Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey falls flat in 5-0 loss to Northeastern -

January 20, 2018

UMass women’s track and field takes first, men fourth at Joe Donahue Games -

January 20, 2018

Sanzo: UMass’ game vs. St. Louis is a sign of what it is without its grit -

January 20, 2018

UMass men’s basketball gets blown out by Saint Louis, 66-47 -

January 20, 2018

UMass hockey shuts down No. 8 Northeastern with 3-0 win -

January 19, 2018

Matt Murray hands Northeastern its first shutout of the season -

January 19, 2018

Minutewomen stunned by last-second free throw -

January 19, 2018

UMass hockey returns home to battle juggernaut Northeastern squad -

January 18, 2018

Slow start sinks Minutemen against URI -

January 17, 2018

UMass three-game win streak snapped in Rhode Island humbling -

January 17, 2018

Trio of second period goals leads Maine to 3-1 win over UMass hockey -

January 16, 2018

Small-ball lineup sparks UMass men’s basketball comeback over Saint Joseph’s -

January 14, 2018

UMass men’s basketball tops St. Joe’s in wild comeback -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s track and field have record day at Beantown Challenge -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s basketball blows halftime lead to Saint Joseph’s, fall to the Hawks 84-79. -

January 14, 2018

UMass hockey beats Vermont 6-3 in courageous win -

January 13, 2018

Makar, Leonard score but UMass can only muster 2-2 tie with Vermont -

January 13, 2018

Pipkins breaks UMass single game scoring record in comeback win over La Salle -

January 10, 2018

Conservative student activism group sues UMass over free speech policy -

January 10, 2018

Report: Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team -

January 10, 2018

UMass men’s hoops looks to keep foot on the gas pedal at Charlotte

Taylor C. Snow/Collegian

Coming off its biggest win of the season Wednesday night at La Salle, the Massachusetts men’s basketball team learned first hand that in the Atlantic 10, one or two impressive showings doesn’t carry over from one contest to the next.

So when the Minutemen (14-5, 4-2 A-10) travel to Charlotte on Saturday to take on a 49ers (16-4, 4-2 A-10) team without its leading scorer, DeMario Mayfield, it’s safe to say UMass won’t be overlooking the opponent.

“We’ll be ready to play,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said after Wednesday’s win. “These guys are maturing; they feel like this is a good opportunity for us. I’m not saying we’re definitely going to win the game or we’re going to win, but I do think they’re gonna be ready to play.”

The Minutemen strung together their most complete game of the season against La Salle, which had knocked off Virginia Commonwealth and Butler last week to bring the Explorers into the conversation of the A-10’s best. But UMass controlled the affair from the opening tip and didn’t dig themselves any holes, which led to the frantic finish at the end.

The Minutemen won’t get any chance to dwell on the victory, however, as they travel down south to face a Charlotte team that’s 10-1 in home games this season.

The Minutemen caught a break on Wednesday with the announcement that Mayfield, who leads the 49ers with his 11.7 points per game, had been suspended indefinitely after a “violation of athletic department policy.” Mayfield, a junior guard, started a pair of games last week — his first starts of the season. In those tilts, he finished in double figures in scoring on both occasions.

Kellogg hasn’t read too much into the void left by Mayfield’s absence, but merely thinks teams have to look to the next guy to step up. The Minutemen have faced a similar situation this year with the loss of starting guard Jesse Morgan three weeks ago.

“I think everybody’s lost some guys,” Kellogg said. “I think teams just have to adapt and play with who you have.”

Despite its impressive mark this season, Charlotte comes in fresh off an 82-54 beatdown at George Washington on Saturday, raising some questions about the 49ers’ standing in the conference.

But Kellogg and UMass know how cruel A-10 play can be, particularly this year, as the Minutemen are one of six teams clustered at the top of the conference standings with a pair of losses in the A-10, with Butler in first with a 4-1 mark. Kellogg called league play “unforgiving for everybody” after Wednesday’s victory.

With the win against La Salle, UMass improved to 6-1 on the road, a far cry from its blatant road woes from a year ago when it finished 7-7 in road tilts.

But this is a different Minutemen team than last year’s squad — one with an additional year of maturity and another year together as a group, which leads Kellogg to believe his guys are enjoying the road.

“I think it’s generally just that the guys are enjoying each other even more of being a team,” Kellogg said. “I think that’s evident by how they continue to fight and play, especially on the road, where they kind of seem to be coming together and trying to figure out ways to win.”

Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. The contest can be listened to on the radio on WEEI (105.5 FM).

Stephen Sellner can be reached at ssellner@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Stephen_Sellner.

 

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