Opponent Previews: George Mason (3/8); Atlantic 10 Tournament Second Round

Opponent: George Mason Patriots
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record: 15-16 (9-9)

Notable Wins: Saint Louis (16-15), VCU (17-14)
Other Wins:
Lafayette, Binghamton, Cal State Northridge, James Madison, North Carolina Central, Morgan State, Saint Josephs (2), George Washington, UMass (2), Dayton, Richmond,

Notable Losses: George Washington (14-17), La Salle (13-19), Fordham (9-21), Richmond (11-19)
Other Losses:
Louisville, Rhode Island, Auburn, Penn State, Duquesne, VCU, St. Bonaventure, Davidson Louisiana Tech, Fresno State, William and Mary, Georgia Southern,

Previous Matchups:
1/3: 80-72 OT: George Mason
Otis Livingston – 33 points, 9 assists
Luwane Pipkins – 15 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists

2/24: 78-76 OT: George Mason
Otis Livingston – 22 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists
C.J Anderson – 21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists

Team Stats:                             UMass                            George Mason         Conference Rank
Points Per Game                    71.9 (Tied-232nd)        72.3 (223rd               10th vs 9th
Rebounds Per Game             32.8 (306th)                   36.7 (102nd)             11th vs 2nd
Assists Per Game                   15.6 (56th)                     11.7 (Tied-310th)     3rd vs 14th
Points Allowed                       74.8 (240th)                   75.9 (268th)

Starting 5:
Otis Livingston II: #4 Guard, 5’11, 170 lbs
17.5 PPG    3.4 RPG    4.5 APG   1.0 SPG    .446 FG%    .403 3P%

Jaire Grayer:  #5 Guard, 6’5, 200 lbs
12.6 PPG    7.1 RPG    1.3 APG    1.3 SPG    .8 BPG    .412 FG%      .365 3P%

Goanar Mar: #0 Forward, 6’7, 195 lbs
10.8 PPG   4.5 RPG   .9 APG    .6 SPG    .436 FG%    .371 3P%

Justin Kier: #1 Guard, 6’4, 183 lbs
11.2 PPG   4.5 RPG   2.3 APG    1.3 SPG    .465 FG%

Ian Boyd: #32 Guard, 6’4, 215 lbs
8.1 PPG    4.5 RPG    1.3 APG   .6 SPG    .405 FG%

Prediction:
75-71 UMass

Keys to the Game

1. Forcing the ball out of Livingston’s hands (primary ball handler and leading scorer)
2. Boxing out against one of the better rebounding teams in the conference.
3. Consistency for 40-45 Minutes. Especially in close game situations.
4. Riding the experienced Senior, C.J. Anderson 
5. Survive and Advance

 

 

Game Summaries (3/7): La Salle; Atlantic 10 Tournament First Round

Opponent: La Salle Explorers
Leauge: Atlantic 10 Conference

Summary:

1st Half:

– The Minutemen got off to a great start thanks to strong defense and a number of early turnovers from La Salle in the opening minutes.
– C.J. Anderson led UMass with two buckets early to head into the first media timeout with an 8-2 lead.
– The production in the first eight minutes of the game was solely Anderson and Luwane Pipkins who started a combined 4-5 from three to contribute fifteen of UMass’ first sixteen points. La Salle’s scoring distribution was far more balanced and the Explorers were able to cut the lead back to four. (16-12)
– Shortly after, the Minutemen began to struggle from the field, missing six straight shots. Luckily, La Salle failed to find the range as well in this three minute drought for both teams.
– With nine and a half minutes remaining in the half, Pipkins (15 points 4-7 3P) pulled up and nailed a deep NBA three on the fast break to end the dry spell for UMass.
– At the eight minute mark, Malik Hines got on the board for the Minutemen with a powerful two handed slam, but Pookie Powell (18 points) responded on the following possession with a slashing one handed dunk of his own to cut the lead to four. (21-17)
– The Minutemen never relinquished the advantage in the first half, but B.J Johnson tied the game at 27 with three and a half minutes left in the period.
– C.J Anderson (21 points. 7 rebounds, 4 assists) concluded the final three minutes as he started, nailing a mid range jumper and three point leading the Minutemen into the locker room with a 30-28 lead.

2nd Half:

– UMass had clearly controlled the flow of the game in the first half but Tony Washington (20 points, 12 rebounds) established his size early and gave La Salle their first lead of the game on a pair of free throws at the seventeen minute mark. (34-36)
– The Minutemen stayed resilient and regained the lead on a Carl Pierre (11 Points, 6 rebounds) jumper nearly six minutes later. (47-45)
– Previously, Khalea Turner Morris had contributed valuable minutes off the bench. His efforts along with Pierres jumper catalyzed a 10-0 run that was capped off by an Anderson three. The lead had stretched back to seven (52-45) and the Minutemen were in control.
– Still, La Salle found a way to crawl back into the contest, eventually tying the score at 57 after a steal by Shuler, leading to an and one for B.J Johnson (18 points, 4 rebounds).
– Carl Pierre was clutch once again, taking the lead back with a floater on the the following possession before Johnson responded with a pull up jumper of his own. (59-59)
– UMass stayed aggressive and found itself at the foul line a number of times in the final five minutes.
– They were able to hold the lead and found themselves up three with just under a minute remaining after Ray Miller converted on both from the stripe.
– After the makes, Amar Stukes rushed down the floor for a quick basket and the Explorers clamped down on the defensive end to get a much needed stop.
– With fourteen seconds remaining, UMasss led by one. (68-67)
– The Explorers drew up a play and the ball ended up in the hands of Powell whose runner rimmed out.
– With eight seconds remaining, Luwanne Pipkins was fouled, splitting the free throws and stretching the UMass lead to two.
– On the final possession, the ball was in the grasp of Powell once again. With the game on the line, he launched a deep three for the win. The shot  bounced off the side rim as the final horn sounded and the Minutemen were victorious.
– The game concluded with a final score of 69-67.

Analysis:
– La Salle was led by the three headed monster of Powell, Washington and Johnson, but recieved very little contributions from role players
– The Explorers did a fantastic job of taking the ball, only turning it over two times in the final thirty seven minutes after the slow start.
– Both teams were aggressive and got to the foul line over twenty times, but neither distributed the ball well on the night.
– The Three point shot was a huge difference maker for the Minutemen, outscoring the explorers 30-3 from beyond the arc.
– C.J. Anderson’s play in the past few weeks has been outstanding. His added scoring and leadership abilities simply will this team to victory.

Final Score: 
69-67 UMass

Record:
13-19 (5-13)

Highlights:

Team Stats:                            UMass                                La Salle
Field Goals                            21-51 (41.2%)                    21-57 (36.8%)
3 Point Field Goals             10-23 (43.5%)                     1-16 (6.3%)
Free Throws                         17-24 (70.8)                        24-29 (82.8%)
Rebounds                              37 (9)                                   29 (7)
Assists                                    9                                           6
Turnovers                            15                                          5

Next Game:
– The second round of the Atlantic-10 Tournament, Thursday, March 8th at 2:30 P.M. against the George Mason Patriots.

 

Opponent Previews: La Salle (3/7); Atlantic 10 Tournament First Round

Opponent: La Salle Explorers
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record: 13-18 (7-11)

Notable Wins: Saint Louis (16-15), Temple (16-14), Pennsylvania (22-8), Saint Josephs (15-15)
Other Wins: George Mason, Dayton, UMass, Fordham (2), Holy Cross, Mercer, South Alabama, Saint Peters

Notable Losses: Drexel (13-20), Richmond (11-19), George Washington (14-17),
Other Losses: Villanova, Miami, URI (2), St. Bonaventure, Boston College, Davidson, VCU, Saint Louis, Saint Josephs, Northwestern, Duquesne, UMass, Towson, Bucknell

Previous Matchups: 
1/10: 86-79 UMass
1/24: 87-72 La Salle

Team Stats:                         UMass                               La Salle:                        Conference Rank
Points Per Game               71.9 (Tied-231st)              73.1 (200th)                    10th vs 6th
Rebounds Per Game        32.8 (308th)                       35.3 (Tied-179th)          11th vs 7th
Assists Per Game              15.6 (58th)                          13.0 (Tied-222nd)         3rd vs 11th  
Points Allowed                  74.8 (237th)                        73.9 (219th)

Starting 5:

B.J. Johnson: #20 Guard, 6’7, 200 lbs
20.9 PPG    8.5 RPG    .8 APG    1.3 SPG    .7 BPG    .567 FG%    .362 3P%

Pookie Powell: #0 Guard, 6’0, 180 lbs
16.9 PPG    4.2 RPG    4.3 APG    .8 SPG    .405 FG%    .347 3P%

Isiah Deas: #10 Guard, 6’6, 185 lbs
9.5 PPG    4.4 RPG    1.4 APG    1.0 SPG    .3 BPG    .291 3P%

Amar Stukes: #2 Guard, 6’2, 190 lbs
8.6 PPG    2.5 RPG    3.2 APG    1.1 SPG    .434 3P%

Tony Washington: #5 Center, 6’10, 230 lb
7.3 PPG    6.1 RPG    .6 APG    .3 SPG    .6 BPG    .627 FG%

Key Role Player:

Saul Phiri: #13 Guard, 6’4, 210 lbs
5.2 PPG    4.8 RPG    1.5 APG    1.1 SPG    .4 BPG

Prediction:
76-70 UMass

Keys to the Game:

1. Limiting the A-10’s leading scorer, B.J. Johnson to under twenty points
2. Pressure La Salle into isolation possessions and forced shots
3. Avoid scoring droughts and conceding big runs
4. Ray Miller and Unique Mclean outplaying  Isaiah Deas and Amar Stukes
5. Malik Hines outrebounding Tony Washington
6. Luwane Pipkins’ and Carl Pierre’s three point shooting

 

Opponent Previews: Duquesne (3/3)

Opponent: Duquesne Dukes
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record: 16-14 (7-10)

Notable Wins: Saint Louis (16-14)
Other Wins: DaytonGeorge Washington (2), Fordham, La Salle, George Mason, St. Francis, VMI, Maryland-Eastern Shore, Stetson, Delaware State, Mississippi Valley State, North Carolina A&T, Lamar, San Francisco

Notable Losses: Robert Morris (16-6), Cornell (11-14), Pittsburgh (8-23), Southern Illinois (19-12), Richmond (10-19), Saint Josephs (14-15), Fordham (9-20), Dayton (13-16)
Other Losses: URISt. Bonaventure (2), Davidson, VCU, Saint Louis

Team Stats:                                    UMass                        Duquesne                Conference Rank
Points Per Game 
                        71.5 (242nd)               72.5 (218th)             10th vs 7th
Rebounds Per Game                  33.1 (294th)                 36.5 (112th)             11th vs 4th
Assists Per Game                        15.3 (Tied-72nd)         11.8 (Tied-300th)    3rd vs 13th
Points Allowed                             74.8 (239th)                69.3 (99th)

Starting 5:

Mike Lewis II: #1 Guard, 6’1, 185 lbs
14.3 PPG    2.3 RPG    .7 APG    1.0 SPG    .383 FG%     .366 3P%

Eric Williams Jr: #50 Guard, 6’5, 190 lbs
14.7 PPG    8.8 RPG    1.6 APG    1.4 SPG    .3 BPG    .403 FG%    .373 3P%

Rene Castro-Caneddy: #4 Guard, 6’2, 195 lbs
13.2 PPG    2.8 RPG    3.3 APG    .8 SPG    .1 BPG    .448 FG%    .326 3P%

Tarin Smith: #3 Guard, 6’2, 185 lbs
12.3 PPG    3.1 RPG    3.3 APG    1.0 SPG    .5 BPG    .408 FG%    .339 3P%

Jordan Robinson: #55 Center, 6’8, 255 lbs
5.4 PPG    3.9 RPG    .7 APG   .3 SPG   .4 BPG    .485 FG%

Key Role Players:

Chas Brown: #0 Forward, 6’8 235 lbs
4.0 PPG    4.3 RPG    .5 APG    .5 SPG    .6 BPG    .400 FG%

Prediction:

80-65 Duquesne

Keys to the game:

1. Containing the backcourt trio of Williams Jr, Smith, and Castro-Caneddy
2. Malik Hines and C.J. Anderson combining to win the matchup against versatile mismatch nightmare Eric Williams Jr.
3. Consistency for the full 40 minutes
4. C.J. Anderson continuing his dominant scoring play
5. More production on the offensive end from Unique McLean and Ray Miller

Game Summaries: Richmond (2/28)

Opponent: Richmond Spiders
League: Atlantic 10 Conference 

Summary:

The Minutemen traveled to Virginia in their final road game of the regular season to face their last place counterparts, the Richmond Spiders. The Spiders quickly jumped put to a  10-0 lead led by Grant Golden before C.J. Anderson steadied the tide with three pointers for UMass. The personal 9-2 run for Anderson put the Minutemen within striking distance (12-9). In his return back from concussion protocol, Luwane Pipkins (14 points, 5-17 FG) began to find his shot, nailing two additional threes. In fact, Pipkins and Anderson were the only players to put points on the board for the Minutemen in the first nine minutes and these five three pointers (5) made up all of the scoring. Shortly after, Malik Hines (8 points) broke this trend with a layup at the 10:27 mark to tie the game at nineteen. Anderson remained on fire for the majority of the half to keep UMass afloat. The dynamic senior leader had his most complete offensive half of the season, hitting mid range jumpers and attacking the basket to the tune of 18 points on 7/8 shooting for the period. Nonetheless, Golden poured in sixteen points of his own and Richmond scraped together a 9-2 run in the final four minutes to regain momentum and head into the locker room with a 40-32 lead

The second half was a complete and utter meltdown for the Minutemen as they really struggled on the defensive end of the floor. A minute into the period, Nick Sherod (19 points, 7 rebounds) nailed a jumper to stretch the Spiders advantage back to double digits, where it would remain for the rest of the game. The UMass offense went stagnant as well, even Anderson and Pipkins failing to find their shot. With just over seventeen minutes remaining, the Spiders reeled off an impressive 10-0 run for the second time on the evening to push the lead to twenty and kill any momentum for Mass. Richmond didn’t do anything too special on the offensive end, but they were extremely efficient and received valuable contributions from complimentary scorers De’Monte Buckingham (13 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists) and Jacob Gilyard (13 Points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals). In all, they assisted on twenty seven field goals and took tremendous care of the basketball, limiting themselves to just six turnovers. The Spiders even received extremely rare bench contributions, as Nathan Cayo delivered a valuable spark with eight points. For UMass, Carl Pierre (11 points, 3-13 FG) who struggled mightily in the first, began to heat up, but the deficit was far too great to overcome. The Richmond lead would stretch to as much as twenty nine before concluding with a final score of 90-65.

Analysis:

The loss marks the sixth a row as the Minutemen continue to sputter down the stretch and in the second half of this season as a whole. As expected, the length of the strenuous A-10 season has clearly gotten the better of a young and inexperienced squad. In this one, it was evident that the Spiders had a super talent advantage and they proved that they are far better than their bottom dwelling record suggests. A very young team in their own right, Richmond should be very good for many years to come. The main difference tonight was highlighted in a number of key matchups. At the forward position Golden dominated Hines as he led all scorers with twenty-six points and out rebounded the Umass big 11-2. As mentioned early, the complimentary guards of Buckingham and Gilyard established their aggression and playmaking abilities outscoring Ray Miller and Unique McLean (26-4) while distributing effectively a much higher rate (12 assists vs 2).  The Minutemen were led by C.J Anderson who recorded his fourth twenty point game of the season and third in the last five games. The Senior is finally finding his scoring touch late in the season which is fantastic to see. Backup Quarterback Randall West led the team with six rebounds.

Team Stats:                                               UMass                                      Richmond
Field Goals:                                               23-55  (41.8%)                         36-63 (57.1%)
3 Point Field Goals:                                 9-23  (39.1%)                           8-18 (44.4%)
Free Throws:                                            10-13 (76.9%)                          10-11 (90.9%)
Rebounds:                                                  31 (9)                                        32 (6)
Assists:                                                        10                                              27
Turnovers:                                                 15                                              6

Final Score:
90-65 Richmond

Record:
11-19 (4-13)

Next Game:
– Regular season finale versus the Duquesne Dukes on Saturday, March 3rd at the Mullins Center

Opponent Previews: Richmond (2/28)

Opponent: Richmond Spiders
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record: 9-19 (7-9)

Notable Wins: Duquesne (15-14), VCU  (16-13) (2), Davidson (17-10) (2),
Other Wins: George Washington, UAB, James Madison, La Salle, 

Notable Losses: Delaware (13-18), Jacksonville State (20-11), Old Dominion (22-6), Bucknell (22-9), Fordham (9-19), GW (13-16), Saint Joseph’s (13-15), Dayton (13-15)
Other Losses: Cincinnati, URI, St. Bonaventure, Boston College, Saint Louis (2), Louisiana Lafayette, Georgetown, Vermont, Wake Forest, Dayton

Team Stats:                             UMass                            Richmond                     Conference Rank
Points Per Game                   71.7 (Tied-240th)             69.9 (270th)                         10th vs 11th
Rebounds Per Game            33.2 (294th)                    30.3 (344th)                 10th vs 13th
Assists Per Game                   15.5 (63rd)                     14.8 (107th)                 3rd vs 6th 
Points Allowed                      74.2 (230th)                     14.8 (107th)

Starting 5:

Grant Golden: #33 Forward, 6’10, 260 lbs
15.4 PPG    6.4 RPG    2.2 APG    .6 SPG    1.3 BPG    .496 FG%

De’Monte Buckingham: #11 Guard, 6’4, 230 lbs
12.3 PPG    7.1 RPG    3.3 APG    .9 SPG    .4 BPG    .422 FG%

Nick Sherod: #5 Guard, 6’4, 230 lbs
13.9 PPG    5.0 RPG    1.3 APG    .9 SPG    .391 3P%

Jacob Gilyard: #0 Guard, 5’9 160 lbs
10.9 PPG    2.3 RPG    4.0 APG    2.8 SPG    .346 3P%

Khwan Fore: 
10.4  PPG   3.2 RPG   2.6 APG   1.0 SPG    .447 FG%

Prediction:

72-70 UMass

Keys to the Game:
1. Push the ball in transition to tire the Spiders
2. Attack the basket with aggression and get to the foul line.
3. Contain Nick Sherod and Jacob Gilyard from three point land
4. With the return of Pipkins, must continue confident play and not rely on bailout possessions
5. Malik Hines winning/competing in his matchup for the Spiders best player Grant Golden

 

 

 

Game Summaries: George Mason (2/24)

Opponent: George Mason Patriots
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Summary:

1st Half:

– Luwane Pipkins was ruled out of this one with a concussion.
– With no Pipkins, a win against any team in the conference seems unlikely, but the Minutemen were able to jump out to a 5-0 lead and had it deadlocked at fifteen halfway through the first half, thanks to a hot start from Carl Pierre.
– Led by Justin Kier, George Mason Recorded a 21-5 Run in the final ten minutes of the half as the UMass offense began to stall as would be expected without Pipkins’ creating ability.
– The Minutemen trailed 36-20 at the break, a very low scoring period.
– Pierre Scored 12 out of the 20 points on four three pointers.

2nd Half:

– Unique McLean (8 points) and Ray Miller catalyzed the UMass attack to start the half, contributing a combined twelve points in the first five minutes of the second to cut the deficit to four (38-34)
– It remained a very back and forth contest until Kier began to find a rhythm and stretch the lead back to eight (46-38) with ten minutes remaining in the contest
– C.J. Anderson began to find his scoring touch, starting a 17-8 run, culminated by a Malik Hines Dunk to tie the game (55-55).
– On the following possession, with just over two minutes left in the game, Ray Miller (11 points, 5 assists) converted a layup to give UMass their first lead since very early in the game.
– Down One in the final minute,  Malik Hines (13 points, 11 rebounds) came through in the clutch with a short jumper to give the lead back to UMass with just twenty-four seconds on the clock.
– The defense was solid in the next possession, forcing a contested Justin Kier (14 points, 9 rebounds) layup to miss
– Carl Pierre (15 Points) grabbed the defensive rebound and smoothly drained both free throws after being fouled.
– UMass led by three in the final seconds, but Unique McLean made a deadly mistake, fouling Goanar Mar (18 Points 7 rebounds) from three point land with just one second remaining.
– Mar converted all three from the line and the game was headed for Overtime.

Overtime:

– George Mason controlled the start of the extra period stretching their lead to as much as four thanks to Otis Livingston (20 Points)
– The Minutemen stayed resilient behind C.J Anderson (21 points) who scored the final six points for the team and tied the game with five seconds remaining on a jumper.
– The Patriots rushed down the court and Ian Boyd crushed the hearts of the Minutemen with a driving layup at the buzzer
– The game concluded with a final score of 78-76

Team Stats:                                  UMass                                George Mason
Field Goals:                                 29-70 (41.4%)                    31-68 (45.6%)
3 Point Field Goals:                  7-19 (36.8%)                       11-26 (42.3%)
Free Throws:                             11-16 (68.8%)                      5-10 (50.0%)
Rebounds:   
                               39 (11)                                  46 (12)
Assists:                                        15                                          15
Turnovers:                                 6                                            13

Takeaways:
Record: 11-18 (4-12)

– 5th loss in a row
– Amazing comeback effort in a game that UMass ultimately should have won.
– UMass did a decent job of containing Livingston, forcing him to take a lot of contested shots, but they allowed Jaire Grayer to have a really solid game with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
– Much better job rebounding and took very good care of the ball without a primary ball handler in Pipkins

Next Game:

Wednesday, February 28th vs the Richmond Spiders