've had some games where they're not,” Kellogg said.

UMass has seen the best of the Pirates over the past three seasons. Seton Hall beat the Minutemen handily both in Amherst during the 2010-11 regular season and in Newark during the 2009-10 campaign. The Pirates also dominated the closed scrimmage.

“Unfortunately we're very familiar with them. We haven't fared so well against Seton Hall. Not only in scrimmage games, but in regular season contests the past few years. They're an experienced team with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder,” Kellogg said. “But the one thing that's good is that we aren't the same team they've seen the past couple of years. We're playing with a little edge right now. Guys are energized to keep playing so I'm anticipating a great game Saturday morning.”

Senior point guard Jordan Theodore leads Seton Hall with 16.0 points and 6.7 assists per game. Senior Herb Pope has been hard for UMass to contain in previous meetings.

“He's been a good player since he came to college and he gave us some issues when we play against him in earlier games in past years,” Carter said.

The 6-foot-8 forward averages 15.2 points and 10.3 rebounds.

“Pope's been a load and when he plays the way he's capable of playing he's as good as any big guy in the country,” Kellogg said.

WILLIAMS HONORED - UMass sophomore point guard Chaz Williams was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District First team. He was joined by St. Bonaventure's Andrew Nicholson, Temple's Ramone Moore and Khalif Wyatt, and Xavier's Tu Holloway.

NOTES - UMass and Seton Hall have met in the NIT before with the Minutemen upending the Pirates 86-85 at the Springfield Civic Center in 1977.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/GazetteUMass. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at http://www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.

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Recaps

UMass Athletics

UMass Advances To NIT Quarterfinals After 77-67 Win At Seton Hall
Four Minutemen reach double-figures as UMass will face winner of Drexel/Northern Iowa.
From UMass Athletics, 3/17/2012

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - Chaz Williams scored 20 points to lead four players in double figures and Terrell Vinson came up huge down the stretch as Massachusetts defeated Seton Hall 77-67 in the NIT Second Round at Walsh Gymnasium Saturday. Williams finished with seven rebounds, six assists to lift UMass (24-11) to a berth in Tuesday's quarterfinal round against the winner of Drexel and Northern Iowa.

With the Minutemen clinging to a 65-64 lead and just under three minutes remaining, Wiliams and Vinson connected on back-to-back 3-pointers which pushed the margin to 71-64 with 1:30 left.

Following a Williams free throw, Jordan Theodore converted a three-point play with 54.5 tics on the clock, but that would be the last points for the Pirates as the Minutemen closed out the contest with 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.

Vinson finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. All eight of his second-half scoring came in the final 6:22. Raphiael Putney had 15 points and Sean Carter posted his second-consecutive double-double with 11 and 11.

UMass shot 45 percent from the floor and 71 percent from the line.

Seton Hall (21-13) was led by Fuquan Edwin's 21 points. Herb Pope pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds and blocked three shots. The Pirates shot just 35 percent and were just 2-of-27 from outside.

UMass took control of a back-and-forth start to the first half with a 14-to-2 run sparked by the play of Maxie Esho. Vinson's jumper with 13:04 to go sparked the run, while Javorn Farrell hit a three-pointer from the left wing just before the under-12 media timeout to swing momentum towards the Minutemen. Esho scored five points in the two minutes after the media timeout capping the run with a free throw at the 9:14 mark giving UMass a 22-14 lead.

After an Esho tip-in off a missed Jesse Morgan three-pointer with 4:14 to go, UMass was unable to score again from the field as Seton Hall closed the gap with a 8-to-2 run to go into halftime trailing by just six, 36-30.

Seton Hall started the second half with a 7-2 run to pull within one, 38-37, after a three-pointer from Theodore with 17:29 to go. UMass pushed the lead back to back to four, but a pair of free throws by Herb Pope tied the game at 42-42 at the 14:15 mark.

A lay-up by Farrell followed by a put-back from Sean Carter and a three-pointer from Williams quickly pushed the Minutemen back ahead by four, 51-47, as the Minutemen kept attack the Pirates.

Brandon Mobley's three-pointer from the right wing gave the Pirates a 52-51 lead with 9:51 to go marking the first time Seton Hall had led since the 13:04 mark of the first half.

After a Carter lay-up gave the Minutemen back the lead, Fuquan Edwin hit a pair of free throws to extend the Pirates to a three-point lead, 56-53, with 8:49 to go.

The Pirates went up by four for their largest lead of the second half, but a Vinson drive and free-throw after Pope's fourth foul of the game cut it back to one, 60-59, with 6:27 left in the game. The Minutemen retook the lead, 61-60, on a Carter lay-up 30 seconds later.

Vinson hit another put-back lay-up and Williams hit a three-pointer with 2:24 left in the game giving UMass a 68-64 lead forcing Seton Hall to call timeout.

Vinson continued his hot shooting late in the second half when his three-pointer with 1:31 extended UMass' lead to 71-64 and forcing another timeout from Seton Hall. After scoring just two in the first half, Vinson was key down the stretch with eight points.

UMass closed the game on a 13-5 run to seal the 77-67 win.

NOTES

  • UMass is now 12-12 all-time in NIT games including 2-0 against Seton Hall. The Minutemen defeated Seton Hall 86-85 in the NIT on March 10, 1977 at the Springfield Civic Center. UMass will make its third all-time appearance in the NIT Quarterfinals including its first since 2008. The last Quarterfinal appearance for UMass was the comeback win at Syracuse on March 25, 2008 - the year UMass went to the NIT Championship game against Ohio State.
  • UMass' 24 wins is tied for the sixth-most in a single season for program history. UMass also had 24 wins in 1992-93 and 2006-07.
  • Sean Carter posted 11 rebounds for the game marking his 6th game of the season with double-figure rebounds and the 14th time in his career. He also scored 11 points for his 4th double-double of the year.
  • Chaz Williams scored 20 points for his 33rd double-figure scoring game of the season and the 49th of his career. The game marked his 12th 20-point game of the season. His 6 assists moved him 14 assists closer to second all-time in a single-season at UMass - currently 238 by Cary Herer in 1990.
  • Raphiael Putney netted 15 points going 5-of-7 from the floor for his 19th double-figure scoring game of the season.
  • Terrell Vinson scored eight of his 10 points in the second half - all in the final 6:27 of play after Seton Hall had take a 60-58 lead.

Daily Hampshire Gazette

UMass men's basketball wins at Seton Hall in NIT, advances to play Drexel
By Matt Vautour, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 3/19/2012

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - Add struggles against Seton Hall to the list of demons the University of Massachusetts men's basketball team has exorcised this season. The Pirates crushed the Minutemen in 2009 and 2010 regular-season games and dominated them in a closed scrimmage this season.

But in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament on Saturday, UMass controlled the game early and answered a Seton Hall surge late and held on for a 77-67 win in Walsh Gymnasium to earn a spot in the quarterfinals.

The Minutemen (24-11) will play Drexel (29-6) Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Philadelphia. Drexel beat Northern Iowa 65-63 Sunday in the second round.

UMass junior Terrell Vinson, who had been on the losing end of all three of those whippings by the Pirates, said he found satisfaction in ending that streak Saturday.

“That was more of a personal game,” said Vinson, who had eight of his 10 points in the second half. “We scrimmaged them earlier this season and they handed it to us at the end for the third straight time. We just didn't want to have it for the fourth straight time.”

The Minutemen, who led by as many as 12 in the first half, knew Seton Hall (21-13) eventually would make a run. The Pirates cut their deficit to 36-30 at halftime and carried momentum through intermission. UMass held its lead for most of the half, but Seton Hall eventually scored seven straight point to pull ahead 60-56 with 6 minutes, 40 seconds left.

The Minutemen ended that run when sophomore point guard Chaz Williams looked for Vinson, who has scored big baskets for UMass in big spots all season. Vinson took the pass, spun on the block and laid the ball in as Herb Pope fouled him. Vinson hit the free throw to bring the Minutemen within 60-59.

Brandon Mobley missed a 3-pointer at the other end and a Raphiael Putney rebound spurred a UMass fast break. Williams drove into the lane and dropped the ball off for Sean Carter, who laid it in to put the Minuteman ahead 61-60 with 5:51 left.

After the teams traded two free throws apiece, Vinson missed a jumper, but grabbed his own rebound and laid it in to increase the lead to 65-62 with 3:47 left.

Pope made two free throws and then blocked Carter's shot to give the Pirates a chance to take the lead with just under three minutes left. But Fuquan Edwin, who led Seton Hall with 21 points and seven rebounds, traveled to give the ball back to UMass with 2:53 left.

Williams then attacked from the left of the top of the key by faking the defender who stepped back. That gave Williams just enough space to knock down a 3-pointer that put the Minutemen ahead 68-64 with 2:35 left and sparked an ovation from the previously nervous pocket of UMass fans behind the bench.

With their momentum gone, the Pirates seemed to tire as Edwin missed a jumper and Pope threw away the offensive rebound. Seton Hall lost Vinson for a second on defense and Williams got him the ball. The junior buried an open 3-pointer from almost the same place Williams had just hit his with 1:30 left to put UMass up 71-64.

That essentially clinched the win as the Minutemen made enough free throws to hold on.

“Coaches always preach to us, every team is going to have their run,” said Williams, who had 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists, with just three turnovers. “It's just how respond to it once a team knocks you down. I think we responded pretty well. It's just the will to win, once again.”

Putney added 15 points and eight rebounds, and Carter had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

As the players walked off the court, the “Let's go UMass” chants reverberated through Walsh Gym.

“I thought we gave everything we had,” said Minuteman coach Derek Kellogg. “I was proud of our team, that we didn't really fold to their pressure in the second half, when they made a run and had some good things going.

“Testament to the guys on my team,” he added. “I think that they're playing some of the best basketball that we've played all year. And they want to play 'til July. I keep saying it. They'd want to play all the way to July, if we could. Maybe even August, if the weather's nice.”

UMass men's basketball strong on the road late in the season
By Matt Vautour, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 3/19/2012

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - When the University of Massachusetts men's basketball teams lost at Dayton 76-43 on Feb. 25, the Minutemen did not looked poised for any kind of success. They had been an inconsistent road team at best and looked like a pretty bad one that night.

After that game, UMass coach Derek Kellogg called out his team for its poor effort.

The Minutemen seemed to get the message. Since then, they have delivered five straight solid showings away from the Mullins Center, including three at the home of their opponents. That stretch was extended by Saturday's 77-67 win at Seton Hall in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament.

“On the road, it's been tough for us all year,” sophomore point guard Chaz Williams said. “Just coming to hostile environments like this, we just want to stay composed and keep our composure, You know, just stay together and keep playing together.

“That's what we did late in the game, when they were up four,” he added. “We just stayed together and wanted to win.”

Since the Dayton game, the Minutemen (24-11) lost at No. 23 Temple 90-88 in overtime in Philadelphia. UMass upset the same Owls 77-71 in the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Atlantic City before falling to St. Bonaventure 84-80.

In the first round of the NIT, the Minutemen beat Mississippi State 101-96 in overtime.

UMass will be on the road again at 7 p.m. Tuesday to face Drexel in the NIT quarterfinals in Philadelphia.

WILLIAMS IN POSTSEASON - The 20 points scored by Williams on Saturday actually lowered his postseason scoring average to 20.2 points per game. He is also averaging 6.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists.

NOTES - The 24th win by the Minutemen this season tied the sixth most in program history. … Saturday's game was televised on ESPN, and play-by-play announcer John Saunders' nephew Shaun played hockey at UMass.

Terrell Vinson delivers for UMass men's basketball when game is on the line
By Matt Vautour, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 3/19/2012

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - Terrell Vinson's highlights aren't likely to end up on SportsCenter's top 10.

The University of Massachusetts men's basketball team has its share of breathtaking dunks and enough alley-oops to potentially be called Lob U. Chaz Williams has gotten well-deserved attention for his game-changing speed and program-changing leadership and Raphiael Putney's improved game and freakish athleticism have made him a fan favorite and a media star.

But with the game on the line, or in Saturday's case the season on the line, the Minutemen have looked to Vinson and more often than not, the junior has delivered.

In the second half against Seton Hall, UMass looked like it had started to falter. The Minutemen's first-half lead and its accompanying momentum were a distant memory.

The Pirates were bearing down and UMass was just trying to hang on, trailing by four points.

So with 6 minutes, 27 seconds left, Williams did what he often does. He fed the guy who had a huge tip-in to put the Minutemen ahead by five in double overtime against Mississippi State, the same guy whose 17 second-half points nearly carried UMass to a comeback against St. Bonaventure.

“Yes, I do look for TV in clutch moments,” Williams said. “I actually call him Terrell Durant as a little joke, but you know.”

Vinson both liked and bristled at the comparison. He's a proud Baltimore native and Kevin Durant is from Beltway rival Washington D.C.

“I wish it was a little more Terrell Melo, though,” Vinson said smiling.

Both Durant and Baltimore native Carmelo Anthony will likely play against Herb Pope next year as the Seton Hall power forward is considered a likely NBA draft pick. The last two seasons the 6-foot-8 power forward had dominated the Minutemen in the Pirates' two blowout wins. On Saturday, Pope was defending when Williams got the ball to Vinson on the block.

Vinson spun past Pope and laid it in, as the Big East's all-conference big man fouled him. That brought UMass back within one point. Vinson added a put-back of his own miss and a game clinching 3-pointer to lead the surge that sewed up the win.

“I can recall many games when the game's in the balance and the guys on the team are looking to run some things to him, really looking for him in different spots on the floor,” said Minuteman coach Derek Kellogg. “We run a couple particular plays, mainly in the last four or five minutes of the game.

“He's come through quite frequently,” Kellogg added. “It's nice when a junior, a guy who's put in the work, actually starts to reap some of the rewards of years of hard work.”

Vinson's play has been an important part of the turnaround by UMass this season. The 6-foot-7 Vinson's willingness to do the dirty work inside has allowed the 6-foot-9 Putney to make more plays on the perimeter. And Vinson's ability to deliver in the clutch has allowed the Minutemen to win more games.

“It's a good role. People remember the final moments of the game,” Vinson said. “So I guess I'll always be remembered.”

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/GazetteUMass. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at http://www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.

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Box Score

Official Basketball Box Score
Massachusetts vs Seton Hall
3/17/12 11:00 AM at South Orange, N.J. - Walsh Gymnasium


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VISITORS: Massachusetts 24-11
                          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  4-9    1-2    1-1    3  4  7   1  10  2  3  0  0  26
34 PUTNEY, Raphiael.... f  5-7    1-1    4-4    3  5  8   3  15  0  2  1  1  26
54 CARTER, Sean........ c  5-9    0-0    1-2    3  8 11   4  11  0  1  1  1  40-
03 WILLIAMS, Chaz...... g  4-8    2-5   10-14   0  7  7   3  20  6  3  0  0  40
05 MORGAN, Jesse....... g  3-14   0-7    1-2    1  2  3   2   7  0  2  1  2  31
00 FARRELL, Javorn.....    2-4    1-1    0-2    0  0  0   3   5  3  0  0  0  12
01 ESHO, Maxie.........    2-4    0-1    5-6    2  0  2   1   9  0  0  1  2  16
04 RILEY, Freddie......    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  0  1  0  0   9
   TEAM................                         3  1  4
   Totals..............   25-56   5-18  22-31  15 27 42  18  77 11 12  4  6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-27 44.4%   2nd Half: 13-29 44.8%   Game: 44.6%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-7  28.6%   2nd Half:  3-11 27.3%   Game: 27.8%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 10-14 71.4%   2nd Half: 12-17 70.6%   Game: 71.0%    5


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Seton Hall 21-13
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
15 POPE, Herb.......... f  2-9    0-1    5-6    8  7 15   4   9  4  4  3  1  34
23 EDWIN, Fuquan....... f  8-14   2-5    3-6    2  5  7   5  21  0  1  2  2  38
33 AUDA, Patrik........ f  2-6    0-3    4-6    1  1  2   1   8  0  2  0  1  17
01 THEODORE, Jordan.... g  5-12   1-5    3-5    2  2  4   4  14  5  2  0  1  33
04 COSBY, Aaron........ g  1-9    1-6    2-2    0  2  2   4   5  1  2  0  0  32
02 MOBLEY, Brandon.....    3-6    1-4    2-2    1  3  4   1   9  0  2  0  0  29
13 KARLIS, Haralds.....    0-1    0-1    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   1
14 WILSON, Freddie.....    0-3    0-2    1-1    0  0  0   2   1  1  1  0  0  16
   TEAM................                         1     1
   Totals..............   21-60   5-27  20-28  15 20 35  21  67 11 14  5  5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-32 37.5%   2nd Half:  9-28 32.1%   Game: 35.0%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-13 23.1%   2nd Half:  2-14 14.3%   Game: 18.5%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  3-7  42.9%   2nd Half: 17-21 81.0%   Game: 71.4%    5


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: Bill Covington, Sean Cassidy, Rob Riley
Technical fouls: Massachusetts-None. Seton Hall-None.
Attendance: 1674
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Massachusetts.................   36   41  -   77
Seton Hall....................   30   37  -   67
2012 NIT Second Round
Flagrant 1: UMass Terrell Vinson (18:27)

Points in the paint-UMASS 36,SHU 26. Points off turnovers-UMASS 9,SHU 6.
2nd chance points-UMASS 18,SHU 22. Fast break points-UMASS 6,SHU 11.
Bench points-UMASS 14,SHU 10. Score tied-6 times. Lead changed-7 times.
Last FG-UMASS 2nd-01:30, SHU 2nd-00:53.
Largest lead-UMASS by 12 1st-03:39, SHU by 4 1st-13:25.

Play by Play

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