Postseason Push Continues: UMass Hoops At GW
UMASS (10-15, 4-7) at GEORGE WASHINGTON (13-10, 3-7)
Postseason Push Continues: UMass At George Washington
UMass comes into the game at 4-7 in the Atlantic 10 and 10-15 overall after the consecutive wins. The Colonials are tied for 10th in the A-10 with a 3-7 record to go along with a 13-10 overall mark.
Wednesday's game will be available via live streaming video, audio and Gametracker on UMassAthletics.com. The UMass Sports Network with Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney call the action starting with a 6:30 p.m., pregame show. The game airs statewide on flagship 100.9 FM in Western Mass, 830 AM WCRN in Central Mass, 1060 AM WBIX and 95.9 FM WATD in Eastern Mass.
UMass is playing at George Washington for the first time since March 8, 2008, a 67-63 Minuteman win. The Minutemen have won three games in a row including last season, 77-62 on Senior Day at the Mullins Center on March 4.
RH Factor: Red-Hot Ricky Harris
Harris moved up to fourth on the UMass career-scoring list at Rhode Island on Feb. 6. He now has 1,816 and is the A-10's active career scoring leader. Harris has an outside chance to become the third player in history to score 2,000 points. He needs 184 points with at least five games remaining. He needs just 89 to pass No. 3 Lou Roe (1,905). Jim McCoy is the all-time leader (2,374).
The Series With George Washington
UMass has won the last three in a row and four of the last five after last season's 77-62 win on March 4 at the Mullins Center on Senior Day.
The last game at the Smith Center, was a UMass 67-63 win on March 8, 2008. The Minutemen and Colonials exchanged the lead 11 times in the second half. Senior Gary Forbes scored 20 points to finish in a tie with Temple's Dionte Christmas for the regular-season A-10 scoring title (20.3 points per game). Ricky Harris also scored 20 points as he made five 3-pointers. Etienne Brower posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Minutemen have won 10 of the last 13 meetings including a six-game win streak from 2000-03.
George Washington holds an 19-7 advantage in games played at the Smith Center, but the Minutemen recorded wins in four of the last five games in D.C. (2001, 2003, 2005, 2008). In 2005, UMass had an epic 76-74 victory in overtime over then-No. 21 GW on Jan. 15, 2005. With less than a second to play in overtime, Rashaun Freeman caught Anthony Anderson's pass and laid it in the basket in one motion, giving UMass the win. Freeman finished with season-highs of 27 points and 15 rebounds.
UMass is 14-11 all-time against the Colonials in Amherst, including a 6-5 mark in the Mullins Center. Among visiting schools which have played at least five games at Mullins.
The teams first met on Feb. 27, 1971 in Madison Square Garden, with the Redmen winning 70-65.
The winning team has scored 70 or more points in 46 of 59 series games, with George Washington reaching that mark in 26 of its 33 wins and Massachusetts hitting that score in 20 of 26 victories.
Last Season's Game Vs. George Washington:
Ricky Harris led UMass with 19 points, shooting 5-for-8 from 3-point range. Gaffney and Lowe finished their home careers with strong performances, scoring 11 and 14 points, respectively. Gaffney added 10 rebounds, while Lowe dished out eight assists.
GW's Rob Diggs led all scorers with 22 points on 11-for-19 shooting. The Colonials shot 40.4 percent.
Huge Comeback Win At Duquesne
In the victory at Duquesne, UMass grabbed 60 rebounds including 23 offensive. It was the most by a UMass team since Feb. 28, 1996, when UMass had 60 against Saint Joseph's. Marcus Camby had 15 for UMass in that overtime win.
UMass Pounds The Boards
UMass ranks sixth in the NCAA in offensive rebounds per game (15.4) and sixth in total offensive rebounds with 386.
UMass has outrebounded 17 opponents. Overall, UMass has a positive rebounding margin (+5.0). That includes margins of 25 vs. Grambling (55-30), 20 vs. Memphis (44-24), 17 at Boston College (50-33), 9 at Baylor (42-33) and by 27 at Duquesne (60-33) on Feb. 11.
The Baylor margin was remarkable as the Bears were leading the NCAA in rebounding margin at the time (+11.0) and had outrebounded all 17 opponents until that game. Baylor starts a front line of players standing 7-0, 6-11 and 6-10.
The 60 boards at Duquesne were the most by a UMass team since the 1996 Final Four Season, when UMass had 60 against Saint Joseph's on Feb. 28, 1996. Marcus Camby had 15 for UMass in the game.
Between Dec. 11 and Jan. 6, UMass outrebounded its opponents 48.3 to 31.3 (193-125).
The Minutemen have used a rebounding by committee strategy. Three players average more than five per game. Sean Carter leads the way with 7.1 per game. Terrell Vinson is up to 5.5 boards per game. Hashim Bailey is second with 4.9 per game in just 12.6 minutes per game. Prorated over 40 minutes, Bailey would grab 15.4 boards.
Shooting Tells The Story
In UMass' wins, the Minutemen are shooting 45.4 from the floor overall and 34.9 from 3-point range. In the losses UMass is 37.2 on all field goals and 27.1 from beyond the arc.
On defense, in the victories, UMass is holding foes to 40.2 overall and 30.7 from 3-point land. In the defeats, opponents are shooting 46.9 percent overall and a remarkable 40.1 from trifecta land.
It has translated to a scoring margin of 79.6 to 68.2 in the wins and a mark of 79.6 to 66.9 in the losses.
UMass is 8-4 when shooting above 40 percent this year and 1-11 when shooting below 40 percent in 2009-10. The win over Fordham (1/6) marked the first time UMass won a game when shooting less than 40 percent this season (38 percent).
UMass is 8-1 when shooting a better percentage than its opponents and 1-13 when being outshot. Again, the Fordham game was the first time UMass was outshot (44-38 percent) and still won the game.
Win Over Memphis Gets Attention
Harris & Gurley Leading The Way
Harris continues to move up the UMass career scoring charts with his 19.5 average this season. He is fourth all-time with 1,816 points after passing Lorenzo Sutton (1,731) and Rashaun Freeman (1,744) with a season-high 32 at Rhode Island (2/6) as well as current UTEP coach Tony Barbee (1,643) with 15 points at Baylor (1/23). He has scored in double-figures in 35 games in a row, in 88 of his 122 career games and in 85 of his last 90 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 has been named A-10 Player of the Week twice on Feb. 14 and Dec. 7. He earned the honor in February after his 29-point, 6-assist effort at Duquesne. On Dec. 7, he wrapped up a week where he led UMass to a 2-0 week. 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.
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.
Gurley scored in double-figures in 20 of 25 games this season. He is second on UMass in scoring with a 14.6 points per game average. He had at least 13 points in 19 of 25 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). At No. 19 Temple (1/16), he had 20 points as well as at Duquesne (2/11).
Riley returned from minor knee surgery for the game 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. Those six treys, were two shy of the UMass single-game record. Over four games (from Jan. 10-20), Riley averaged 15.5 ppg making 15-of-36 3-point field goals (42 percent).
Riley ranks third in the Atlantic 10 in 3-pointers made per game with 2.2.
Vinson has 11 games overall in double-figures with the last coming at Rhode Island (2/6). At Baylor (1/23) he had his second-career double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. He scored 20-plus with 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 nine games in double-figures including 20-plus twice, with 22 vs. La Salle (1/10) and 20 at Richmond (1/13).
Sampson Carter is averaging 4.6 points and 3.2 rebounds with double-figures in three games. Javorn Farrell is averaging 4.2 points and 3.6 rebounds including a career-best 10 rebounds vs. Grambling State (12/11) in just 11 minutes of action. He scored a career-high 12 points vs. Xavier (2/3).
Harris Rises on 3-Point, FT Lists
He stands third in career made 3-pointers (259) and second in attempts (733).
Among the players he passed last season was his current head coach Derek Kellogg (138 makes and 362 attempts). Next on te makes list is Anthony Anderson (275 of 705). No. 1 on both is Monty Mack (331-of-910).
Harris is eighth in made free throws with 367 in history. He has moved past Julius Erving (322) and Marcus Camby (308) this season. Rashaun Freeman is next (374).
Harris has also risen to No. 4 on the career field goals attempted list with 1,412. Next on the list is No. 3 Lorenzo Sutton (1,518).
He is also seventh in career made field goals (595). Next is Lou Roe (661).
This season, Harris 51 -of-163 from 3-point range this season and 82-of-109 from the foul line.
Harris is eighth in career steals with 140. Next on the list at No. 7 is Jim McCoy (141).
Harris has also moved on to the Top 10 list for career games played with 122.
In 2007-08, Harris tied Carmelo Travieso for the single-season mark for made treys with 104. Harris' 87 made 3-pointers last season finished tied with James Life for sixth-most in a single-season.
UMass Quick Hits
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."
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