UMass opened the game with an easy dunk. In the end it was not worth having to listen to Jay Williams for the next two hours on ESPNU in standard definition. (Thanks Comcast for not offering ESPNU in HD in Boston.)
Miami has been taking care of the ball thus far this season. They came into the game with UMass averaging just 11 turnovers. The Minutemen’s press is meant to force teams into giving up the ball.
THe Hurricanes turned their ball security into a 14-0 run in the later stages of the first half. Behind that run the Hurricanes took a 39-26 lead. Starting at the 8:30 mark, UMass didn’t score until under 2:00 minutes remained in the half.
Not the best way to go into the locker room against any ACC team. A Jesse Morgan 3-pointer heading into the half cut the MIami lead to 10. It could have been much worse, had the ‘Canes been able to better capitalize on UMass’ offensive deficiencies. 31-41 at the half.
The Minutemen took Miami’s inability to end the first half strong as a sign of weakness. The team came out and immediately cut the deficit nearly in half.
As the under 16:00 minute TV timeout neared, UMass committed it’s 7th foul putting Miami into the bonus before a TV timeout had even been taken in the second half.
Behind 5 turnovers in the first 8 minutes, and a subsequent 5-0 run, the UMass squad was able to but the lead to 6 just before the 12:00 TV timeout.
Once UMass caught up on the fouls, the team was able to take advantage. The Minutemen shot 9-10 to start the second half. While shooting under 40% for the game, the Minutemen were able to get the deficit down to 3 points, on the road, against an ACC opponent. That was the situation with under 4 minutes remaining. UMass, 72, Miami 75.
After the team spent the better part of the second half hanging tough and gaining confidence, this happened;
All the confidence that had been building went flooding from the arena as Sean Carter was stuffed.
A classic Derek Kellogg loss. The team shows the inability to battle through small deficits against good teams. The result, as it often has been, a close loss to a BCS conference team.