Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s soccer falls 2-0 vs. Colgate -

August 28, 2016

UMass men’s soccer falls to No. 6 Syracuse in season opener -

August 27, 2016

UMass football boasts young, balanced rushing attack going into 2016 season -

August 9, 2016

UMass football looks to add more size, depth on defensive side heading into 2016 -

August 9, 2016

UMass football gets back in action with start of training camp -

August 9, 2016

UMass football coach Mark Whipple announces Ross Comis as starting quarterback, transfer Andrew Ford close behind -

August 8, 2016

Amherst PD to encourage registering off-campus parties with implementation of Party Smart Registration program -

July 23, 2016

UMass Board of Trustees votes 11-2 to raise tuition and fees an average of 5.8 percent -

July 14, 2016

Mike Stone announces retirement following 2017 season -

July 13, 2016

‘Warcraft’ delivers a likeable mess -

July 5, 2016

Former UMass field hockey coach Carla Tagliente accepts job at Princeton -

June 29, 2016

50 Activists attend meeting as UMass Board of Trustees approves motion of divestment from fossil fuel companies -

June 16, 2016

Four former Minutemen depart from UMass hockey program -

June 14, 2016

Boston Calling 2016 delivers rousing farewell to City Hall Plaza -

June 2, 2016

Sufjan Stevens unearths quirk at Boston Calling -

June 2, 2016

The Collegian live tweets Boston Calling -

May 28, 2016

UMass baseball finishes season with sweep over George Mason -

May 22, 2016

UMass women’s lacrosse falls in NCAA quarterfinal -

May 22, 2016

‘Green Room’ is a bloody blast of survival horror -

May 21, 2016

DaLuz: Boston Celtics stuck trudging in the mud -

May 18, 2016

Minutemen basketball return home to face Rams

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

The Massachusetts men’s basketball team is returning home on Sunday afternoon after a week that featured travel woes, practice in an airport with a shoe instead of a ball and a win against Atlantic 10-opponent St. Bonaventure.

Now that the smoke has cleared, UMass returns back to the Mullins Center with a victory under its belt following a surreal experience on the flight out to SBU. The delayed landing left them practicing in an airport with a shoe, and out of their usual routine.

“It could have been easy for it to be a distraction,” senior guard Anthony Gurley said, “but myself and my teammates, we really showed that we were focused.”

This Sunday at 4 p.m., the Minutemen (12-7, 4-2 A-10) will focus on traditional rival Rhode Island in a heated contest that’ll pit two very similar teams against each other.

The Rams (13-7, 4-2 A-10) enter the Mullins Center with a near-identical record as UMass, and are one spot above them in the A-10 table.

Three of URI’s four conference wins came in a streak right towards the end of the winter break as the Rams toppled Richmond, the Bonnies and Saint

Joseph’s all within a week’s span. The contests against the Spiders and the Hawks were both away, giving URI a 3-0 record in all its road games.

While the Rams are boasting an undefeated road record in the conference, the Minutemen are 1-1 for home conference games this season. Before conference play began however, UMass suffered three-straight losses at the Mullins Center.

Part of the reason the Rams have been off to this hot conference start is due to senior forward Delroy James, who just recently scored 21 points (12 in the second half) in URI’s 59-57 win against Saint Louis.

The Minutemen will be eyeing James quite closely in the upcoming contest, as he averages 17.7 points per game along with near eight rebounds per contest.

While the Rams boast James and senior guard Marquis Jones (10.7 points per game), UMass will likely rely on its traditional high scorer, Gurley, who has led the Minutemen in scoring for 17 of their first 19 games.

UMass will be looking for Gurley to repeat his performance from last season’s meeting between these two teams, when the senior guard scored all of his 15 points in the final three-plus minutes of UMass’ 93-85 loss to URI.

These 15 points by Gurley came after a 36-minute struggle for the Minutemen, and were the surge for a comeback that limited a 24-point Rams lead down to as little as six points.

“We can’t have him not play the way he played at the end for a whole game,” Kellogg reflected after the URI game last season. “I don’t think we have enough fire power, we’re not good enough.”

Despite his strong performance in last season’s meeting, after the SBU game on Wednesday, Gurley called the upcoming contest against a URI a “tough game.”

Although Gurley is always a threat, if the Maroon and White’s last competition against SBU is any indication, others like Javorn Farrell and Gary Correia will need to step up.

Against the Bonnies, Farrell earned 16 points, while Correia had six points with two steals on the defensive end of the floor.

For most of the statistical categories in the A-10, URI and the Minutemen are at a near deadlock, except for 3-point field goal defense, which the Rams lead with just over 30 percent allowed from beyond the arc.

Conversely, the Minutemen rest at the pit of 3-point field goal percentage rankings, scoring over 28 percent of their attempted 3-pointers.

URI’s top 3-point defense mixed with the ailing UMass 3-point offense could limit the capabilities of top shooter Freddie Riley, who lurks from beyond the arc.

Meanwhile, the Minutemen rank fourth in the A-10 for offensive boards (URI is seventh), and averages less than a percent higher than the Rams for defensive rebounds.

Sean and Sampson Carter will look to continue their rebounding ways, as they earned eight and nine rebounds, respectively, against the Bonnies on Wednesday night.

No matter what Sunday afternoon holds for UMass, the team will have Saint Louis and SJU to compete with next, both of which are away games.

Herb Scribner can be reached at hscribne@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment