Opponent Previews: George Mason

Opponent: George Mason Patriots
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record: 13-15 (7-8)

Notable Wins: Saint Louis (15-13)
Other Wins:
Lafayette, Binghamton, Cal State Northridge, James Madison, North Carolina Central, Morgan State, Saint Josephs (2), George Washington, UMass, Dayton, Richmond,

Notable Losses: George Washington (13-15), La Salle (11-17), Fordham (9-18)
Other Losses:
Louisville, Rhode Island, Auburn, Penn State, Duquesne, VCU, St. Bonaventure, Davidson Louisiana Tech, Fresno State, William and Mary, Georgia Southern,

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

Team Stats:                               UMass                          George Mason        Conference Rank
Points Per Game                    71.6 (Tied-243rd)         71.6 (Tied-243rd)      9th vs 9th
Rebounds Per Game             33.0 (306th)                  36.7 (105th)                4th vs 10th
Assists Per Game                   15.5 (63rd)                    11.6 (Tied-308th)       3rd vs 14th
Points Allowed                       74.1 (226th)                  75.2 (252nd)

 Starting 5:
Otis Livingston II: #4 Guard, 5’11, 170 lbs
16.9 PPG    3.4 RPG    4.5 APG   1.0 SPG

Jaire Grayer:  #5 Guard, 6’5, 200 lbs
12.7 PPG    7.3 RPG    1.4 APG    1.4 SPG    .9 BPG    .401 3P%

Goanar Mar: #0 Forward, 6’7, 195 lbs
10.2 PPG   4.4 RPG   .9 APG    .6 SPG

Justin Kier: #1 Guard, 6’4, 183 lbs
11.6 PPG   4.6 RPG   2.3 APG    1.3 SPG

Ian Boyd: #32 Guard, 6’4, 215 lbs
8.2 PPG    4.4 RPG    1.2 APG   .6 SPG

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. Physicality and Intensity on the road.


Game Summaries: Virginia Commonwealth (2/21)

Opponent: VCU Rams
League: Atlantic 10 Conference


UMass was still without freshman center Khalea Turner-Morris in this one as Coach McCall is hopeful he will return this Saturday vs George Mason.

The Minutemen fell into foul trouble early as they were charged for their third team foul in just under three minutes of action. Additionally, two of the fouls were given to UMass’ only true big man Malik Hines. However, the guards responded and a Pipkins three pointer pushed UMass out to their largest lead of the game (10-4) shortly after.

Still, the Rams responded, storming back with a 12-2 run to take a 26-21 lead. The spree started at the 11:36 mark, and was capped off by a De’Riante Jenkins (17 Points, 7-16 FG) layup four minutes later, prompting Coach McCall to call a timeout to steady the slide. 

The Minutemen stayed resilient and fought back in the remaining time before half, scoring 17 Points (5-9 3PFG) and entering the locker room down just one point (39-38).

The second half began with a three point shootout as both teams combined to attempt nine attempts from downtown before C.J. Anderson (15 Points, 6 Assists) connected on a jump shot with 17:19 left in the game.

As time progressed, the stars took over and court became a battlefield between VCU senior forward Justin Tillman (26 Points, 13 Rebounds) and UMass’s sophomore sensation Luwane (38 Points, 8-13 3PFG). Tillman was relentless getting inside the paint as he put up 17 second half points, weaving through the undersized UMass squad. Pipkins answered the call and matched him shot for shot, lighting up Mullins Center for a ridiculous 24 points in the 2nd half (6-8 FG, 4-5 3PFG, and 8-10 FT)

With just over six minutes remaining in the contest a highly questionable Tillman block on a Anderson layup attempt led to a transition layup on the other end by Jonathan Williams (11 Points, 6 Assists). Upon replay, the shot was clearly goal-tended by Tillman. The no call resulted in a four point swing and catalyzed an 8-1 run for VCU, increasing their lead to 75-66 and putting the game nearly out of reach. 

Several VCU turnovers helped UMass get some easy transition layups and free throws, cutting the deficit to 3 points after a Pipkins layup with forty-six seconds left. Unfortunately, the Minutemen couldn’t get the stop they needed as Justin Tillman put the final dagger in his terrific performance with an uncontested layup. An ensuing Pipkins turnover lead to an empathic exclamation point dunk as the VCU bench erupted in celebration. UMass would fall to VCU with the final score of 82-78.


Pipkins assisted or scored on 67% of UMass’ total points (52 of 78 Points), another brilliant performance from the likely most improved player in the conference. The Minutemen hung in the game until the waning seconds but ultimately couldn’t get the stop they needed as Justin Tillman torched the Minutemen for 26 points. Freshman Carl Pierre struggled with his shot, only scoring 10 points (4-14 FG, 2-9 3PFG). Another rare off night, as Pierre came into the contest shooting an insane 47.1% from three, good for twenty-seventh best in the country.

Malik Hines was in foul trouble early once again as recent UMass walk-on, Football QB Randall West played a career high 18 minutes. He recorded his first career field goal on a layup while also setting a career high in rebounds (6).

The Minutemen were consistent from the free throw line (84.6%, 11-13 FT) and shot well from three (40.6%, 13-32 3PFG). They have now made ten or more three pointers in twelve games this season, shooting 39.2% from downtown on the season, good for twenty-eighth in the country.

The squad return to action on Saturday, February 24th, at 7:00 PM as they travel to face the George Mason Patriots.

Final Score: 82-78 VCU

Record: 11-17 (4-11)

Team Stats:                                          UMass                                     VCU
Field Goals:                                          27-65 (41.5%)                        32-59 (54.2%)
3 Point Field Goals:                            13-32 (40.6%)                          9-22 (40.9%)
Free Throws:                                        11-13 (84.6%)                        9-13 (69.2%)
Rebounds:                                             30 (7)                                    35 (5)
Assists:                                                   18                                            22
Turnovers:                                            10                                            16


Opponent Previews: Virginia Commonwealth (2/20)

Opponent: VCU Rams
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record: 15-12 (7-7)

Notable Wins: Duquesne (15-12), Saint Louis (15-12)
Other Wins: George Washington, George Mason, Grambling, North Florida, Appalachian State, Old Dominion, Bucknell, Winthrop, VMI, Fordham, La Salle, California, Dayton

Notable Losses: Dayton (12-14), Saint Josephs (12-14), George Washington (12-15), Richmond (2) (9-17),
Other Losses: Virginia, URI, Marquette, Michigan, Seton Hall, Texas, Davidson

Team Stats:                    VCU                               UMass                            Conference Rank
Points Per Game:   
      76.1 (109th)                  71.3 (248th)                      4th vs 8th   
Rebounds Per Game:    36.7 (Tied-107th)        33.1 (Tied-297th)         4th vs 10th
Assists Per Game:          15.1 (Tied-92nd)          15.4 (66th)                    5th vs 3rd
Points Allowed:               75.4 (261st)                  73.8 (Tied-223rd)

Starting 5:

Justin Tillman: #4 Forward, 6’8, 220 lbs
19.0 PPG   9.4 RPG    .4 APG   .4 SPG    1.0 BPG   .565 FG%

De’Riante Jenkins: #0 Guard, 6’5, 195 lbs
12.9 PPG    3.9 RPG    2.5 APG    1.4 SPG    .3 BPG    .432 3P%

Jonathan Williams: #10 Guard, 6’1, 200 lbs
9.5 PPG    2.5 RPG   5.7 APG    1.3 SPG    .384 FG%

Issac Vannn: #11 Forward, 6’6, 210 lbs
9.6 PPG    3.7 RPG    1.4 APG    1.2 SPG    .413 FG%

Khris Lane:  #21 Forward, 6’7, 245 lbs
7.1 PPG    3.9 RPG    .6 APG    .3 SPG    .3 BPG    .574 FG%

Key Role Players:

Malik Crowfield: #13 Guard, 6’4, 195 lbs
6.4 PPG    1.3 RPG    1.5 APG   .8 SPG    .366 3P%

Mike’l Simms: #1 Guard, 6’5, 220 lbs
5.2 PPG    2.2 RPG    1.0 APG    .7 SPG    .381 FG%

77-66 VCU

VCU has had a very uncharacteristic season for their program with no notable non conference wins and a few really disappointing losses. As a result, the team will fail to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2012 unless they miraculously win the Atlantic 10 tournament. Still, the Rams remain one of the most feared teams in the entire conference due to their feisty havoc defense originally instititionalized by Shaka Smart as well as one of the A-10’s most versatile players in Justin Tillman. At just 6’8, Tillman leads the conference in rebounding and is fifth in scoring.

Key’s to the game
1. Containing Tillman and forcing more defensive minded players to become the offensive weapons.
2. Taking care of the ball and avoiding live ball turnovers.
3. Pipkins’ ability as a one man press break and his offensive efficiency against Johnathan Williams.

Opponent Previews: Davidson (2-17)

Opponent: Davidson Wildcats
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record: 14-10 (9-4)

Notable Wins:  St. Bonaventure (20-6), VCU (15-11), Saint Louis (14-12)
Other Wins: UNC Wilmington, Charleston Southern, Charlotte, VMI, Akron, George Mason, La Salle, St.Joes, George Washington (2), Fordham,

Notable Losses: Appalachian State (11-16), Hawaii (14-10), Richmond (9-16) (2), Dayton (11-14),
Other Losses: Virginia, North Carolina, Nevada, URI, New Mexico State

Team Stats:                           UMass                               Davidson                Conference Rank
Points Per Game                  71.1 (251st)                      75.9 (120th)            4th         vs       10th
Rebounds Per Game           33.4 (287th)                      32.6 (311th)           9th          vs       11th
Assists Per Game                 15.5 (Tied-68th)               17.3 (13th)             3rd         vs        1st
Points Allowed                     73.5 (215th)                       67.0 (49th)

Starting 5:

Peyton Aldridge: #23 Forward, 6’8, 225 lbs
20.1 PPG    7.0 RPG    2.7 APG    .5 SPG    .5 BPG    .329 3P%

Kellan Grady: #31 Guard, 6’5, 195 lbs
16.4 PPG    3.4 RPG    2.0 APG    .7 SPG    .1 BPG    .385 3P%

Jon Axel Gudmundsson: #3 Guard, 6’4, 190 lbs
14.2 PPG    6.0 RPG    5.0 APG    1.5 SPG   .408 3P%

Kishawn Pritchett:  #20 Guard, 6’6, 225 lbs
6.6 PPG    2.2 RPG    3.7 APG    .5 SPG    .3 BPG    .519 FG%

Will Magarity: #22 Forward, 6’11, 250 lbs
5.4 PPG    4.0 RPG    .5 APG    .5 SPG    .6 BPG    .515 FG%

Key Role Players:

Oskar Michelsen: #15 Forward, 6’9, 220 lbs
5.6 PPG    2.7 RPG    .6 APG    .4 SPG    .3 BPG    .412 3P%

Rusty Reigel: #32 Guard, 6’2, 210 lbs
3.9 PPG    2.6 RPG    1.7 APG    .7 SPG    .500 FG%


75-62: Davidson

Keys to the Game:
1. Limit the three headed attack of Aldridge, Grady and Gundmundsson.
2. Keep shooting the three point ball efficiently and at a high rate.
3. With their lack of size, Guards, especially Unique McLean and C.J. Anderson, must contribute on the Glass to help Malik Hines

Game Summaries: George Washington

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

Opponent Previews: George washington

Opponent: George Washington Colonials
League: Atlantic 10 Conference

Record: 10-15 (3-9)

Notable Wins: Temple (15-10)
Other Wins: Saint Joseph’s, La Salle, George Mason, Princeton, Harvard, UNH, Hampton, Howard, Morgan State

Notable Losses: Rider (19-7), Richmond (9-15), George Mason (11-14)
Other Losses: Xavier, Miami,  URI, Florida State, Kansas State, Penn State, St. Bonaventure, VCU, Duquesne (2), Davidson (2)

Team Stats:                     UMass                                 George Washington
Points Per Game           71.0 (252nd)                       64.6 (334th)                                                  Rebounds Per Game    33.6 (Tied-276th)               32.8 (306th)
Assists Per Game          15.6 (63rd)                          12.7 (Tied-247th)
Points Allowed              73.1 (Tied-198th)               70.6 (136th)

Starting 5:

Yuta Watanabe: #12 Guard, 6’9, 196 lbs
15.6 PPG    6.4 RPG    1.4 APG   .8 SPG    1.6 BPG    .368 3P%

Jair Bolden: #3 Guard, 6’4, 205 lbs
11.7 PPG    3.3 RPG    3.1 APG    .9 SPG    .2 BPG    .324 3P%

Patrick Steeves: #10 Forward, 6’9 232 lbs
10.4 PPG    5.2 RPG    2.1 APG    .6 SPG    .4 BPG    .521 FG%

Terry Nolan Jr: #1 Guard, 6’2, 175 lbs
9.1 PPG    3.2 RPG    2.3 APG    1.6 SPG    .4 BPG    .316 3P%

Arnaldo Toro: #11 Forward, 6’8, 245 lbs
6.9 PPG    6.0 RPG    1.2 APG    .6 SPG    1.3 BPG

Key Role Players:

Bo Ziegler: 
6.4 PPG    2.2 RPG    .7 APG    .6 SPG    1.3 BPG    .617 FG%


74- 66 UMass

The Colonials, similar to the Minutemen, are one of the thinnest teams in terms of depth in the Atlantic 10, primarily featuring a roster of seven players. They are led by one of the only Japanese-born players in the country, Yuta Watanabe, who is among the most versatile players in the conference. Watanabe along with Jair Bolden are capable three point shooters but the rest of the roster really struggles to connect from beyond the line, an area UMass should capitalize on. The X factor for GW is Patrick Steeves, an undersized power forward who may be a mismatch nightmare on the interior. The colonials are near the A-10’s bottom in almost nearly every statistical category, despite excelling in rim protection (1st in blocks) and enter the contest with the worst record in conference play (3-9). An extremely winnable game on their home court, UMass should continue to do what they have done on the offensive end in the past couple games and focus in on their defensive strategy, especially in containing Watanabe.

Game Summaries: Saint Josephs (2/10)

Opponent: Saint Joseph Hawks
League: Atlantic 10 Conference


The Minutemen traveled to face the Saint Joseph’s Hawks this afternoon looking to continue their winning ways and avoid yet another state loss to the city of Philadelphia.
UMass was scorching early on as they converted five of their first six makes from beyond the three point line. As a result, they quickly built a 17-8 lead before Saint Joseph’s found some rhythm and responded with a twelve to two run of their own catalyzed by the toughness of James Demery and Taylor Funk. At this point, the game became very tight with both teams trading offensive blows and UMass continuing their success from downtown. In fact, the Minutemen connected on ten out of thirteen threes in the first half with five different players finding the range. In comparison, the team only shot five for seventeen from inside the three point line in the first. With just under six minutes remaining in the period, Carl Pierre and Ray Miller nailed back to back triples to stretch the advantage back to six as they looked to pull away before halftime. Still, the Hawks capitalized on UMass turnovers and fought back to tie the game as the teams headed to the locker rooms deadlocked at forty-one. In what was an extremely high paced and exciting first half, both teams received contributions from a number of players. Notably, Pierre led the Minutemen with Fourteen points on four threes and Demery Paced the Hawks with eleven.

Unique McLean got UMass going in the second, first collecting a long rebound and then leading a fast break that resulted in a two handed dunk for Malik Hines. On the following possession Carl Pierre nailed another three and then a layup to re-still the Minutemen lead.Yet, with just under sixteen remaining Taylor Funk (22 points) began to take over the game on the offensive end, this time with back to back threes to tie the game once again (51-51). Luwane Pipkins (21 points) had been relatively quiet up to this point, but the crafty guard began looking for his shot and registered two aggressive driving layups in a row, the second dropping for an and one. Still, UMass continued to struggle guarding Funk who kept on cooking from the outside  Fortunately C.J. Anderson (14 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists) had the answer, countering with a three on the other end to equal the score (61-61)  Perhaps the biggest shot of the game came from the Hawks X factor off the bench, Chris Clover (18 Points). With just a two point lead, Clover hit a contested three to deflate the UMass defense and spark what would be a thirteen to four run to eventually stretch the advantage to nine (74-65). With 1:49 left in the contest, Pierfrancesco Oliva ended all doubt. The lanky forward drove the lane punctuating the exclamation point with a one handed slam as defenders spread like the red sea. In a game that was relatively close throughout (12 ties and lead changes), the Hawks found a way to pull away easily in the end. The final score was 85-73.


The Minutemen really cooled off in the second half, only making four out of twelve of their threes and allowing Saint Joes open looks to reduce the deficit in this area. Additionally, The Hawks did a fantastic job of taking care of the ball with only two turnovers in the second and brought their gritty and aggressive style of play resulting in many trips to the free throw line. In fact, the Hawks attempted twenty free throws, compared to just a measly four for the Minutemen. Lastly, Saint Josephs was far more aggressive on the offensive glass, out rebounding UMass ten to five. Demery finished with eighteen points and was the best player on the court tonight, while Shavar Newkirk added a very complete performance of 13 points, 7 assists and 9 rebounds. UMass returns to action Wednesday, February 14th, against George Washington.

Final Score: 85-73 Saint Joes

Record: 11-14 (4-8)

Team Stats:                                 UMass                   Saint Joes   
Field Goals:                                28-62 (45.2%)      30-65 (46.2%)
3 Points Field Goals:                14-25                     10-27 (37.0%)
Free Throws:                              3-4                         15-20

Rebounds:                                   31 (5)                    40 (10)
Assists:                                         17                           18 
Turnovers:                                  13                           8