Here are some halftime thoughts as UMass heads into halftime trailing Stony Brook 38-25 in the first round of the NIT at the Mullins Center.
Emotion lacking: It’s pretty clear that the Minutemen aren’t taking this year’s NIT as seriously as last year’s. UMass didn’t score a bucket in the final 7:05 of the first half and the Seawolves took full advantage with a 17-0 run to close out the half. Chaz Williams has five turnovers, while the Minutemen have 11 total in the opening frame. Even when scoring, UMass looks largely nonchalant about it and clearly doesn’t have the same intensity as it had in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
Poor shot selection: With their apparent coasting mentality, the Minutemen’s shot selection was very poor, settling for 3-pointers as they did earlier in the season. UMass also wasn’t afraid to throw alley-oops (three in the first half) as the Minutemen played very loose to start. UMass shot 1-of-12 from beyond the arc as part of a 9-for-30 (30 percent) shooting percentage from the field.
Leading scorers: Anthony Jackson has 14 points to lead Stony Brook on 5-of-6 shooting (4-of-5 from 3-point range). Meanwhile, Freddie Riley has five points to lead the Minutemen in a poor offensive showing.
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Here are some halftime thoughts as UMass trails VCU, 35-34, at the end of the first half.
VCU kicks up “havoc”: After the Minutemen dominated the pace to start, the Rams cranked up the pressure with an 11-0 run over 2:34 frame to take a 26-23 lead. During the run, VCU nailed three straight triples and a wide-open dunk in transition to get the rowdy Rams faithful back into the game after being virtually silent before that. UMass also had sloppy mistakes and rushed on offense, playing right into VCU’s hands. Chaz Williams and Co. will have to be smart not to pick up the dribble in bad positions on the court and let the Rams swarm them with double teams. UMass coach Derek Kellogg will also have to be smart to keep an eye on his team’s fatigue, as the Minutemen are in their third game in as many days.
Williams, Lalanne duo working: Cady Lalanne was a force in the first half, logging 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting, while also hauling in five boards. Williams and Lalanne have worked off of high ball screens and Lalanne is finishing with force under the basket. His toughness looks to be a difference in the paint right now.
Foul trouble…again: It wouldn’t be a Minutemen game without foul trouble. Terrell Vinson, Lalanne and Williams each have two. Kellogg put Lalanne back into the game with the two fouls regardless in an attempt to stop VCU’s run, which was a smart move.
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Here are some halftime thoughts as UMass trails Temple 38-37 at the end of the first half in the Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals.
So UMass is allowed to rebound: One day removed from being man-handled on the glass, the Minutemen have an 23-9 rebounding advantage and — wait for it — 10 offensive rebounds compared to the Owls’ three. Sampson Carter and Cady Lalanne have a combined eight boards, as UMass has done a much better job of crashing the glass on both ends.
Davis a freshman again: Freshman point guard Trey Davis had a very difficult stretch midway through the first half, committing three turnovers in a short span that caused UMass coach Derek Kellogg to tell Chaz Williams to bring up the ball. Davis hit some important triples yesterday to give the Minutemen a chance to play tonight, but his ball-handling hasn’t been up to par. Davis had just one turnover in last night’s win over George Washington.
Williams looking good: Williams has been explosive through the first 20 minutes, leading all scorers with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting. He’s using his quickness to get by defenders, but also showcased his step-back jumper.
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Here are some halftime thoughts as UMass takes a 34-31 lead into halftime.
More rebounding problems: It’s been a recurring problem for the Minutemen, as they enter the break getting dominated on the offensive glass, 29-16, including 15 GW offensive rebounds for 11 second-chance points. UMass is getting caught staring up at the rim on shots instead of boxing out, leading to second-chance looks, sometimes multiple ones, for the Colonials.
Putney shining: In an otherwise disappointing 2012-13 season, Raphiael Putney has rediscovered his shooting touch, shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, including 3-of-3 from long range. Putney has been shooting confidently, but he picked up his third foul late in the first half, which could limit his minutes in the second half.
Fouls galore:Cady Lalanne and Terrell Vinson have two fouls to go along with Putney’s three. Lalanne only logged four minutes in the opening frame, while Vinson played just eight.
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Here are some halftime thoughts as UMass enters the half with a 30-22 deficit against Butler at the Mullins Center.
Out of whack: With the exception of their 6-0 run midway through the first half, the Minutemen have played sloppy in their half-court sets. UMass has nine turnovers and the Bulldogs are doing a good job of double-teaming Chaz Williams on pick-and-rolls. The Minutemen will have to heat up from the perimeter (2-of-9 from 3-point range) or get out on the break in the second half.
Runnin’ Rotnei: It’s been physically exhausting watching UMass chase around Butler guard Rotnei Clarke off screens as he tries to heat up. Freddie Riley and Williams have done a decent job so far, holding Clarke to six points on 3-of-10 shooting, including a whopping 0-for-6 from beyond the arc. If Clarke heats up, it could be a rough ending fot the Minutemen, especially if their half-court offense doesn’t improve.
Leading scorers: Sampson Carter is pacing UMass with his nine points, while no other Minuteman has more than four. Khyle Marshall and Kameron Woods have nine points to lead the Bulldogs.
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Here are some halftime thoughts as the UMass men’s basketball team races into halftime with a 48-43 lead over Temple.
Lalanne dominating: UMass sophomore center Cady Lalanne‘s size has been the difference in the paint, as he’s powered his way to a team-high 14 points off the bench on 7-of-9 shooting. The Minutemen are using him in the pick-and-roll game, as he’s set high ball screens for Chaz Williams. The Owls will have to make some sort of adjustment to neutralize Lalanne on the block. A double team could be coming in the second half.
Trading baskets: In UMass and Temple’s final meeting as members of the A-10, the pace of the game hasn’t disappointed. The Owls jumped out to an early 13-5 lead, but the Minutemen bounced back with a 9-0 run to make it 14-13. The two sides have traded baskets for the rest of the half. UMass had the final burst to close out the frame, as Williams had an acrobatic layup and drew a foul, and Maxie Esho put home a two-handed jam as time expired.
Wyatt held in check: A-10 leading scorer Khalif Wyatt didn’t get off to a strong start for Temple, missing his first four shots and went 2-for-9 from the field for the half. He has just seven points.
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