Hoops Begins Tough Road Stretch At Richmond
UMASS (7-8, 1-1) vs. RICHMOND (12-5, 1-1)
UMass Begins Tough Road Stretch At Richmond
The Minutemen battled hard but dropped an 80-74 decision against La Salle on Sunday at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Freshman Freddie Riley had a break-out game with a career-high 22 points including six 3-point field goals, two short of the school record of eight.
There is no television coverage of the Richmond game, but live streaming video is available along with audio and GameTracker. The UMass Sports Network with Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney will cover the game on WRNX 100.9 FM in Western Mass as well as WCRN 830 AM in Central Mass, WBIX 1060 AM in Boston and Eastern Massachusetts and WATD 95.9 FM on the South Shore. The pregame begin 30 minutes prior to tip-off.
Trio Returns to Home State
The Series With Richmond
The teams have exchanged three-game winning streaks in the series as UMass has captured the last three after Richmond won a trio in a row.
In games played at the Robins Center, UMass is 1-3, winning for the first time in the last meeting in 2008. At UMass, the Minutemen have won three of the four games.
Ricky Harris has scored 24 points in each of the last two games against Richmond.
Over the last four years, UMass has outrebounded the Spiders by 56 and average of plus-14 per game. That includes a plus-26 margin in 2007 (39-13).
Another statistical oddity is that UMass is 19-of-37 (51.4) from 3-point range in each of the last two games in the series. That came after UMass made just one 3-pointer in two games in 2006 and 2007, going 1-of-20. In 2006, UMass had its last game without a 3-pointer going, 0-of-12 at Richmond.
UMass has won the last three games in a row in the series including last season's 80-71 victory at the Mullins Center on Feb. 4, 2009. Ricky Harris led the way with 24 points, 21 in the second half as UMass outscored the Spiders 49-38 in the second half. Chris Lowe scored his 1000th career point as he posted a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists. Richmond's David Gonzalvez also scored his 1,000th point in the game as he and Kevin Anderson each tallied a team-best 18 points for Richmond.
Tremendous 3-point shooting by Etienne Brower and Ricky Harris lifted UMass to its first-ever win at Richmond, 78-74 on March 1, 2008. The pair combined to make 10-of-13 from beyond the arc as Harris led all scorers with 24 points and Brower netted 17 as UMass won its fourth game in a row. Gary Forbes, playing his first game back in the state of Virginia, where he began his college career at the University of Virginia, made four free throws late to finish with 17.
Three years ago, UMass picked up its second win the series, 72-56, at the Mullins Center on Feb. 3, 2007. Gary Forbes had his first double-double as a Minuteman with 16 points and 16 rebounds. He became the only player in Division I in 2006-07 to single-handedly outrebound and entire opponent, 16-to-13. The Minutemen outrebounded the Spiders 39-to-13. David Gonzalvez led Richmond with 15 points
UMass' first win of the series was on Feb. 12, 2003 in the Mullins Center. The Minutemen held off the Spiders for a 54-53 victory.
Last Year's Games Vs. Richmond
Harris scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half, while Gaffney netted all 12 of his points after the break.
A player for both sides scored their 1,000th point in the game, with Lowe getting his in the first half and Richmond's David Gonzalvez getting his in the second half, finishing with 18 points. Kevin Anderson also scored 18 for the Spiders.
The offenses were slow to get things going early on with the score knotted at six after five minutes of play. At the 14:29 mark, Lowe drove the lane and made a spinning layup for his 1,000th and 1,001st career points. He became the 41st Minuteman to reach the 1,000-point mark and the first to ever combine 1,000 points with 600 assists.
Shooting Tells The Story
In UMass' seven wins, the Minutemen are shooting 47.2 from the floor overall and 32.7 from 3-point range. In the eight losses UMass is 36.1 on all field goals and 28.1 from beyond the arc.
On defense, in the seven victories, UMass is holding foes to 40.1 overall and 30.8 from 3-point land. In the eight defeats, opponents are shooting 48.2 percent overall and a strong 43.3 from trifecta land.
It has translated to a scoring margin of 79.3 to 65.7 in the wins and a mark of 81.9 to 67.6 in the losses.
UMass is 6-1 when shooting above 40 percent this year and 1-7 when shooting below 40 percent in 2009-10. The win over Fordham last Wednesday marked the first time UMass won a game when shooting less than 40 percent this season (38 percent).
UMass is 6-0 when shooting a better percentage than its opponents and 1-8 when being outshot. Again, the Fordham game was the first time UMass was outshot (44-38 percent) and still won the game.
Harris & Gurley Leading The Way
Harris continues to move up the UMass career scoring charts with his 17.4 average this season. He is seventh all-time with 1,590 points and closing in on No. 6 Tony Barbee (1,643). He has scored in double-figures in 25 games in a row, in 78 of his 112 career games and in 75 of his last 80 games dating to his sophomore season. Harris passed the two legends of UMass basketball on the career scoring list this season. Harris moved by Julius Erving (1,370) and Marcus Camby (1,387) in the game against Cornell.
Harris was named the A-10 Co-Player of the Week on Dec. 7 after he led UMass to a 2-0 week (Dec. 2-5). Harris had exactly 19 points, six assists and three rebounds in each UMass win that week (vs. Quinnipiac and at Holy Cross. The Baltimore native shot a blistering 68 percent from the floor (13-of-19) and made a stellar 7-of-13 3-point field goals.
Gurley scored in double-figures in 13 of 15 games this season, with the first five off the bench and the last 10 as a starter. He is second on UMass in scoring with a 16.1 points per game average. He had at least 13 points in 13 of 15 games this season. He had his first career double-double at Boston College (12/23) with 23 points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Against No. 2 Michigan State (11/28), he tied his career-high with 24 points. That came on the heels of 19 vs. Rutgers (11/27). He had 21 points vs. Arkansas-Fort Smith (11/21).
Freshman Showing Strong In Debuts
Riley returned vs. Fordham (1/6) and had a career-game against La Salle (1/10). Riley canned six 3-pointers and netted a career-high 22 points in Springfield. That six treys, was two shy of the UMass single-game record.
Vinson has seven games overall in double-figures with the last coming against La Salle (1/10) with 13 points. He scored 20-plus 21 vs. Memphis (12/19) and 20 points vs. Grambling State (12/11). He also had double-figures in three in a row from Nov. 18-24. Vinson became the first UMass freshman to post a double-double and a 20-point, 10-rebound game since Rashaun Freeman in 2003-04, when he had 20 points and 11 boards vs. Grambling.
Vinson earned national attention with his game-winning basket with 0:00.7 to upset Memphis (12/19), 73-72. He scored a career-high 21 points along with nine rebounds in the stunning win over the Tigers. He was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week and UMass Athlete of the Week. His game-winner was the ESPN SportsCenter No. 1 Play of the Day on Dec. 19 and No. 6 Play of the Week for that week as well.
Riley has five games in double-figures including that 22 vs. La Salle (1/10).
Sampson Carter is averaging 5.3 points and 3.9 rebounds with double-figures in three games. Javorn Farrell is averaging 3.8 points and 3.2 rebounds including a career-best 10 rebounds vs. Grambling State (12/11) in just 11 minutes of action. He sat out the Fordham (1/6) and La Salle (1/10) games with a groin/hip injury and is day-to-day.
Harris Shoots Up 1,000-Point List
In the Cornell (11/18) game he passed three players on the all-time list including the two greatest stars in UMass history in Julius Erving (1,370) and Marcus Camby (1,387). He also went by Clarence Hill (1,369).
Harris passed Edwin Green (1,393) vs. Arkansas-Fort Smith (11/21); Horace Neysmith with his 22 points vs. Rutgers (11/27) in the Legends Classic; Mike Pyatt (1,503) with 15 at Seton Hall (12/7); Harper Williams (1,534) at Davidson (12/30) and Donald Russell (1,558) with 21 vs. Fordham (1/6).
He is the 40th UMass player to score 1,000 points in his career.
Harris has scored in double-figures in 78 of his 112 career games including 75 of the last 80 dating to his sophomore year with the last 25 in a row.
With a similar season to his previous two, when he averaged 18.2 points per game, Harris would finish with right around 2,000 points. That would place him third behind Jim McCoy (2,374) and Monty Mack (2,183). Among the players he could pass are No. 6 Tony Barbee (1,643), No. 4 Rashaun Freeman (1,744) and No. 3 Lou Roe (1,905).
Harris has continued to be prolific scorer in his career at UMass. In 2009, he was named a Third-Team All-Conference selection. In 2008, he was named the A-10 Chris Daniels Most Improved player.
Harris is leading returning scorer in the Atlantic 10 with a 18.2 scoring average and led the team in scoring in 18 of 30 games in 2008-09. He scored 20 or more in 10 games. Harris was fourth in the Atlantic 10. He dropped a season and career-high 35 points on BC (12/6/08). The 35 points were good for the 13th most in school history and only six behind the school record of 41 held by Billy Tindall on Feb. 10, 1968 vs. Vermont. It was also Harris' second ever 30+ point scoring effort.
Harris Rises on 3-Point, FT Lists
He stands fourth in career made 3-pointers (236) and attempts (663).
Among the players he passed last season was his current head coach Derek Kellogg (138 makes and 362 attempts). Next on both lists is Carmelo Travieso (245 of 666).
Harris is eighth in made free throws with 332 in history. He has moved past Julius Erving (322) and Marcus Camby (308) this season.
This season, Harris 28-of-93 from 3-point range this season and 47-of-64 from the foul line.
He shot 38.7 from beyond the new extended-distance arc last season, making 87-of-225 from 3-point range in 2008-09.
Harris, who is tied Carmelo Travieso for the single-season mark for made treys with 104 (in 2007-08), is rising on the career charts.
Harris' 87 made 3-pointers last season finished tied with James Life for sixth-most in a single-season.
Harris also 11th on the career 3-point field goal percentage list (35.6).
Success At Home
UMass is 6-2 overall on its home courts, losing just the home opener vs. Cornell (74-61) on Nov. 18, which took No. 1 Kansas to the brink on last Wednesday night and the La Salle game.
In its seven home games, UMass is outscoring opponents 75.8-68.9 and outrebouning them 40.1-35.4.
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts this season, UMass is 7-3 also winning in Worcester against Holy Cross on Dec. 5 and falling at Boston College on Dec. 23.
Visiting The Commonwealth
UMass is now 4-0 all-time at the TD Garden with the win on Dec. 19. It was UMass first game at the building since 1997, when the Minutemen took on Boston College in the Commonwealth Classic.
UMass Quick Hits For 2009-10
UMass has one of the youngest teams in the country as UMass features the top recruiting class in the Atlantic 10 with five freshmen. The Minutemen also welcomed two transfers who will be eligible this season in Sean Carter from Oregon State and Hashim "Big City" Bailey from Memphis. Sophomore Trey Lang also returned to the team after not playing in 2008-09, giving UMass eight newcomers for this season's roster
UMass returned just 36.1 average points. In looking at it by percentages, UMass returned 49.1 percent of its scoring with Harris leading the way. UMass lost nearly all of its rebounding with the graduation of 2009 Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year Tony Gaffney, the final cut of the NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers. UMass has just 24.3 percent of its rebounding returning as Gaffney grabbed 10.2 per game.
Maxie Esho Signs NLI With UMass
The 6-8, 200-pound native of Upper Marlboro, Maryland is currently playing at Lee Academy in Maine. He played his AAU basketball with DC Assault, the same team UMass' Javorn Farrell played for.
"We are thrilled to have Maxie joining the UMass basketball family. Maxie is a player we have known for a long time," said Kellogg, who brought in what is widely-regarded as the top freshman class in the Atlantic 10 this season. "He is another very long and athletic player with great upside. He have watched him grow as a person and a player for the last couple of year and I know the UMass fans will be excited to get to know him on and off the court. We are looking forward to him having a great senior year at Lee Academy and then coming to UMass. He has the length and athleticism that is necessary for the type of players I want to coach here at UMass."
In playing with DC Assault, run by Curtis Malone, Esho has been a part of the one of the top AAU programs in the nation. He averaged 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds along with two blocks per game. He played along side Duke signees Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton, Notre Dame signee Eric Atkins and Richmond newcomer Cedrick Lindsay.
Coach Zach Suber has been an integral part of Esho's life and worked with him as a mentor while he played with DC Assault.
Esho was named to numerous All-Tournament Teams during his AAU career as well as being named to MVP of the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions at Chapel Hill, N.C., in 2008. Over the last four years, Esho has been part of more than 120 wins on the AAU circuit.
In 2009, he helped his squad capture the adidas Take 5 championship and the Teak Breakdown Tournament title, while also making the final four at the adidas Super 64 in Las Vegas after winning the crown in 2008. In addition to winning the adidas Super 64 title in '08, DC Assault also captured crowns at the Pittsburgh Jam Fest, the Bob Gibbons Memorial Day Tournament in Raleigh, N.C., the Harley Davidson Tournament in Morgantown, W. Va., and the Playaz Spring Fling in Piscataway, N.J.
Esho played at Henry Wise High School in Upper Marlboro where he averaged 14 points and seven rebounds per game before moving to Lee Academy.
Maxie Esho was born on Feb. 28, 1991 and is the son of Tina Marie Esho.
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