Massachusetts (8-3) at Miami-Ohio (5-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 2, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Millett Hall (17,950) -- Oxford, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: UMass 3-1, Miami-Ohio 5-0. Away Record: UMass 3-0, Miami-Ohio 0-6. Neutral Record: UMass 2-2, Miami-Ohio 0-0. Conference Record: UMass 0-0, Miami-Ohio 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAMES NOTES: The Massachusetts Minutemen will try to extend their season long win streak to six games when they square off with the Miami-Ohio RedHawks at Millett Hall on Wednesday night.
Massachusetts got by Northern Illinois, 64-59 last time out to earn its fifth straight win and improve to 8-3 this year. During the winning streak the Minutemen have yet to really dominate as each win has come by single digits. UMass has won all three of its road contests thus far.
This is the third game of a four-contest homestand for Miami-Ohio which bested Wilmington College, 84-67 on Sunday. The win against the Division III Crusaders was the second straight for the RedHawks and inched them closer to .500 this season. All five of the RedHawks' wins have come at home where they will be yet again when they hit the floor next Wednesday against Northern Illinois in their Mid-American Conference opener.
This will be the first ever matchup between these programs.
Despite committing a season-high 20 turnovers against Northern Illinois, the Minutemen managed to come away with the victory by shooting at a 47.7 percent clip. The Minutemen also limited the Huskies to 31.3 percent shooting and had four players in double figures.
Despite a winning record, UMass is actually being outscored this season with a -0.6 scoring margin. The Minutemen have put up 72.9 points per game despite shooting at the second worst percentage in the Atlantic 10 (.408). Chaz Williams (16.1 ppg, 7.0 apg) and Jesse Morgan (15.0 ppg) form quite a formidable backcourt tandem. Williams is capable of erupting on the offensive end and is currently ranked 11th in the country in assists. Terrell Vinson (12.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) is also scoring in double figures and is one of just two players bringing in more than five rebounds per game.
Miami scored a season-high 84 points in the win over Wilmington College. The RedHawks were especially productive from beyond the arc where they hit a season high 12-of-25 attempts. Five players were in double figures for the RedHawks, led by Allen Roberts and Reggie Johnson, who each tallied 16 points.
The RedHawks have not had the type of offensive success that UMass has had, as they score 66.9 points per game. Miami is rather weak defensively as teams are putting in 47.4 percent of their field goal attempts while posting 71.5 points per game. Rebounding is another weak point as the RedHawks bring in just 28.7 boards per game. That is among the 15 worst marks in the country. Roberts (12.0 ppg) leads a trip of players scoring in double figures. Johnson (10.5 ppg) is one of the other reliable scorers, as is Jon Harris (10.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg) who also leads on the glass.
Poor defense is a bad recipe against a UMass team that has a scorer in Williams that can heat up in an instant and take a game over.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Massachusetts 74, Miami-Ohio 66
01/02 10:36:06 ET