UMass Faces Marist At Mohegan Sun on Saturday
Dec. 5, 2007
UMASS (5-2) vs. MARIST (5-3)
UMass Faces Marist At Mohegan Sun on Saturday
Saturday's game will pit a pair of teams which advanced to the NIT Second Round last season. UMass defeated Alabama in the NIT First Round before losing at eventual champion West Virginia. Marist won at Oklahoma State before falling at NC State in the Second Round.
The Minutemen return to action after a mixed week which saw UMass knock off Syracuse at the Carrier Dome in a thrilling 107-100 win at Syracuse on Nov. 28. UMass than travelled to Indianapolis, where the Minuteman suffered an 89-77 loss to Summit League favorite IUPUI.
Marist stands 5-3, heading into a game on Wednesday night at Canisius. The Red Foxes have won four games in a row after a three-game losing streak. The success has coincided with Syracuse transfer Louie McCroskey making his season debut five games ago. Marist lost an overtime thriller with Temple (73-69) in his first game before reeling off four wins in a row against Colgate (61-60), Richmond (64-62), Bucknell (55-40) and Wright State (79-64).
The UMass-Marist Series
UMass At Mohegan Sun
Scoring, More and More
With the new offense, UMass is scoring a high-pace. The Minutemen are averaging 89.4 points per game, up from 77.9 points (+11.5) through seven games last season and 77.3 points (+12.1) from the entire season.
UMass is seventh in the NCAA in scoring through Tuesday, Dec. 4.
UMass is 19th in total 3-pointers made with 74.
Showing Major Improvement
Sophomore Ricky Harris has emerged as a major weapon on offense, scoring 19.9 points per game after just 4.5 last season as a freshman. He played in 32 games, all off the bench, but has started all seven games this season. Harris has 139 points this year after 145 all of last year. He should pass his entire scoring total in the eighth game of the season against Marist. He leads all Minutemen in scoring improvement at +15.4 points per game. Harris has scored in double-figures in all seven games this season. He scored more than 15 in each of the first four games, surpassing his freshman-season high of 14 each time.
Senior Etienne Brower has become the force UMass thought he would be after transferring from Boston University. Brower is averaging 13.6 points in seven starts after scoring just 2.7 points per game in 2006-07 when he was hindered by an ankle injury all season. Brower has 95 points in the first seven games after just 59 all of last year in 22 games. He passed his entire total in the fifth game of the season with 75 after the Wis.-Green Bay (11/17) game which he scored a career-high 25 points. Brower has more than 12 points in five of seven games in 07-08 after his season high was just eight last year. His +10.9 improvement was aided by his career-high 25 points against Wis.-Green Bay.
Senior Danté Milligan has tallied 10 or more points in three of the last four games. He had his career-high of 17 in two of three games at Syracuse (11/28) and against Yale (11/14). Milligan's season-high last year was 10 points which he accomplished twice. Milligan has taken his averages from 3.3 points and 2.5 rebounds to 10.0 points and 5.1 rebounds. An increase of 6.7 points and 2.6 rebounds.
Junior Luke Bonner is also seeing more time and making his signature 3-pointers. Bonner, who averaged just 1.6 points in 06-07 is up to 6.6 per game and has made 10-of-17 from 3-point land. Last year he made seven treys all season in 31 games.
More Numbers To Ponder
Danté Milligan is shooting 64.4 from the floor (29-of-45), but is just shy of qualifying for the NCAA rankings (5.0 made field goals per game). If he eligible, Milligan would rank 18th nationally and second in the Atlantic 10. Milligan has taken his field goal percentage from 49.4 to 64.4.
Chris Lowe has averaged 8.5 assists over his last two games since returning from an ankle injury suffered in the first game of the season. Lowe is handing out 5.4 assists per game in his five games and would rank third in the A-10, but is not eligible with just five games played.
Ricky Harris leads the Atlantic 10 in steals per game with 2.86 per contest with 20 in seven games.
Juicy Bits From The 107-Point Outburst
The 107 points were the most UMass has scored in a regulation game since a 110-97 win over Duquesne on Jan. 6, 1977.
It ties for the 11th-most points in a game for UMass as it also scored 107 in a win over Colgate in 1966.
The 207 combined points tied for the third-most points in a game in UMass annals. The record is 233, when UMass lost at Rutgers in triple overtime, 119-114 on Feb. 27, 1988.
The other game with more total points (214) marked the last time UMass played in a game where both teams scored 100 points in a regulation when North Texas beat the Minutemen, 110-104 on Dec. 29, 1982.
More On The Orange Crush
In the epic win, UMass rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half to come away with the win. Ricky Harris led the Minutemen with a career-high 25 points while Gary Forbes added his A-10 leading scoring average of 23 points. Forbes also had seven assists and six rebounds in what Travis Ford called his best game at UMass.
Point guard Chris Lowe returned to action after sitting for 14 days of game-action and had 13 points and a career-high tying nine assists.
UMass shot 52 percent from the floor including 14-of-31 from 3-point range. Etienne Brower, who ranks second in the NCAA in 3-point field goal percentage (63.3) made 4-of-6 from trey-range.
Danté Milligan continued to show he can be a force with his second career-high 17-point game in the last three games. Milligan also equalled his Yale game, two weeks prior, with an 8-of-9 showing from the floor.
Forbes Nov. 18 A-10 Co-Player of the Week
25 Is Twice As Nice
UMass Continues Home Dominance
The Minutemen went 12-2 at home last season playing before an average of nearly than 6,000 fans per game at the Mullins Center, including a sellout of 9,493 for the Boston College game on Dec. 2. that UMass had its second crowd of more than 9,000 this year with 9,088 against Saint Louis on Feb. 24. This season marks the first since 1998-99 UMass has had two crowds of more than 9,000 in the same season. The Saint Louis crowd was the largest for an A-10 game, since a sell-out of 9,493 against Temple on Feb. 17, 2001. With an average of 5,968 UMass had its best attendance since 1998-99 when an average of 6,723 came to the Mullins Center. UMass is fourth in the league in attendance.
Ford-Tough At Home
UMass Goes 2-1 At BTI Tip-Off Tournament
2006-07 A Season To Remember
2006-07 Mass Co-A-10 Champions
The Minutemen went 24-9 overall and had the best season since the 1995-96 Final Four year when they went 35-2 in finishing as a national semifinalist. UMass finished with a 13-3 record in the Atlantic 10. UMass had its best conference record since going a school-record 15-1 in 1995-96. Prior to the loss to Saint Louis in the A-10s, the Minutemen had won six games in a row overall, their longest win streak since capturing 10 games in a row in Jan.-Feb. 1998.
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