Hoopsters At Springfield Tonight
From The Massachusetts Daily Collegian, February 16, 1971
As the UMass regular season schedule comes closer to its end and the Redman record continues to improve, each opponent until the end gets its chance to add a prize possession to its record by knocking off the Redmen. Tonight at Springfield College the UMass hoopmen put their record on the line once again as they battle the Chieftains in an 8 p.m. encounter at the Springfield College Field House.
Seeking their seventh win in a row and their 18th in 20 this season, the Redmen will be facing a college which has perennially qualified for the regional small college tournament and appears on its way to another berth this season as the Chiefs sport a 13-7 record to date.
Springfield is a well disciplined club as it runs its offense well and on defense it goes from a press to a man-to-man to a zone if needed. Being a small team the Chiefs will probably come out against UMass with the press right off the bat as they did earlier in the season against Holy Cross.
The player who makes Springfield go is Dana Anderson, a 6’1 guard. He’s a fine shooter and moves well on the court. In the last seven games he has averaged 28.2 points per game and has been named to the All-East Team-of-the-Week four times this season.
Joining Anderson in the backcourt will be Fran Stupakevich who’s been averaging nine points per game to date and also is the leading play maker on the club.
Up front Springfield will have Steve Waterman, a 6’2 leaper, and Rich Hundley at the forwards with 6’7 Jud Hunt at center. Waterman and Hundley are second and third in scoring on the club hitting for 14.9 and 11.8 points per game. Hunt is the leading Cheiftain rebounder with around ten caroms a contest.
When a call to the bench is needed the top reserve will be Brad Macomber who has seen action in all 20 Springfield games and statistically is the second leading rebounder on the club while averaging seven points in his reserve role. In recent games he has seen some action as a starter but for tonight it appears he will be on the bench at tap-off time.
For the Redmen, coach Jack Leaman will be probably going with the same team that has played so well in recent games, that being Julius Erving, Ken Mathias and Chris Coffin up front with John Betancourt and Mike Pagliara in the backcourt.
Springfield Stuns UM, 63-62
By Dan Kamal, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Staff, February 17, 1971
SPRINGFIELD - In what has to be the upset of the year in New England basketball, Springfield College edged UMass, 63-62, before a capacity crowd of just under 3000 at Memorial Field House.
It was a combination of things. The Redmen were cold from the free throw line, they were not getting the second shots for the most part as the Chiefs did a good job on the defensive boards and they were not getting the good shots that they normally do. But in the end, Springfield must be given all the credit in the world.
They employed a deliberate offense and a scrappy defense to near perfection as they continually prevented the visitors from mounting their normal style of play.
The game was close all the way, and it was 31-30 UMass at the half. The Redmen committed some costly turnovers in the first stanza, and this combined with almost no offensive rebounding, hampered them from pulling ahead. The fact that they outshot the Chiefs 53% to 38% in the half clearly shows the way Springfield dominated the defensive boards. In fact this and poor free throw shooting were UMass’ main problems throughout the game as they outshot the home team 46% to 36% from the floor for the contest.
John Betancourt, Mike Pagliara and Tom McLaughlin each had eight points to lead UMass in scoring at the end of the first half, as the Redmen took most of their shots from the outside. Julius Erving had only four points on two field goals in the entire first stanza.
Springfield built up a seven point lead midway through the opening half and this turned out to be its largest lead of the period as the Redmen began creeping back and threatened to pull away but never did.
Led by the outside shooting of Pagliara, Betancourt and McLaughlin, the Redmen entered the locker room with a tenuous one point lead.
Everyone in the house expected the visitors to play the basketball they are capable of and subsequently blow the game open. It never happened.
Although UMass started the second half with six straight points on buckets by Erving, Pagliara and Betancourt that made the score 37-30, they were frustratingly unable to pull away.
A layup by Steve Waterman, who definitely was the top star of this game, made the score 37-32 and indicated that the Chiefs were not going to fold.
Another UMass spurt with 8:19 left in the game gave the visitors their biggest lead of the night – 11 points, 55-44. McLaughlin, who finished the game with 16 points, led this minor surge with three hoops.
This is when Springfield began the comeback that was to end in the incredible upset.
Brad Macomber scored on a layup. This was followed by two free throws, a layup and pop from the corner by Waterman and suddenly the Redmen were only up by three, 55-52.
An Erving layup was followed by another Waterman bucket, and Redman coach Jack Leaman called timeout at this point.
Nothing, however, was to stop the Chiefs’ momentum, and with 16 seconds left, although the Redmen had the ball and a one point lead, 62-61, the lead did not hold up.
Macomber made the play of the night for Springfield up to that point as he stole the pass in from Pagliara and passed to Waterman. The Springfield captain then dribbled around for about 12 seconds before calmly swishing a 25 foot jumper that gave his team the ballgame.
UMass had two seconds in which to attempt to tie the game. A full court pass from McLaughlin to Erving was tipped out of bounds by Waterman, and the Redmen had the ball at their end of the court with one second left. But a Pagliara pass into Erving near the hoop was battered around, and it was all over.
HOOP NOTES - The Redmen were atrocious from the charity line shooting 22% on two for nine… Erving started scoring in the second half and ended the game with 18 points and 23 rebounds… Waterman was the whole story for Springfield as he scored 30 points, Dana Anderson was the only other Chief in double figures with 11 and Macomber, Fran Stupakevich and Jud Hunt combined for only 21… For UMass Pagliara, Betancourt, McLaughlin and Erving all finished with double figures, but Ken Mathias was the only other Redman scorer with five points.
Hoop Featured at Varsity M
Redmen To Be Ready For Last Six
By Earle Barroll, The Massachusetts Daily Collegian Staff, February 18, 1971
The UMass Varsity M Club held its weekly luncheon at the Newman Center yesterday with the featured topic being Redman basketball with head coach Jack Leaman, assistant coach Peter Broaca and co-captains Ken Mathias and Julius Erving as guests.
The subject matter mainly centered on the Springfield game with Leaman, Mathias and Erving giving their impressions of the contest, the many questions surrounding the outcome and a look at what remains in the season after this defeat. Broaca gave his always in depth scouting report of UMass’ next three opponents with a film of the Boston College game and a question and answer period following to wrap up the luncheon.
Leaman stated plain as could be, “We weren’t ready to play. We haven’t played well in the past few games and we got caught. We want to win the next six games to be a team of tournament quality.”
The coach went on to say, “Since the B.C. game both the players and the fans have been tired. When we got to Springfield I was told that 50 tickets had been returned from UMass.”
He concluded, “Mentally it’s hard to convince your players to be ready. It’s also very hard to tell your team they can be beaten by an inferior product. But this happens in spots and this is why people go to the games.”
Mathias was noticeably concerned about the game and said of it, “It has thrown a scare into us. We know now that we can’t scare anybody and we have to be ready for each game. Our front court was not in the game in the first half as we were not moving well on the court.”
Looking ahead to the remaining games, he added, “On the blackboard in the locker room is written 17 days until the end of the season. Most of the guys will be back next year, but for me these are the last 17 days of my career at UMass and I’m going to work my butt off in the next six games.”
Erving called the end result of the game the saddest moment in his basketball career. He went on to say, “We got taken out of our game plan. Springfield is not in our class as a team, we just didn’t execute our offense well. Now the game is all over and we have to put our heads forward for the next six games.”
Broaca described the next three games for UMass as “three big games as far as a post season tournament is concerned. If we stumble we’ll go to New York - as spectators.”
Broaca’s reports went like so: URI is a tough team. It’s center Hazzard has flunked off the team which makes the Rams a small unit. Its record coming into the game will be 6-15. In the conference the record is 4-1. Thus the Rams have only one thing to salvage, that being the YanCon title and they’ll be ready to give their all.
Maine’s record is 7-10 with the toughest thing about playing the Bears being that UMass will have no time to get ready for them. Maine is led by 6’5 Nick Susi, a junior, who’s averaging 10 rebounds a game.
Syracuse has its eyes on a post season tournament. The Orangemen are 14-5 and have beaten La Salle, currently ranked 11th in the nation, West Virginia, Army twice and took Penn, ranked fourth in the nation, to overtime before losing. They are led by a 6’11 center, Bill Smith, who is one of the best senior centers in the east.
Next week the Varsity M Club luncheon will be meeting again on Wednesday at 12:15 at the Newman Center with hockey coach Jack Canniff as the featured guest.