UMass routs Temple, 59-35 Minutemen go to 20-0 with Camby's 9 blocks

PHILADELPHIA — PHILADELPHIA -- Maybe they'll fall at Virginia Tech in two weeks.

Perhaps someone will knock them off in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.


Or maybe nobody is going to beat Massachusetts, and the Minutemen are going to stay unbeaten right through the NCAA tournament.

The nation's top-ranked team continued its perfection with a 59-35 victory over Temple at McGonigle Hall last night. Massachusetts (20-0, 8-0) handled its toughest road test of the season with aplomb, as the Minutemen crept to a 30-12 lead at the half and befuddled the Owls' offensive scheme.


Temple made a puny 20.6 percent from the field.

"They shot 22 percent in the first half," Calipari said. "I told our guys at halftime I can't imagine them doing that in the second half."

The Owls actually were colder in the second half, shooting 19.4 percent (7-for-36).

"I think they handled us extremely well," said Temple coach John Chaney. "We just don't shoot the ball that well."

It wasn't supposed to be this easy. Temple (11-8, 7-1 in the East Division) beat the Minutemen here a year ago, and it was an Owls defeat of Kansas on Dec. 22 that enabled Massachusetts to take over the No. 1 ranking. The Minutemen had lost 13 of the past 14 times they played in Temple's home gym.

Temple got within 36-28 with 11:28 to go, but Massachusetts held the Owls without a basket during the next five minutes with an 11-2 run, putting away another win as it tries to become the first team to go unbeaten in the regular season since Nevada-Las Vegas in 1991.

"We have trailed eight times at halftime and went to overtime twice. That UNLV team beat everybody by 20 points," Calipari said. "We aren't thinking about that. We talk about not worrying about what's down the road. If you do that, it takes away from what you just did."

Junior center Marcus Camby, in his third game back after a four-game absence that followed his collapse for reasons still undiagnosed, had 15 points and nine blocks for the Minutemen, and Carmelo Travieso had a game-high 16.


The only casualty for Massachusetts was Donta Bright's A-10 record free-throw streak. The senior forward from Dunbar High made his first of the night, stretching his record to 40 in a row, but missed his next two.

Temple made a game of it for seven minutes, but then the Minutemen collapsed on Marc Jackson and dared the Owls to shoot from the perimeter, something they were unequipped to do. His teammates were a combined 1-for-19 for the first half, and for the last 15:57 of the half Jackson was the only Temple player to score.

Jackson, a 6-foot-10 sophomore who was suspended for the Owls' previous game after he had decked Duke's Greg Newton with an elbow to the head, used his 270 pounds to back in on Camby for four baskets and keep Temple within 13-10.

Massachusetts scored the next six points, however, and after another power move by Jackson with 5:52 to go, the Minutemen ran off the last 11 points of the half, including a pair of threes by Travieso in the final 1:16.