Massachusetts (3-3) at Northeastern (4-3)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 4, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Matthews Arena (6,000) -- Boston, Massachusetts.
Television: None. Home Record: UMass 1-1, Northeastern 1-2. Away Record: UMass
1-0, Northeastern 1-0. Neutral Record: UMass 1-2, Northeastern 2-1. Conference
Record: UMass 0-0, Northeastern 0-0. Series Record: Massachusetts leads,
GAMES NOTES: In a Bay State showdown the Massachusetts Minutemen will travel
to Matthews Arena to battle the Northeastern Huskies in non-conference action
The Minutemen come into play on the heels of a 75-62 loss at home to Miami-
Florida. The defeat was the third in four games for UMass with the only win
coming in a 64-63 decision when Chaz Williams hit a game-winning shot with 3.3
seconds remaining. That win was the first true road game of the season for the
Minutemen. The Minutemen will play Elon in Springfield, Massachusetts
next time out.
Northeastern has dropped back-to-back decisions to fall to 4-3 overall this
season. Most recently the Huskies were defeated 76-73 by Maine in the first
game of a four-game homestand that continues against La Salle on Saturday.
Northeastern is just 1-2 at home overall.
With wins in each of the last two outings, including an 83-67 rout at the
Mullins Center last season, UMass extended its all-time series lead to 35-17.
UMass hung right with Miami for a majority of the game on Saturday but fell
apart down the stretch. The Minutemen led 52-51 with 8:29 to play but allowed
the Hurricanes to close out the game on a 24-10 run. UMass managed only nine
field goals in each half and shot just 28.6 percent from the field overall.
Terrell Vinson had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds, but hit only
That poor shooting performance was just another in a list of them this season
for UMass. The Minutemen are connecting on only 38.3 percent of their shots
from the floor which has led to a scoring differential of -6.5. UMass is also
a team that has not gotten to the free throw line often enough with only 97
attempts. Williams is the focal point of the offense. The 5-foot-9 guard leads
the team in scoring (15.3 ppg), while putting up big numbers in assists (7.3
pg) and rebounds (5.0 pg). Jesse Morgan (14.8 ppg) is Williams' running mate
in the backcourt and a capable scorer. Vinson (12.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg) is both a
double-digit scorer and the top rebounder. Raphiael Putney (8.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg)
also mans the interior but has seen his scoring and rebounding numbers drop
from last season.
Northeastern clawed its way back from an 11-point deficit late in the second
half against Maine to come within a point (74-73) with less than a minute to
play. However the Huskies had a turnover and a missed 3-point field goal
attempt in their last two possessions and were unable to complete the
comeback. The Huskies shot just 41.0 percent in the game, while allowing the
Bears to connect on 59.2 percent of their field goal attempts including a 16-
of-21 effort in the second half. Reggie Spencer had a 16-point, 10-rebound
double-double in the setback.
Despite its winning record, Northeastern has actually been outscored by its
opponents this season (-1.1 margin). The Huskies also shoot worse than their
opponents as they hit on 43.1 percent of their shots, to 46.5 percent from
foes. Spencer (11.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg) is the top rebounder for the club and is
actually one of the better finishers, as he connects on 60.0 percent of his
shots, although those are primarily right around the basket. Joel Smith (18.0
ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.6 apg) is the primary scorer and ball-handler and capable of
erupting for big point totals any game. Quincy Ford (13.3 pg, 6.4 rpg) is a
forward that can stretch the floor and rebound well. Outside of those three no
player is scoring more than six points a game or bringing in more than 2.1
These teams match up extremely well with the duel between Williams and Smith
in the backcourt and the two-headed frontlines of each side duking it out.
While Northeastern has the homecourt edge, UMass has just a bit more depth,
which will prove vital.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Massachusetts 72, Northeastern 65
12/04 10:54:52 ET