Men's College Basketball
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Massachusetts (19-8) at Dayton (17-10)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 25th, 6:00 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: UD Arena (6,000) -- Dayton, Ohio. Television: CBS Sports Network. Home Record: UMass 13-1, Dayton 11-4. Away Record: UMass 4-5, Dayton 3-6. Neutral Record: UMass 2-2, Dayton 3-0. Conference Record: UMass 8-5, Dayton 7-6. Series Record: Series is tied, 9-9.

GAME NOTES: An Atlantic-10 Conference showdown is set to take place tonight in Dayton, as the Flyers host the Massachusetts Minutemen at UD Arena.

UMass snapped a brief two-game slide with an 80-73 victory over Xavier on Tuesday night. The win improved the Minutemen to 19-8 overall this season and 8-5 in league play.

As for Dayton, the Flyers have won two out of their last three, including a 75-62 verdict at Duquesne on Wednesday night. The verdict gave the Flyers a 17-10 overall tally, and improved the club to 7-6 in league bouts.

The all-time series between the two programs is tied at 9-9, although UMass has won five of the last seven meetings.

The Minutemen got a career-high 29 points from Chaz Williams in the seven- point win over Xavier, with the sophomore hitting 6-of-8 from beyond the arc and passing out nine assists as well. UMass went a somewhat underwhelming 44.3 percent from the floor overall during the meeting, but did hit 10-of-27 from long range to go with a 16-for-18 effort at the foul line. At the other end of the court, the Minutemen forced Xavier into a game-high 20 miscues, and kept the Musketeers in check to the tune of 40.7 percent from the field. Raphiael Putney added 13 points in the win for UMass, while Terrell Vinson netted 12 points to go with eight rebounds. The Minutemen average a whopping 76.4 points per game this season, a mark good enough to rank 28th in the NCAA, in spite of the fact that the club is shooting at a rather underwhelming 43.6 percent clip up to this point. Williams leads the team in scoring, as he owns a 16.0 ppg tally in addition to a whopping 170 assists. Putney represents the only other UMass player with a double-digit scoring average, and he has been responsible for 10.3 points to go with 5.7 rebounds per game. The Minutemen have gotten the job done on the defensive end as well, limiting the opposition to a lackluster 40.2 percent from the field that yields just 69.9 ppg. The Minutemen have forced an above-average 468 miscues through 27 games, and own a slight advantage on the glass, to the tune of 39.5 - 38.1 rpg.

The Flyers put forth a solid effort at each end of the court in the 12-point decision over Duquesne, as the club hit 47.4 percent of their attempts from the field, while limiting the Dukes to a meager 39.7 percent clip. The Flyers added a 14-for-16 performance at the charity stripe as well, and dominated the battle of the boards by a 41-24 margin. Paul Williams registered a game-high 18 points to lead the way for Dayton in the win, while Chris Johnson helped to pace the squad with a 13-point effort that included eight boards. Matt Kavanaugh finished with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Josh Parker chipped in 12 points from off the bench. Kevin Dillard got into the mix as well, netting 11 points. The Flyers average a healthy 71.7 ppg this season, and are currently shooting at a 43.7 percent clip as a team. The squad owns an impressive 77.0 percent mark at the foul line, but has struggled from beyond the arc (33.8 percent). Dayton has had its ups and downs at the other end of the court, where opponents have been allowed to net 68.3 ppg on 45.2 percent shooting. The Flyers do own a 35.8 - 32.1 rebounding advantage over their adversaries up to this point, but have forced 353 giveaways compared to 362 of their own miscues. Dillard, with a 12.9 ppg tally, leads the way for the Flyers in scoring this season, and he has also been responsible for 155 assists through 27 contests. Johnson follows (12.1 ppg) and leads the squad on the glass (6.3 rpg), while Josh Benson owns a 10.9 ppg tally despite just 14 appearances this season.

Give the nod to UMass here, in a close one. These two programs match up extremely well, but the Minutemen have a slight size advantage and a bit more depth. Both of those aspects should come into play eventually, albeit late, and give UMass the edge.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Massachusetts 81, Dayton 78

02/25 10:46:26 ET

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