Opponent: George Washington Colonials
League: Atlantic 10 Conference
The Minutemen have struggled with a lack of depth all season, but now face a huge challenge as Chris Baldwin was ruled out for the remainder of the season and Khalea Turner Morris enters concussion protocol. The injuries leave UMass with only five scholarship players and just one player on the roster taller than 6’6.
Both teams started off slow but C.J. Anderson got the Minutemen on the board with a driving and one layup two minutes into the game. Unfortunately, this would be the only lead UMass would hold. Moving on, Ray Miller equalized the contest on a layup with fourteen minutes remaining in the half and it appeared as if we were in for a grind it out classic A-10 matchup. Soon thereafter, GW began to make that foregone conclusion look unlikely as Patrick Steeves and Yuta Watanabe led the team on a 19-3 eruption to stretch the lead to 27-13. Pipkins (20 Points, 5-10 3PFG) and C.J. Anderson were the lone bright spots for UMass in the first period and did their best to rally their team back from the hole they dug themselves into. To make matters worse, Bo Zeigler tipped in a Watanabe miss with just two seconds left in the half to send the deflated Minutemen into the locker room with their largest deficit of the first Steeves paced the Colonials with ten points while Anderson added nine for UMass. In all, GW received baskets from eight different players in the half while only four players scored for the Minutemen.
Carl Pierre finally got on the score sheet with a three pointer two minutes into the second half. The sharp shooter, who leads all freshman across the country in three point percentage, had one of his worst performances of the season (1-5 3P FG%). Due to their lack of depth, the Minutemen added the back up quarterback of the football team, Randall West, to the roster earlier this week and he provided some valuable energy. Overall, it was more of the same for GW in the second, dominating the contest and seeing their lead ballooned as high as twenty-three points (61-38). The Minutemen fought back late with an eighteen to eight run but it was too little, too late and the game concluded with a final score of of 83-72.
C.J. Anderson was very solid on the glass, but defensive rebounding was horrible as the Minutemen gave up seventeen offensive boards. Overall, the team was out-rebounded forty three to twenty eight. Additionally, the Minutemen struggled from the floor once again, but were very successful from three point land. The Colonials on the other hand were bad as predicted from deep, but it did not matter as they were extremely efficient within the line. Overall, their offensive contribution was very evenly distributed with four out of five starters reaching double digits in points. For UMass, Anderson had one of his best performances of the year with twenty one points and ten rebounds. Ray Miller chipped in eleven off the bench, but was the singular production as GW outscored the Minutemen reserves 25-12. Steeves led the way with sixteen and twelve rebounds for GW and Watanabe was a menace defending the interior. He finished with three blocks while adding thirteen points and eight boards. The Minutemen return to action on Saturday, February 17th, at 7:00 PM as they travel to face the Davidson Wildcats
Final Score: 83-72 GW
Record: 11-15 (4-9)
Team Stats: UMass GW
Field Goals: 24-61 (39.3%) 31-61 (50.8%)
3 Point Field Goals: 8-21 (38.1%) 3-16 (18.8%)
Free Throws: 16-19 (84.2%) 18-24 (75%)
Rebounds: 28 (11) 43 (17)
Assists: 12 17
Turnovers: 10 14