College Basketball

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Miami-Ohio (4-6) at (23) Massachusetts (11-1)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 7 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Mullins Center (9,493) -- Amherst, Massachusetts. Television: None. Home Record: Miami 3-1, UMass 5-0. Away Record: Miami 1-5, UMass 2-0. Neutral Record: Miami 0-0, UMass 4-1. Conference Record: Miami 0-0, UMass 0-0. Series Record: Massachusetts leads, 1-0.

GAME NOTES: The 23rd-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen play their final tune-up before embarking on Atlantic 10 Conference action, as they entertain the Miami-Ohio RedHawks at the Mullins Center on Saturday night.

Miami opened the season at 0-4, but has seemingly turned a corner of late by winning two straight, three of its last four, and four of its last six. The RedHawks are coming off a 67-65 triumph over visiting Southern Illinois, but they will likely have their hands full in this contest as they have lost to what many would consider to be the better teams on its schedule thus far (Notre Dame, Arizona State, Xavier), while going just 1-5 away from home. Miami will open Mid-American Conference play at Central Michigan next Wednesday.

Massachusetts beat regional rival Providence in overtime last Saturday, 69-67, to improve to 11-1 on the season. It was the first sell-out crowd at the Mullins Center in more than seven years, and the team is a perfect 5-0 at home here in 2013-14. The Minutemen are playing the second of a four-game homestand tonight, as they will entertain Saint Joseph's and St. Bonaventure in the next week.

UMass won the only previous meeting between these two teams, slipping by in a 70-69 decision on Jan. 2, 2013 on Miami's home court.

Despite their recent success, the RedHawks haven't proven themselves against top-flight competition, which UMass certainly would qualify, so the expectations for this game, particularly on the road, aren't all that high. Still, Miami is bound to put forth maximum effort as it tries to pull off the upset in its final non-league game on the docket. The team is averaging just 64.9 ppg in hitting 42.9 percent of its field goal attempts, which includes a mere 26.3 percent showing from 3-point range. The club's defensive performance yields 72.5 ppg, with opponents shooting 47.4 percent from the floor while draining 41.0 percent of their tries from beyond the arc. Will Felder is the top scorer and rebounded among the regulars, averaging 13.2 points and 7.3 caroms per contest, and there really isn't anyone else who strikes fear in the hearts of opposing players. One guy to keep an eye on moving forward is Willie Moore, who played his first game for the RedHawks in the recent win over Southern Illinois and tied for the team lead in scoring with 14 points.

Boasting a starting lineup where every player is averaging double figures in scoring, the Minutemen have had very little trouble cranking out the points this season, as they average 80.2 ppg behind typical shooting efforts of .470 overall and .371 from 3-point range. Defensively, UMass permits 70.7 ppg, despite its foes shooting just 40.6 percent from the floor, which includes a 28.1 percent effort out on the perimeter. The club is +5.3 in rebounding margin, but drops the ball, literally, in the turnover battle (-1.7). In the overtime win against visiting Providence, UMass had five players reach double figures, with Sampson Carter (12 points, 12 rebounds), Cady Lalanne (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Chaz Williams (10 points, 10 assists) each logging double-doubles. The Minutemen shot just 39 percent from the field, and went only 9-of-18 at the free-throw line. Fortunately, the Friars connected on only 39.3 percent of their total shots, missing 11 of their 13 3-point attempts in the process. UMass claimed a 45-36 advantage on the glass, and its reserves outscored those for the visitors, 23-0.

It won't be for a lack of effort, but the RedHawks aren't likely to come out of this encounter feeling all that good about themselves. Expect the Minutemen to prevail rather easily.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Massachusetts 81, Miami-Ohio 62

01/04 10:35:10 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR
 
7:05pm Tuesday
PHI 0
ATL 0
7:05pm Tuesday
NYY 0
CHC 0
7:05pm Tuesday
BAL 0
TAM 0
7:08pm Tuesday
DET 0
CLE 0
Final
CIN 7
PIT 5
Final
MIA 11
WAS 2
Final
TEX 5
SEA 0
Final
CWS 2
BOS 1
Final
HOU 2
KAN 4
Final
MIL 1
STL 6
Final
MIN 3
TOR 9
Final
ARI 0
NYM 9
Final
ANA 9
OAK 10
Final
SDP 2
COL 3
Final
SFG 3
LOS 2
12:35pm Today
CIN
PIT
12:35pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:05pm Today
NYY
CHC
 
1:10pm Today
MIL
STL
 
3:40pm Today
ARI
NYM
 
7:05pm Tonight
PHI
ATL
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
CHC
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CLE
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
SEA
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
BOS
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
KAN
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
TOR
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
LOS
 
Final
BRK 98
NYK 109
Final
LAC 117
DEN 105
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
ATL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DET
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
HOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
8:00pm Tonight
BOS
WAS
 
10:30pm Tonight
DEN
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
SAC
PHO
 
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
CHR 2
DUR 9
 
7:05pm Tonight
DUR
NOR