What you need to know: UMass hosts Northeastern in matinee affair

Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

School’s closed, but the Mullins Center is not, as the Massachusetts men’s basketball team hosts Northeastern in what turned out to be a snow-filled, matinee contest. The game was originally scheduled for 7 p.m. but was bumped up to 2 p.m. to help with travel/safety concerns for fans and team personnel as a significant winter storm approaches the western part of Massachusetts.

Without further ado, here’s what you need to know…

MASSACHUSETTS MINUTEMEN (4-1) VS. NORTHEASTERN HUSKIES (4-0)

Mullins Center, Amherst, Massachusetts
2 p.m. EST
TV Broadcast — A-10 digital network (warning, it’s not free)
Radio: 105.5 FM WEEI (Springfield/Amherst), 1440 AM WVEI (Worcester), 95.9 FM WATD (South Shore), 1200 AM WXKS (Boston, Worcester, Manchester, Providence)
Twitter updates: @MDC_Sports / @Andrew_Cyr / @Mark_Chiarelli

News and notes

  • Think this is just a filler game  for UMass? Think again. Northeastern handily beat Manhattan 65-51 this season, also beat Florida State and even received a vote in the AP top 25. The Huskies are one of the favorites in the Colonial Athletic Association, and will quietly compete for bragging rights as the best team in Massachusetts.
  • Wednesday’s match-up also pits two teams playing completely different styles. Northeastern plays slowly and fires up a high percent of 3-pointers. Nearly 50 percent of those 3-pointers go in for the Huskies. UMass, meanwhile, will take any chance it can to turn this game into a track meet. Can the mid-majors keep up with the Minutemen’s speed and size?
  • UMass center Cady Lalanne is quietly off to a very strong start. The senior center is averaging 15.8 points per game, 10.2 rebounds per game and three blocks per game in 29 minutes per contest. The biggest difference from last season? He’s nearly tripled his free throw attempts per game.
  • Stopping Northeastern’s Scott Eatherton will be Lalanne’s chief focus. Eatherton is averaging 16.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and is the Huskies biggest threat in the paint.
  • The last time UMass took the floor, the bench stepped up. Jabarie Hinds and Donte Clark each scored 15 point and played crucial minutes down the stretch. Will the Minutemen’s second unit take another step forward today? Or will coach Derek Kellogg have to rely on his starters yet again?

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What you need to know: UMass looks to bounce back against Florida State

Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

It’s day two at Mohegan Sun Arena for the Massachusetts men’s basketball team. Roughly 24 hours ago, UMass lost its first game of the year to Notre Dame, 81-68. Now, the Minutemen face Florida State in the final game of the Hall of Fame tournament. Yesterday, the Seminoles lost to Providence 80-54, a team UMass will face later in the season.

Without further ado, here’s what you need to know…

MASSACHUSETTS MINUTEMEN (3-1) VS. FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (1-2)

Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
12 p.m. EST
Yesterday’s game recap
TV Broadcast — ESPN3/Watch ESPN app
105.5 FM WEEI (Springfield/Amherst), 1440 AM WVEI (Worcester), 95.9 FM WATD (South Shore), 1200 AM WXKS (Boston, Worcester, Manchester, Providence)
Twitter updates: @MDC_Sports / @Andrew_Cyr / @Mark_Chiarelli

News and notes

  • UMass enters off its toughest game of the year, and now faces a Florida State team rich on size but low on success this year. The Seminoles lost to Providence 80-54 and fell to Northeastern 76-73. A season ago, the Seminoles handed UMass its first loss of the season, 65-60.
  • There’s a stat correction to pass along. It was initially listed that UMass point guard Trey Davis compiled one assist yesterday against Notre Dame. It was later changed to five assists.
  • Florida State has won its last three games against UMass.
  • Yesterday, Donte Clark had the best game of his young freshman career. It will be interesting to see if UMass coach Derek Kellogg, who is seeking more consistency on offense, hands Clark a larger role today.

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What you need to know: UMass and Notre Dame matchup in first round of Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament

Today’s the first real test for the Massachusetts men’s basketball team. After wins against Siena, Boston College and Manhattan over the past week, the Minutemen enter Saturday’s game playing against one college basketball’s best in the Atlantic Coastal Conference. Saturday’s game will be a good test for UMass to see where it fits amongst members of the “Big Five” conferences in Division I basketball.

Here’s everything you need to know about the game.

MASSACHUSETTS MINUTEMEN (3-0) VS. NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (3-0)

Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Connecticut
12 p.m. EST
TV Broadcast — ESPN3/Watch ESPN app
105.5 FM WEEI (Springfield/Amherst), 1440 AM WVEI (Worcester), 95.9 FM WATD (South Shore), 1200 AM WXKS (Boston, Worcester, Manchester, Providence)
Twitter updates: @MDC_Sports / @Andrew_Cyr / @Mark_Chiarelli

News and notes

  • UMass and Notre Dame both enter Saturday’s contest boasting a perfect 3-0 record. The Minutemen are fresh after a three day layover coming off an overtime win against the Jaspers. The Irish last played on Wednesday night where they beat Coppin State 104-67.
  • The main focus for UMass today will be its ability to stop Notre Dame’s scoring. Over the Irish’s last three games, it has average 92.7 points per game with the average margin of victory being by 39.7 points. This game will be each teams biggest challenge at this point of the season.
  • After a 23 point, 16 rebound performance against Manhattan, Cady Lalanne will look to continue his dominance in the paint this season. Entering Saturday, Lalanne is averaging 16.3 points per game, 12 rebounds, and 4.3 blocks. Maxie Esho leads the Minutemen in scoring with 18.7 points per game.
  • Seth Berger played a career-high 25 minutes against Manhattan, after getting into foul trouble in games against the Saints and Eagles, the sophomore finally found his role on Tuesday morning. Jabarie Hinds and Donte Clark will likely be the first two off the bench for head coach Derek Kellogg.
  • Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey will be aiming for career win No. 400 today. Brey took over at Notre Dame prior to the 2000 season and has posted a career record of 399-210. The Irish finished 15-17 last season and lost in the first round of the AAC tournament against Wake Forest.
  • Saturday’s matchup will be the fist ever played between the UMass and Notre Dame.

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Final Score: Boston College 5 , UMass 3

Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Photo by Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Power Delivers in Front of Family

For the first time ever, UMass forward Troy Power played in front of his father and brother, who both made the trip in from California to see him play in his 100th career game as a Minuteman. What better way to mark the occasion than with a goal, as Power scored to make it 3-2 BC in the third period. It was Power’s first goal of the season, and will surely remember this moment.

Close, Yet So Far

Despite pulling within one goal twice in the third period, the Minutemen could never find a tying goal. First it was Power to make it 3-2, then sophomore Marc Hetnik got his name in the goal column following a BC goal to make it 4-3. Despite getting close, a Noah Hanifin goal put BC back up by two, and UMass was unable to find an answer for the Eagles’ offense.

Quick Turnaround

With this game in the books, the Minutemen will have to quickly forget about this game with another Hockey East contest set for tomorrow night against the University of Vermont. The Catamounts, who find themselves towards the top of the conference, were defeated by the University of Connecticut 2-1 earlier in the night.

Second Intermission: Boston College 3, UMass 1

Alec Zabrecky/Daily Collegian

Alec Zabrecky/Daily Collegian

BC Tacks On Another

With the second period looking like it would be scoreless, a fortuitous bounce off Oleg Yevenko’s skate into the back of the net gave BC a 3-1 lead at the 4:44 mark. The goal, which was short-handed, was credited to Eagles forward Quinn Smith, whose pass went in off Yevenko to put UMass two goals behind.

UMass Power Play Struggles Continue

Through two periods, the Minutemen have failed to capitalize on four power plays. Despite earning two man-advantages in each period, the BC penalty kill was able to hold off the UMass attack. On the other end, two of the Eagles’ goals have come through special teams play, scoring a goal each on the power play and down a man.

A Look To The Third

Down two, the Minutemen will have to generate chances early if they want to get back into this game. With 16 shots through two period of play, UMass will have to attack early and often, while making sure BC isn’t able to find a fourth and put this game out of reach.

First Intermission: Boston College 2, UMass 1

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Trio Strikes Again

It was the line of Ray Pigozzi, Steven Iacobellis, and Frank Vatrano that produced a goal for the Minutemen once again. Just 46 seconds into the game, Pigozzi received a pass for Iacobellis and was able to squeak one passed Boston College goaltender Thatcher Demko. It was Pigozzi’s third goal of the season, with Vatrano and Iacobellis receiving their fourth and seventh assists, respectively.

BC Scores Two Quickly

After a Vatrano hooking penalty, the Eagles capitalized with a power play goal by sophomore Chris Calnan with 4:36 left in the first period to tie the game at 1. Exactly one minute later, BC found the back of the net again exactly one minute later when Cam Spiro ripped a shot passed UMass goalie Henry Dill.

Dill Keeping UMass Alive

With one period in the books, freshman goalie Henry Dill has faced 16 shots, recording 14 saves. Dill made some key saves in the early going, until giving up two goals in quick succession towards the end of the period.

 

 

Game Notes: UMass hockey vs. No. 12 BC

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Coming off a rare bye week, the Massachusetts hockey team hosts No. 12 Boston College at the Mullins Center Friday night at 7 p.m. It will be the second and final matchup of the regular season between the two in-state rivals, as the Minutemen lost 4-1 on Oct. 25 at Chestnut Hill.

Staying out of the box
In the week leading up to Friday’s game, the consensus among UMass players and coach John Micheletto was that limiting penalties would be a key factor in holding the Eagles’ offense at bay. In October’s matchup, the Minutemen almost spent twice as long minutes in the penalty box (31) than Boston College (16). As a result, the Eagles capitalized on back-to-back 5-on-3 goals to establish a lasting lead. After Tuesday’s practice, coach John Micheletto said that the Minutemen must remain aggressive in their attack but restrain from committing any “uncharacteristic” penalties.

Attacking the Eagles’ backline
The Minutemen are coming off a 7-1 victory in their last game against American International College on Nov. 7. In the win, UMass boasted five different goal scorers and saw production from all four lines. Micheletto said that this balanced effort will be important against the No. 12 team in the nation. Power added that speed from the forwards will be crucial in getting the puck close to the net for goal-scoring opportunities.

Anthony Chiusano can be reached at achiusano@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @a_chiusano24.