The UMass Minutemen got an all-world performance from Chaz Williams to knock off BYU, 105-96, on Saturday afternoon in Springfield. Normally, I would have attended such an event and covered it like white on rice, but instead I was watching Cars 2 (twice!) with my cousin's three-year old and earning some much-needed side money. So instead of giving you guys the blow-by-blow of a game that is now several days old, let's check in on how my keys to the game look in hindsight.
Containing the Scorers
This part of the game wasn't an abject failure, but it certainly wasn't a success. I called for Taylor Haws and Matt Carlino to be held to a point total that hovered around the amount of shots it took them to reach it. That did not happen. Haws scored a team-high 25 points on 16 shots while Carlino poured in 23 on 18 shots. That is 48 points on 34 shots. It was enough, but had UMass stalled even a little on offense it could have hurt them.
In the end it didn't matter.
Hitting the Glass
For this key, I called for UMass to keep BYU off the glass by using its size advantage and Cady Lalanne. With Lalanne sidelined for nearly 17 minutes of the first half, it looked as though this was going to be a negative on the stat sheet, but it really wasn't.
At game's end, BYU had 33 rebounds to UMass' 29. A -4 rebounding differential is acceptable when your starting forwards combine for just seven rebounds.
Offensive rebounding a turnovers were supposed to have a huge impact on this game because it would limit the number of possessions Haws and Carlino had with which to score. In this element of the game, UMass was an abject failure.
BYU had 11 offensive rebounds to UMass' four and the Cougars 11 turnovers were less than the Minutemen's 14. The final possession numbers (via Basketball State) still had UMass with an advantage, however, finishing with 90 possessions to BYU's 86. With such a minute difference in points per possessions (1.17 for UMass, 1.12 for BYU), those four extra possessions were the difference.
I was wrong in terms of what would give them possessions, but the extra possessions were vital
Grade: UMass - B+, Jimmy F
I predicted a five-point victory without specifying a team. UMass won by nine.
Grade: C-, for being vague.