Massachusetts (22-5) at Dayton (19-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 1, 11 a.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UD Arena (13,455) -- Dayton, Ohio. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: UMass 12-1, Dayton 11-4. Away Record: UMass 6-3, Dayton 6-4. Neutral Record: UMass 4-1, Dayton 2-1. Conference Record: UMass 9-4, Dayton 7-6. Series record: Series is tied, 10-10.
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams riding late-season success tangle at UD Arena on Saturday, as the Massachusetts Minutemen meet the Dayton Flyers in Atlantic 10 Conference action.
UMass has won three in a row and five of its last six contests, while Dayton had a six-game win streak broken on Tuesday at Saint Joseph's.
The Minutemen, who at 9-4 are tied for third place in the conference standings along with VCU, are coming off a 70-67 home win over Rhode Island Wednesday. Chaz Williams netted 16 points and dished out a team-high six assists. Trey Davis scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds off the bench for UMass. Sampson Carter chipped in with 11 points and six rebounds, and Derrick Gordon narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.
UMass is one of 11 teams in Division I that has started the same lineup all season. The Minutemen are averaging 76.8 ppg, which ranks first in the A-10. They are also holding opponents to 30.3 percent shooting from the 3-point line. Williams (15.6 ppg), Cady Lalanne (12.5 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and Carter (10.9 ppg) are part of a team that despite its success has struggled at the foul line. The Minutemen are making just 67 percent from the charity stripe. Over the last five games, the Minutemen have hit 63.6 percent. Senior Raphiael Putney enters the game nine points shy of 1,000 for his career. Williams is third in the nation in assists (7.2 apg), and he has 15 double-digit assist games in his career, equaling Carl Smith's record from 1983-87.
The Flyers were 79-53 blowout victims to the Hawks on Tuesday. They were led by Jalen Robinson with 13 points, while Devin Oliver posted a double-double consisting of 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Offensive balance has been the key to Dayton's success this season. The Flyers are 18-2 when three or more players score in double figures, but only 1-7 when two players or less hit at least 10 points. The Flyers, who are averaging 73.2 ppg, are led by the trio of Jordan Sibert (12.2 ppg), Oliver (12.0 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and Pierre (11.2 ppg). Vee Sanford (9.5 ppg) is a strong contributor off the bench. Sibert is third in the Atlantic 10 in 3-point field goal percentage (.426), while Oliver (.417) is seventh. Matt Kavanaugh is averaging 7.4 ppg and 4.8 rpg over the last five games for Archie Miller's team.
UMass has won six of the last nine meetings, but with a victory today the Flyers would reach the 20-win mark for the 10th time since 2000.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Dayton 69, Massachusetts 66
03/01 10:14:24 ET