Massachusetts (16-8) at St. Bonaventure (11-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 20, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reilly Center (5,480) -- St. Bonaventure, New York. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: UMass 8-3, SBU 6-5. Away Record: UMass 6-3, SBU 4-8. Neutral Record: UMass 2-2, SBU 1-0. Conference Record: UMass 6-5, SBU 4-7. Series Record: UMass leads, 39-20.
GAME NOTES: The St. Bonaventure Bonnies welcome the Massachusetts Minutemen to the Reilly Center for an Atlantic 10 Conference clash.
UMass had won four of five entering a Valentine's Day matchup at VCU, but the Minutemen lost that contest, 86-68, and followed it up with an 83-82 setback to Temple over the weekend. They are a respectable 6-3 in true road games this season, although the last two such outings resulted in defeat.
St. Bonaventure is coming off back-to-back overtime losses; first a 69-66 home loss to La Salle a week ago and then an 83-80 decision at Richmond this past Saturday. In both contests, the Bonnies erased big second-half deficits and forced overtime, only to come up just short in the extra session.
In terms of the all-time series between these two squads, UMass holds a 39-20 lead.
Trailing by one point with 17 seconds to play against Temple, the Minutemen held out for the last shot. However, they never got that shot off, as Freddie Riley's pass to a cutting Chaz Williams was batted around as time expired. UMass went up, 53-45, early in the second half before Temple went on a 24-12 run over the next 10 minutes to take a 76-69 lead. The Owls went on to make 12 3-pointers for the game, matching the most allowed by a UMass opponent this season. Williams paced four players in double figures for UMass with 16 points, while Cady Lalanne came off the bench to rack up 14 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. Williams is the team leader with 16.1 points per game on the season, and Terrell Vinson is the only other player averaging double figures with 12.0 ppg. The Minutemen have certainly missed the presence of second-leading scorer Jesse Morgan (13.4 ppg), who was lost for the season with a torn right knee ligament last month.
Leading the way for SBU is Demetrius Conger, who is posting 13.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per tilt. Conger is also an 85-percent free-throw shooter and has been in the starting lineup for every game so far this season. Along the perimeter, Chris Johnson (12.5 ppg) and Eric Mosley (11.5 ppg) are both shooting above 40 percent from 3-point range, with Mosley ranking among the nation's most efficient snipers (.437). In Saturday's loss to Richmond, Mosley scored a career-high 30 points to go along with four steals, as he shot 9- of-20 from the floor and 5-of-10 from long range. Teammate Jordan Gathers was a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor en route to a personal-best 18 points, while Johnson finished with 13 points in the loss. The game was decided in the final seconds of overtime when Conger fouled Richmond's Darien Brothers while attempting a 3-pointer, and Brothers sank all three foul shots to give the Spiders a two-point lead.
Both teams are coming off back-to-back losses, and so one would expect a sense of urgency from both squads. If the Bonnies can set the tone early with their perimeter game, it would certainly alleviate the pressure to once again try and mount a big second-half comeback.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: St. Bonaventure 75, Massachusetts 69
02/20 11:04:08 ET