The Minutemen faced a tough match up against a Providence team that is saintly (8-0) at home this season. A win looked secure for the Friars midway through the second half but UMass mounted a devilish comeback to bring it within 3 points with under 2 to play. Unfortunately the Minutemen couldn’t absolve themselves of their sins; 9 missed free throws and 19 turnovers, and ultimately fell 75-69.
- Free throws and turnovers lost this game and in a very weird breakdown, all the UMass free throws in the game were attempted by two players: Holloway (7-13) and Clark (2-5). 50% free throw shooting is not going to cut it.
- If Holloway can get his free throw percentage up he will be unstoppable in the paint. For now though, the double team and the ‘hack-a-Holloway’ strategy are his kryptonite.
- Having said that, this was by far Holloway’s best game of the season. With 21 points and 9 rebounds he was unstoppable in the paint and was the main reason for the late UMass comeback.
- Tough game from Deeky. 6 turnovers and only 3 assists. It seems he’s still bouncing back from the foot injury. It’s worth noting though that when Jarreau is on the court the Minutemen play better even if he’s not filling the stat sheet.
- 41 of the team’s 69 points came from Holloway and Pipkins. Pretty much any player on this team can lead the team in scoring in any given game. Love to see it.
- Pipkins went 6-13 from three but the only three we will remember is the ill-advised shot with 1:15 remaining when we desperately needed a bucket. This team will need to get better at late game execution once the dog fight of the A-1o starts. Those games always come down to the wire and every game is a must win if an A10 Championship is the end goal.
- Forgettable game from Malik Hines after being named the Gotham Classic Most Outstanding Player against Pacific on Thursday. He somehow managed 3 fouls and 2 turnovers in just six minutes of play. Ouch.
UMBR Game Ball
When you let the big dog eat he wins the game ball. Holloway is the much deserved winner of the coveted award this week. Rashaan looked confident in the paint on both sides of the floor and Providence had no answer in the second half. Great game from Rashaan and hopefully the start of a consistent trend.
UMBR Dunce Cap
As much as I hate to do it, gotta give the dunce cap to Deeky. He definitely did not look sharp with 6 turnovers and also went 0-4 from three point land.
North Carolina A&T, is up next in the second installment of the Gotham Classic. The 1-7 Aggies head to the Mullins where the Minutemen are 5-1. Anything less than a blowout will be a major disappointment.
There are 7 colleges and universities in the US who call themselves the Aggies.