It's a quick turnaround for UMass, which beat Boston College less than 48 hours ago. That's not exactly an ideal scenario when you're facing an individual player as good as LSU's Jarrell Martin is.
The Minutemen produced a buzzer-beating game-winner in this time slot a year ago, so they deserve to host this game again.
Here's hoping for some similar drama.
11:25 - Jarrell Martin tweaked his ankle at the beginning of the game, so it looks like we might not get a look at the former blue chip recruit after all. Pretty big bummer.
11:36 - Minutemen in foul trouble and now not challenging LSU on defense. They still lead 21-16, but it might be time to think about a switch to zone.
11:40 - LSU already in the bonus, UMass already in the double bonus. We'll see you early in the second half, West Virginia/Virginia Tech.
11:42 - By the way, here's the buzzer-beater from last year:
11:48 - LSU and UMass...both mad reckless.
11:51 - Heineken holiday commercial is officially my anthem for the next month and-a-half. If I'm the GM of an NBA franchise, that's my new starting lineup song TONIGHT.
11:57 - This has felt like a major conference game for stretches; sometimes between two really good major conference teams, sometimes between two really bad major conference teams. Lots of athletes, lots of momentum shifts, lots and lots of fouls. UMass still holds a 40-38 lead with a little less than two minutes to play in the half.
12:01 - Again, bummer.
#LSU freshman Jarell Martin questionable to return because of sprained ankle suffered in first minute of game.— Will Weathers (@TigerBaitWill) November 12, 2013
12:02 - It's the Minutemen up 49-45 at the break. There were 34 total fouls called, and UMass attempted as many free-throws as shots from the field (27).
12:19 - Jarrell Martin officially out for the rest of the game. UMass drills a three on the opening possession of the half to extend their lead to seven.
12:39 - Chazz Williams, one of the most underrated players in the country, is putting together quite the stat line. He's got 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting to go along with eight assists and just one turnover. UMass leads, 69-62.
12:47 - Jordan Mickey taking over with Johnny O'Bryant on the bench and LSU has trimmed the lead to one.
12:55 - Key moment as Chazz Williams is forced to leave the game after picking up his 4th foul. Minutemen lead 83-78 with 5:30 to go. Probably not going to reach BYU/Stanford level, but another game with solid scoring.
1:07 - LSU with chance after chance but haven't been able to convert. Tigers haven't scored in three minutes, a stretch which includes three missed shots from point blank. UMass has the ball up six with 1:35 left.
1:08 - Chazz Williams. Cold-blooded. His floater puts the Minutemen up eight with just over a minute to play. That may be all she wrote here.
1:10 - Man, UMass with two atrocious turnovers and an equally atrocious foul, but LSU simply cannot make a shot.
1:11 - A THIRD turnover in 20 seconds gives LSU a lay-up to pull within three. Less than a minute to play in what has been an excitingly sloppy finish.
1:18 - UMass finally starts taking care of the ball, hits some free-throws and walks away with a 92-90 win. Fun game between a pair of talented teams with solid potential. I'd say that both need to improve dramatically if they want to make the NCAA Tournament, but that pretty much goes for every team in the country right now.
Here's your final box score:
|Johnny O'Bryant III, F||9-18||0-1||5-10||3||8||11||2||0||2||4||4||23|
|Jarell Martin, F||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Jordan Mickey, F||7-15||0-0||2-3||5||5||10||1||0||5||2||4||16|
|Tim Quarterman, G||2-4||1-1||0-1||2||1||3||1||0||1||0||3||5|
|Andre Stringer, G||7-14||3-7||4-4||2||4||6||3||2||0||3||1||21|
|John Odo, F||0-0||0-0||0-1||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||3||0|
|Shavon Coleman, F||2-7||0-2||1-1||0||4||4||1||1||0||1||4||5|
|Shane Hammink, F||1-2||0-0||1-1||1||1||2||2||0||0||0||2||3|
|Anthony Hickey, G||6-13||3-9||1-2||1||1||2||7||3||0||3||4||16|
|Malik Morgan, G||0-2||0-2||1-2||0||1||1||2||1||0||0||4||1|
|Sampson Carter, F||3-6||0-1||11-15||1||5||6||2||1||0||2||3||17|
|Raphiael Putney, F||5-13||2-5||2-2||2||7||9||1||0||2||1||2||14|
|Cady Lalanne, C||8-10||0-0||0-1||4||2||6||0||1||1||3||5||16|
|Chaz Williams, G||6-14||2-5||10-14||1||2||3||9||0||0||2||4||24|
|Derrick Gordon, G||3-8||0-0||2-4||1||6||7||3||1||2||1||3||8|
|Tyler Bergantino, F||1-2||0-0||0-0||0||2||2||0||0||0||0||4||2|
|Maxie Esho, F||1-4||0-0||1-2||1||4||5||1||1||0||2||2||3|
|Seth Berger, F||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|Trey Davis, G||2-4||2-2||2-2||0||0||0||0||1||0||2||2||8|