BROOKLYN, N.Y. — When Derek Kellogg arrived at the University of Massachusetts in 2008-09, the Minutemen had loss seven straight Atlantic 10 tournament games, a stretch that included most of Steve Lappas’ tenure as head coach and all of Travis Ford’s.
But Thursday’s 65-61 win over Rhode Island gave UMass at least one victory in four of Kellogg’s six seasons. They’ve advanced to the semifinals each of the last two.
The win gets sixth-seeded UMass a rematch with No. 3 George Washington, whom the Minutemen beat 67-61 at the Smith Center on Feb. 15.
Since falling to UMass, the Colonials (23-7) closed the season with four wins in their final five games to secure an 11-5 league record and a bye in Thursday’s first round.
GW was one of two teams to get three players on all-conference teams. Big man Isaiah Armwood (12.3 ppg, 8.7 rpg) was on the second team while Maurice Creek (14.6 ppg) and Patricio Garino (12.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg) were on the third team. Armwood and Garino were both on the all-defensive team.
Sophomore wing Kethan Savage is expected to play for GW. Savage was averaging 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists, before a broken foot caused him to miss 12 games of the regular season, including the UMass game.
The Minutemen are 4-4 all-time against GW in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. A year ago, UMass beat GW, 77-72, in the first round.
VS URI — The win improved UMass to 85-58 in its series with the Rams, who the Minutemen have faced more than any other team. The win extends UMass’ winning streak over its New England rival to seven.
The game was the first Atlantic 10 tournament meeting since 1993. UMass leads the postseason series 5-2.
MILESTONES — Chaz Williams’ 11 points gave him 1,622 in his career. He’s 19 behind Tony Barbee (1,643) for No. 7 on the Mintuemen’s career list.
Williams’ four steals gave him 195. He’s trying to become just the second UMass player ever to reach 200 in his career.
Sampson Carter’s nine points inched him closer to joining the 1,000 club. He now has 951 in his career. Carter and Raphiael Putney are climbing UMass’ career games-played list. Carter has now played in 133 games, one behind Lou Roe (134). Dana Dingle is the all-time leader with 137.
Putney appeared in his 129th career game, tying Ricky Harris for seventh all-time.
MISCELLANEOUS — UMass will host a selection show watch event for the NCAA tournament, Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Amherst Brewing Company on University Drive.
Former Minuteman Javorn Farrell’s career ended on the sideline. Farrell, who transferred to Texas-Pan American for his final season, missed UTPA’s loss to Utah Valley in the Western Athletic Conference tournament with an undisclosed injury that also sidelined him for the last three games of the regular season.