UMass basketball falls to Ole Miss


SPRINGFIELD >> Sometimes, statistics do tell the story.

Saturday afternoon, UMass' top two scorers combined for nine points while Ole Miss' top scorers combined for 46 points. That was the difference as the visiting Rebels handed the Minutemen a 74-64 defeat at the MassMutual Center.

Jabarie Hinds had come into the game averaging 19.7 points per game and Trey Davis averaged 18.8. On Saturday, Davis scored nine points on 4-of-18 shooting while Hinds was 0 for 5 and scored one point.

Counter that with the 30 scored by Stefan Moody and 16 from Sebastian Saiz. Moody is the leading scorer for the Rebels at 22 points a game and Saiz is second at 12.6.

"I thought [Ole Miss'] 1-3-1 bothered [Hinds some]," said UMass coach Derek Kellogg, "because they were keeping two guys on him. He never really got into a flow or a rhythm.

"It happens. I was just hoping it wouldn't happen today."

UMass wasn't expecting the 1-3-1 zone from Ole Miss (6-2). Kellogg said the team had done some work against it, but when the Rebels switched to it, all of the Minutemen seemed to lose their rhythm.

"[Hinds] is a great player. Everyone is going to have an off-day," said UMass forward Seth Berger, who came off the bench to score 14 points. "He'll bounce back. When he's missing shots, guys like Donte stepped up.

"We're not really concerned about Jabarie. He's a really good player. He'll bounce back in practice tomorrow and will be ready to go."

The Minutemen (5-2) led by as many as six points in the first half and were up 33-31 at halftime. They took their last lead on a 3-point shot by Donte Clark with 9:45 left. The Minutemen didn't score another basket until Davis drove to the basket with 3:19 to play.

In between, the Rebels went from trailing by one, to leading by eight. Moody, who scored 24 of his game-high 30 points in the second half. scored four of Ole Miss' points in a 14-4 run that helped put the game away.

"I thought the kid Moody obviously had a pretty good second half there," said Kellogg. "I've seen him get hot like that on TV. I was kind of hoping it wouldn't happen to us today."

The 30 points equalled his season best, which he scored back on Nov. 20 against Towson.

The 5-foot-10 guard had two show-stopping dunks. One was a reverse dunk after Davis was turned over by Ole Miss' Rasheed Brooks.

"I thought [Moody] was in much better attack mode," Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said of the senior guard from Kissimmee, Fla. "He's never really been a point guard. We made that switch after the first game of the season.

"We felt like we needed to do something because we played so poorly in that spot. He's trying to figure out when to shoot, when to pass, when to be more aggressive."

The Minutemen trimmed the Rebels lead and when Clark completed an old-fashioned 3-point play with 2:31 left to play, the Minutemen trailed only 66-60.

But instead of cutting into the Ole Miss lead, UMass went ice cold. Between Clark's 3-point play and Seth Berger's 3-point basket with 31 seconds left — after the outcome was decided — the Minutemen only managed one free throw. That was the only point scored by Hinds.

UMass won't get a lot of time working on what went wrong because they head for Florida and a pair of games this week. The Minutemen play at Central Florida Tuesday and are at Florida Gulf Coast a week from Sunday.

"When you're playing an SEC team that is a very good team, you have to finish your lay ups and free throws and do all the little things that win a game," said Kellogg. "I thought they did a better job today of taking care of business on all the little things of the game."

Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.


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