UMass men’s basketball looks to split season series with Fordham in Bronx

By Anthony Chiusano

(Mirei Seki/ Daily Collegian)
(Mirei Seki/ Daily Collegian)

With a comeback victory in overtime over Duquesne Saturday afternoon, the Massachusetts men’s basketball team has built its first winning streak since Jan. 3 following a two-month period of struggles.

The Minutemen (11-13, 4-8 Atlantic 10) now look to push its streak to three when it travels to Bronx, New York Wednesday night to take on a Fordham (12-11, 3-9 A-10) team that handed UMass a seventh straight loss just two weeks ago.

The Rams came into Amherst Jan. 30 and escaped with a 78-72 victory over the Minutemen after UMass couldn’t maintain momentum from Donte Clark’s late 3-pointer in regulation to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Since the loss, the Minutemen have rebounded by winning three out of their last four games, led by the resurgence of senior point guard Jabarie Hinds.

Hinds finished with a career-high 37 points against the Dukes Saturday in UMass’ highest scoring game of the season (108-99). He was one of four Minutemen to reach double digits, along with Trey Davis (26), Donte Clark (17) and Antwan Space (17 points, 17 rebounds).

“I was open and I was letting it fly and it was going in,” Hinds said after the win.

Fordham enters Wednesday night’s matchup trending the opposite direction with three straight losses since their first head-to-head meeting of the year, and they sit one game behind UMass in the A-10 standings.

Forward Ryan Rhoomes (14.3 points, 8.6 rebounds) and guard Mandell Thomas (14.1 points), both seniors, lead the Rams’ attack, although Thomas has missed Fordham’s past three games with an ankle injury. His status for Wednesday’s game is unclear.

Freshman guard Joseph Chartouny (9.9 points) has also stood out in his first season with Fordham and collected his fifth A-10 Rookie of the Week award last week.

Chartouny received his latest honor following a two-game stretch where the Quebec native averaged 14 points, 5.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists in two losses. Chartouny finished with a team-high 18 points two weeks ago against UMass.

“(Chartouny’s) playing much better. I think our game was maybe the start of one of his really good runs that he’s had,” Kellogg told MassLive Tuesday. “He’s shooting the ball better and playing much more confident. He’s a good player and I like his game. We’ve got to do a good job of making sure he’s not as much of a factor as he was the last time.”

Travel troubles

The Minutemen encountered unexpected problems following Saturday’s game against Duquesne as they tried to depart from Pittsburgh.

Five flight cancellations led to the team resorting to taking a bus straight to Fordham Tuesday. However, the first bus UMass took broke down near Pittsburgh, stranding the group on the highway momentarily before another bus came, allowing the Minutemen to continue their road trip.

According to Google Maps, a bus ride from Pittsburgh to Fordham takes about six hours.

Tipoff at Rose Hill Gym Wednesday night is set for 7 p.m.

Anthony Chiusano can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @a_chiusano24.