September 22, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

Season-ticket holders excited to be a part of new era of UMass football -

Monday, September 22, 2014

UMass can’t squander Saturday’s ‘must win’ affair -

Monday, September 22, 2014

‘Destiny’ videogame does not reach potential -

Monday, September 22, 2014

How one Facebook post made me an SGA senator (and why we need to fix it) -

Monday, September 22, 2014

The police aren’t out to protect us -

Monday, September 22, 2014

Social inequities are a strong presence at UMass -

Monday, September 22, 2014

UMass baseball alumni return to Amherst with a victory in Alumni Game -

Monday, September 22, 2014

Wearable tech the latest fashion trend -

Monday, September 22, 2014

UMass field hockey loses 2-1 to Northeastern on Sunday -

Monday, September 22, 2014

Visiting Writers Series welcomes Mitchell S. Jackson -

Monday, September 22, 2014

SGA working toward diversifying UMass campus -

Monday, September 22, 2014

Local poetry festival honors works of Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson -

Monday, September 22, 2014

UMass football blown out in all phases against Penn State -

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Penn State rushes over UMass football 48-7 -

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Luke Pavone jumpstarts UMass men’s soccer’s comeback effort in win over Fairfield -

Saturday, September 20, 2014

UMass men’s soccer earns first win of the season in emotional home opener -

Friday, September 19, 2014

Ed Davis report leaves nobody blameless -

Friday, September 19, 2014

White House starts public awareness drive to prevent sexual attacks on campus -

Friday, September 19, 2014

Work already underway for SGA speaker Sïonan Barrett -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

UMass in for a challenge against Penn State, QB Hackenberg -

Thursday, September 18, 2014

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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