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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 27, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Mullins Center (9,493) -- Amherst, Massachusetts. Television: None. Home Record: Richmond 11-1. UMass 5-2. Away Record: Richmond 2-5, UMass 5-1. Neutral Record: Richmond 0-1, UMass 2-2. Conference Record: Richmond 3-2, UMass 2-2. Series Record: Richmond leads, 8-5.
GAMES NOTES: Riding the momentum of a upset victory, the Richmond Spiders will try to knock off the Massachusetts Minutemen on Sunday afternoon in an Atlantic 10 Conference tilt at the Mullins Center.
It took an extra session but Richmond stunned No. 16 VCU on Thursday with an 86-74 win in overtime. The victory was the second straight for the Spiders who are now 13-7 this season while managing to remain competitive in league play with a mark of 3-2. Richmond has not played exceptionally well on the road where it is just 2-5 this season. A battle with Temple in Philadelphia is next on the schedule for the Spiders.
UMass will be trying to bounce back from a disappointing 79-76 loss at home to George Washington last Saturday. The loss came on the heels of a rather strong stretch for the Minutemen who had won nine of their previous 10 games. UMass is 12-5 overall on the campaign, while putting forth a 5-2 mark at the Mullins Center. UMass will also ship out to the City of Brotherly Love after this contest as it hits the road to take on La Salle.
In the past two meetings between these squads the road team has come out on top with UMass dropping Richmond (79-68) last season and Richmond earning an 84-68 victory the previous year. Richmond leads the all-time series 8-5.
Against VCU, Richmond trailed by seven points with 37 seconds left in regulation. The Spiders were able to rally in the final seconds capped off by Darien Brother's game-tying 3-pointer with three seconds left on the clock. The Spiders dominated in the extra session hitting 5-of-8 shots from the floor and all five attempts from the free-throw line.
There's a reason Brothers had the ball in his hands in the critical moments of that contest as the 6-foot-3 guard is leading the squad in scoring (16.3 ppg) while shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc. Also in double figures for Richmond this season is Kendall Anthony (13.4 ppg). The Spiders offensive punch and efforts on the glass have taken a hit since the beginning of the new year with Derrick Williams (13.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg) missing the last six games with a sprained left ankle. The 6-foot-6 forward will likely miss this contest as well as he is listed as doubtful.
UMass trailed by as many as 15 points in the second half against George Washington but managed to pull to within a single point twice in the last 30 seconds. The Minutemen had a chance to tie the game on their final possession but Sampson Carter had the ball stolen from him in the waning seconds.
It has not been the offensive end of the floor that has hurt UMass. The Minutemen are the second-best scoring team in the A-10 (73 ppg) despite shooting just 41.3 percent from the floor. On the defensive end however the Minutemen have found much less success, allowing 72.2 points per game. The Minutemen have also had to deal with a major injury with second leading scorer Jesse Morgan (13.4 ppg) out for the season with a torn ACL. With Morgan out there is even more pressure on Chaz Williams (16.3 ppg, 7.4 apg) to produce. The 5-foot-9 guard, who leads the league in assists, has really answered the call scoring at least 18 points in all three games that Morgan has missed. Terrell Vinson (11.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg) has assumed the role of second option.
The backcourt duo of Brothers and Anthony might be too much for Williams to overcome by himself. The Minutemen will likely try to make this game a shootout and if the Spiders can't get shots to fall in a hostile environment the Minutemen's advantage in the frontcourt could be crucial.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Massachusetts 76, Richmond 73
01/27 10:31:53 ET
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