Day 3, Game 20: Massachusetts Minutemen (W3/W12) at Nevada Wolfpack (W2/W11)
Nevada has had the more explosive offense, but both teams have played extremely well in both of their games thus far in the tournament. Massachusett’s PG (Rogers) has an 8-inch height advantage over his counterpart (Boston) of the Wolfpack. Will he be able to exploit that?
Massachusetts: PG 6-2 Mark Rogers, SG 6-1 David Krimmel, SF 6-5 Michael Crenshaw, PF 6-8 Tony Logan, 6-9 Chris Kent
Nevada: PG 5-6 Brett Boston, SG 6-2 Rick Newman, SF 6-8 Marlo Vickers, PF 6-8 Hollis Booth, C 6-9 Donald Thornton
PG Brett Boston of Nevada sustained an injury just 2 minutes into the game and his backup, Jerry McKnight, picked up 2 fouls in less than a minute on the floor, meaning the Wolfpack’s #3 PG, Jermaine Cockle, would need to carry a big load. When Cockle picked up an immediate foul trying to guard Massachusetts’ Mark Rogers, Nevada’s coach brought Brett Boston back on the court, even though he obviously was somewhat hobbled. Boston and Cockle spelled each other at the point. Nevada picked up their 7th team foul and Massachusetts overcame an early deficit to go up 17-12 with 12:48 remaining in the first half. Less than a minute later, Nevada’s SG Rick Newman picked up his 2nd foul and headed to the bench. The Minutemen exploited Nevada’s weakened guard positions to take a 17 point lead. Meanwhile Massachusetts’ SF Michael Crenshaw was injured also but stayed in the game. The half ended with Massachusetts in control 42-21.
Massachusetts outshot Nevada 54% to 35%, held a 16-10 rebounding advantage, and a 12-8 turnover advantage, plus got to the line 11 more times and scored 12 more points on free throws than the Wolfpack. Nevada’s 3 PG’s score no points, had no assists, just 2 rebounds, and 4 turnovers. Massachusetts 3 primary guards (Rogers, Krimmel, and Swoger) scored 19 points, had 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and just 3 turnovers. Tony Logan and Brandon Swoger each had 12 points to lead the Minutemen offensively. Rick Newman scored 9 points in 10 minutes of play for Nevada.
At the beginning of the 2nd half, Nevada started a less-than-100% Brett Boston at PG while Massachusetts’ SF Michael Crenshaw also started but appeared to be fully recovered. Rick Newman carried Nevada in the early going of the 2nd half and the Wolfpack narrowed the gap to 49-36 with 10:37 to play. The lead was down to 10 with 7 minutes left as Massachusetts became turnover prone. With 3:14 to play, the score was 57-50 in favor of the Minutemen. Nevada cut the lead to 5 with 2:55 on the clock. But Nevada was forced to foul and Massachusetts held off the Wolfpack that had been nipping at the Minutemen’s heels.
PG Mark Rogers had a pretty good game against the smaller Brett Boston.
Final Score: Massachusetts-66, Nevada-57.
Massachusetts: PG Mark Rogers-11/5*/7*, SG David Krimmel-8/0/2, SF Michael Crenshaw-10/4/2 (7 steals), PF Tony Logan-17/1/4, Chris Kent-13/0/2; Bench players: Brandon Swoger-12/0/2; Kevin Phillips-4/0/5, Wayne Sides-2/0/7*.
Minutemen team stats: FG%-42%, 23 of 31 FT’s, 5 of 15 Threes, 33 Rebs, 16 TO’s, 18 PF’s.
Nevada: PG Brett Boston-4/0/3, SG Rick Newman-19*/2/4, SF Marlo Vickers-10/2/3, PF Hollis Booth-3/2/3, C Donald Thornton-0/0/2; Bench players: Jermaine Cockle-7/0/0, Marlo Vickers-6/0/4.
Wolfpack team stats: FG%-37%, 15 of 18 FT’s, 8 of 25 Threes, 25 Rebs, 17 TO’s, 26 PF’s.
Player of the Game: Massachusetts SF Michael Crenshaw: 10 pts, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, 7 steals.