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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 28, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Times Union Center (8,876) -- Albany, New York. Television: Time Warner Cable SportsChannel. Home Record: Massachusetts 1-0, Siena 0-1. Away Record: Massachusetts 0-0, Siena 1-2. Neutral Record: Massachusetts 1-2, Siena 1-1. Conference Record: Massachusetts 0-0, Siena 0-0. Series Record: Massachusetts lead 6-2.
GAME NOTES: Following a 10-day break, the Massachusetts Minutemen will travel to Albany to square off with the Siena Saints on Wednesday at the Times Union Center.
The Minutemen opened the season with two straight wins, including a narrow two-point victory to begin play in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off against local rival Providence (77-75). However, UMass was unable to use that as motivation the rest of the way in Bayamon, dropping back-to-back games to nationally-ranked NC State (94-76) and Tennessee (83-69) to close out tournament play.
Sienna has struggled to find the win column on a consistent basis this season, posting a mere 2-4 mark through the first six games. The Saints have lose two straight games, both on the road to San Diego (77-60) and most recently Maine (72-66).
UMass leads the all time series between these two teams 6-2, winning last year's matchup in the Hall of Fame Classic Game, 82-78. Siena's last win in the series came in the 2000 NIT (66-65).
The Minutemen's last time out was in Bayamon as part of the Puerto Rico Tip- off where they fell to Tennessee 83-69. UMass allowed 14 unanswered points late in the second half after tying the game. Jesse Morgan led the team in scoring with 18 points, followed by Chaz Williams, who had 16 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. Terrell Vinson added 10 points and five rebounds in the setback.
Morgan leads three UMass players in double-figure scoring this year as he has averaged 17.5 ppg, despite shooting just 39.3 percent from the floor. He is followed by Williams (14.5 ppg, 7.0 apg) and Vinson (11.3 ppg). The Minutemen have scored 72.2 ppg, but have struggled defensively, allowing opponents to average 79.0 ppg on 47.2 percent shooting from the field. The defensive play will need to improve greatly if UMass wants to turn things around.
The Saints' lost 72-66 to Maine their last time on the floor. Evan Hymes led the team in scoring with 20 points, while three other starters scored in double figures, including Rakeem Brookins (15 points). Rob Poole chipped in with 11 points, but O.D. Anosike had the most impressive game, as he tallied 12 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive glass. Still, the double-double was wasted, as the team shot 33.9 percent from the field in the loss.
Anosike has been a monster in the low post, averaging team-highs of 14.7 points and 14.3 rebounds peer game. Three others join Anosike in double-figure scoring in Hymes (14.3 ppg), Brookins (11.7 ppg) and Poole (11.3 ppg), but the rest of the team has not added much on the offensive side of the court as the team only averages 58.8 ppg. Defensively, the squad has held opponents to 62.0 ppg and forced them into 39.3 percent shooting from the field.
The Saints have played good defense this year while struggling on the offensive end. UMass may have trouble generating offense in this one and with the way the Minutemen have struggled defensively, this one could go to the home team.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Siena 70, Massachusetts 64
11/28 10:33:54 ET
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