December 07, 2006

A Bad Time for a Timeout

BOSTON - Down, 56-54, his private school Terriers dressed in white, wouldn't stop biting, scratching and nipping at the heels of the big state university with the mean, black uniforms and the script "UMass" on the chest.

Unfortunately, Dennis Wolff, the coach, did stop pestering the repeatedly lackluster and mostly benign Minutemen.

He stopped everyone, in fact, with a timeout - ball in hand - with 4.2 seconds remaining and BU down a deuce.

Problem was, that at about 4.4 seconds, freshman Tyler Morris launched what would have been his third 3-point attempt of the game. It also would have been the only one he made (a swish, no-less) and it would have, in all likeliehood given BU a deserved come-from-behind win.

Instead Wolff, in his 13th year at BU, called a timeout he later said he wished he didn't have. He was granted the stoppage, rightfully so, by official John Hughes, and Travis Ford's Minutemen escaped Boston - barely.

"Obviously I should not have called that timeout," said Wolff. "What I told the kids in the locker room is that the only person that should be blamed for this loss, is me."

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December 06, 2006

UMass Hangs On for Two Point Win

BOSTON - UMass used to Refuse to Lose. On this night, they Refused to Put It Away, but preserved a 56-54 win over BU.

With numerous chances to bury the America East Terriers, the Atlantic10 Minutemen let the Terriers stick around and stick around until a final possession for BU with 19.5 seconds left.

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BU Hangs Tough

BOSTON - UMass continues to play in fits and starts as BU refuses to go away, but a good Minuteman spurt in the 6:00-area moved the lead back to 10, after it had been trimmed to 5. A key three by Minuteman Brandon Thomas was included in the run.

Now, with 2:17 left in the game, UMass leads 56-51 with the ball.

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UMass Pulls Ahead

BOSTON - UMass has pulled away from BU as the second half has unfolded and with under 12 minutes left in the game, the Minutemen now lead 44-32, its largest bulge of the evening.

. . . James Life picked up his fourth foul for UMass with 12:13 left in the game. He joins Bonner as a four foul man. The game has seen 38 fouls called through 28 minutes of play.

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Minutemen Extend Lead Early

BOSTON - UMass continues to show flashes of good team play and has doubled its half-time lead to 36-30 with 15:12 left in the game.

UMass’s Luke Bonner hit his first collegiate 3-pointer at the 18:00 minute mark to put UMass ahead 32-28. Bonner is a sophomore transfer from West Virginia where he played in 22 games and went 0 for 11 from 3-point range as a freshman.

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Halftime Observations and Stats

BOSTON - UMass out-rebounded the Terriers 20-14 and shot 43 percent fromthe field, but still only lead by three at the half. BU shot 33 percent for the first stanza and Corey Lowe was 2-of-7.

Travis Ford's lingering concerns over free-throw shooting and turnovers have reared their heads once again as UMass turned over the ball 10 times (four for Rashaun Freeman) to just five for BU. The Minutemen were 7-of-11 form the line, but failed to convert at least three one-and ones.

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Minutemen Lead - barely - at the Half

BOSTON - BU’s Corey Lowe - immediately after some praise and love form Hang Time - began to force things a bit for BU and some poor shot selection (including a 3-pointer from New Hampshire) helped UMass surge ahead to an eight point lead with 2:08 left.

Lowe then took another deep three with 14.8 seconds left in the half and was fouled on the swish. He completed the four-point play to trim the Minuteman lead to 27-24.

That is where we stand at half, as the scrappy Terriers have given the Minutemen all they can handle. Lowe finished with six first half points and Morris Tyler had seven for the Terriers.

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Tight One at The Ag

BOSTON - A back and forth affair sees the Terriers and the Minutemen tied 14-14 with 7:38 left in the half.

Through the early going, UMass has been dominating the boards, 12-9, but BU is shooting better from the field (43 percent to 36 percent).

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Terriers Out Ahead Early

BOSTON - Some sloppy play through the first four and a half minutes of action as BU leads, 4-2 with 15:31 left in the half.

UMass would appear to have a size advantage, but have yet to assert that size inside.

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Ready to Go

BOSTON - UMass trainer Ron Laham is leading the Minutemen through pre-game stretching as The Ag begins to slowly fill up for the men’s portion of the doubleheader.

The final Minuteman stretched out by Laham was Rashaun Freeman. BU had been in the locker room for a bit by the time the Minutemen returned for final pre-game instructions.

. . . UMass is wearing the rare all-black unis that were deemed jinxes back in the day by the Minutemen under John Calipari. The team always wanted to wear the black, but the Coach used it is a carrott to dangle in front of his players faces for big games they NEEDED to win. Tonight's game doesn't quailify as such, but it's pretty close.

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Thirty Minutes Til Tip

BOSTON - . . . And we’re back in The Ag, where the BU women’s team is involved in a one-point game with under a minute to go against Brown. The Lady Terriers hit a go-ahead shot with just over two seconds left and held on for the 60-59 win.

. . .It was a nice change of pace to do a little live-blogging from a bursting-at-the-seems T’s Pub. But we’re wise enough to know where that blogging session was headed.

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UMass Pride in BU Country

BOSTON - T's Pub is filling with a post-work crowd and the Umies are doing their best to take over the place.

Leading the UMass cheering group is the president of the Friends of UMass Football, Bill DeFlavio. DeFlavio, who played at UMass from 1968-72, is one of many alum who are finding the sudden resurgence of UMass sports to his liking.

"I know for football, we've got a great coach and a great athletic department and it's exciting to be aorund it right now," said DeFlavio. "It feels a lot like 1998 (UMass's first National Championship in football). There's that kind of excitement and Coach Brown was the defensive coordinator for that team.

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Hang Time On Location: T's Pub, Comm. Ave.

BOSTON - Through the wonder of wireless and a short walk up Comm Ave, we are now with you (plausibly) live at T’s. There are a several UMass alums filtering in and we've already met up with Associate AD Tim Kenney who is shaking hands and kissing babies. Okay, there's no babies - but he's working the room nicely.

It’s a big week for UMass athletics as the football team is playing in the semifinals of the (formerly known as) I-AA Playoffs, on Friday night against Montana.

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At the Agganis Again

BOSTON - Welcome to the Agganis Arena on the campus of Boston University where the 3-4 Terriers are set to host the 6-2 UMass Minutemen. Currently, the 4-3 BU women are playing the opener of the men’s/women’s doubleheader against 2-7 Brown, with the Lady Terriers leading 20-12 midway through the first half.

BU’s men’s team is in the middle of four consecutive (and five overall) games against Atlantic 10 opponents, and stands 1-2 in its trip through the adopted scheduling partner (losing its season-opener at home to George Washington). The Terriers also lost 55-39 at St. Joseph’s and throttled St. Bonaventure 74-46 this past Saturday night.

BU plays A-10 member, Rhode Island on the 22nd (its next game after a two-week plus break for finals) and could possibly face St. Joe’s again in the MSG Holiday Fest on Dec. 29. The Terriers are 44-83 all-time vs. the A-10 and 29-39 vs. UMass. Dennis Wolff, at one-time a potential candidate for the UMass job, is 0-4 against the Minutemen.

UMass (just dropped from’s Cindex ratings) is coming off an 84-73 home loss to Boston College on Saturday night. The game was hardly that close (check Hang Time’s Saturday entries) and the Minutemen need to show bounce-back ability against a less-talented America East foe.

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