Scrolling Headlines:

Nick Mariano, Zach Oliveri transferring from UMass men’s lacrosse program -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Four months after banning Iranian students from certain graduate programs, UMass announces new measures to ensure compliance with U.S. law -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Justin King sentenced to eight to 12 years in prison -

Monday, June 29, 2015

Two future UMass hockey players selected in 2015 NHL Draft -

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Supreme Court ruling clears way for same-sex marriage nationwide -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Former UMass center Cady Lalanne taken 55th overall by Spurs in 2015 NBA Draft -

Friday, June 26, 2015

Second of four men found guilty on three counts of aggravated rape in 2012 UMass gang rape case -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Boston bomber speaks out for first time: ‘I am sorry for the lives I have taken’ -

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

King claims sex with woman was consensual during alleged 2012 gang rape -

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wrongful death suit filed in death of UMass student -

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ryan Bamford uses online Q&A session to discuss UMass football conference search, renovation plans, cost of attendance -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Opening statements delivered, first witnesses called in second trial for alleged 2012 gang rape at UMass -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

UMass Board of Trustees approves rise in tuition, student fees -

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Former Minutewoman Quianna Diaz-Patterson named to Puerto Rican national softball team -

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

UMass rowing’s Jim Dietz inducted into CRCA Hall of Fame -

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Jury selection begins Monday in second gang rape trial -

Monday, June 15, 2015

Students turn attention to state legislators as decision on UMass budget looms -

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Alumna and next director of Brooklyn Museum Anne Pasternak ‘created her own path’ -

Thursday, June 11, 2015

UMass graduate crowned head of 600-year-old Indian kingdom -

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Committee recommends UMass increase tuition, student fees for in-state undergraduates -

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

UMass looks to bounce back against tough Colonial squad

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

WASHINGTON – The Massachusetts men’s basketball team didn’t have much time to dwell on Wednesday’s 91-80 loss to George Mason. UMass quickly shifted focus and travels to George Washington on Saturday for a game which, somewhat surprisingly, is one of the toughest of the season.

The Colonials (19-5, 7-3 Atlantic 10) were picked to finish 10th in the conference preseason standings, a relative afterthought in an already deep conference. But behind a balanced scoring attack – four of George Washington’s five starters are averaging double-digit scoring totals per game – and a stingy 1-3-1 zone, the Colonials are the surprise of the conference and have picked up votes in the AP Top 25 poll.

“I think that would be a big time statement for us,” UMass coach Derek Kellogg said on potentially earning a victory. “Obviously, we know how good they’ve played (at home) thus far this year and where they are in the national rankings and RPI and things of that nature. So it’s gonna be a tough game, but it would be a big win for us if we could pull it off.”

Junior center Cady Lalanne, a player Kellogg acknowledged needs to bring a more consistent performance, agreed.

“A good win on the road could really change everybody’s mindset and the mood,” Lalanne said. “Everyone would know there’s still confidence left on the team and that we can still be successful.”

George Washington has yet to lose at the Charles E. Smith Center, posting a perfect 12-0 record. Coach Mike Lonergan’s squad generally plays eight players consistently and predominantly features a zone defense that’s intensified this season. The Colonials are allowing just 66.5 points per game on 41 percent shooting. Their defense only strengthens beyond the arc, holding opponents to 32.5 percent 3-point shooting.

The Colonials are led by guard Maurice Creek, who is averaging 14.1 points per game in his first season with George Washington after transferring from Indiana. They’re also rely heavily on forward Isaiah Armwood, who leads the team in minutes played per game (31.3) and rebounds (8.4) while chipping in 12.1 points.

UMass (19-5, 6-4 A-10) is also monitoring the health of point guard Chaz Williams. Kellogg noted that Williams is dealing with a combination of injuries to his ribs and his back, a recurring issue he’s dealt with in recent games.

“He’s just gotta play through it, more on the defensive end of the floor,” Kellogg said. “I think he was just getting hit with a lot of screens last game and it kind of affected him.”

Williams shot 3-of-15 in Wednesday’s loss and scored just eight points. He’s dealt with the pain for some time, but the effects are starting to take a toll on him.

“I’ve been banged up since the St. Joe’s game but I still keep giving it a go in practice and stuff like that because of my competitive nature,” Williams said. “But sometimes you’re banged up and hurt and you need to take a little rest and that’s what coach is telling me.”

The Minutemen have dropped four of their last seven games and have struggled to maintain consistency and energy level during that skid. Williams pointed out that the struggles have come early in games, something the team plans to change on Saturday.

“I just feel like we’re out of sync a little bit,” Williams said. “Offensively, some guys are out of sync and defensive we’re not all in the right spots at the right time. So I feel like tomorrow, early, we’ll come out focused mentally and everything will be fine.”

Mark Chiarelli can be reached at mchiarel@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @Mark_Chiarelli

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