UMass guard Jesse Morgan injures knee in loss to Saint Louis
Massachusetts' Terrell Vinson, center, heads to the basket between Saint Louis' Rob Loe, left, and Dwayne Evans during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Purchase photo reprints »
Massachusetts' Raphiael Putney yells after being fouled during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Saint Louis, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Purchase photo reprints »
Massachusetts' Jesse Morgan yells while lying in the court after injuring his knee during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Saint Louis, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, in St. Louis. Morgan left the game and Saint Louis went on to win 70-62. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) Purchase photo reprints »
ST. LOUIS — The University of Massachusetts men’s basketball team lost the game, but may have dodged a bullet.
According to UMass trainer Dave Maclutsky, junior guard Jesse Morgan’s right knee injury was diagnosed as a sprain after the game. Morgan will accompany the team to New York and be re-evaluated daily.
Maclutsky said he wouldn’t play Sunday at Fordham.
The injury looked worse when it happened. With 18 minutes, 25 seconds left in the second half of the Minutemen’s 70-62 loss to Saint Louis Thursday, Morgan drove into traffic and his right knee appeared to buckle when he planted. He collapsed to the floor screaming. The referees immediately called for a trainer.
Morgan was helped off the floor and didn’t return. He entered the game as UMass’ second leading scorer with 14.5 points per game in 30.5 minutes.
“It didn’t look good and it didn’t sound good the way he was talking,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said immediately after the game and before consulting with Maclutsky. “I’m praying. I’m really praying that he’s OK.”
Maclutsky didn’t speculate on a time frame for Morgan’s return.
Senior Freddie Riley and freshman Trey Davis could see more playing time in his absence.
NEXT UP — The Minutemen face Fordham at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Bronx, N.Y. It’ll be the second meeting between UMass point guard Chaz Williams and his former coach. Fordham’s Tom Pecora was at Hofstra during Williams’ freshman year.
The Rams are 1-0 in the Atlantic 10 after beating Duquesne 82-75 at home Wednesday night behind 18 points by Chris Gaston and 16 by Branden Frazier.
STREAK SNAPPED — The loss snapped UMass’ seven-game winning streak and their five-game road winning streak, which dated back to last year’s National Invitation Tournament. The Billikens have now won nine straight.
UMass has lost five straight games at Saint Louis.
The last time UMass won at least eight games was during the 1997-98 season.
MISCELLANEOUS — UMass freshman big man Izzy Freeman turned 20 Thursday. He did not see action in the game. ... Maxie Esho had five shots blocked. ... Angie Kvidera, the girlfriend of former Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus, who died on Dec. 1, attended a game for the first time this season.