Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass men’s basketball struggles offensively in 69-53 loss against Richmond

No less than 30 minutes after the Massachusetts men’s basketball team snapped its seven-game losing streak against Rhode Island Tuesday night, Trey Davis talked in the postgame press conference about how defense was going to be the focal point for UMass throughout the remainder of the season.

Saturday evening, defense wasn’t the main problem for the Minutemen (9-13, 2-8 Atlantic 10) in their 69-53 loss against Richmond, rather it was their offense – or lack there of –  that was the ultimate downfall for UMass.

The Minutemen’s 53 point were a new season low as they shot just 17-for-56 (30.4 percent) from the field and 8-of-29 from 3-point range (27.6 percent) as they struggled to score against the Spiders (12-10, 4-6 A-10) and their three-two zone.

“That was a little different than I’ve seen on tape,” Kellogg told following Saturday’s game. “For the most part, they usually do more of a sag-and-switch and man-to-man. It’s kind of like our 3-2 defense that we didn’t play tonight. That’s the best way to cover the three perimeter guys, the three shooters.”

“With how you attack it and where you go with the ball, they were spreading out on the perimeter and saying ‘Try to beat us in that mid-post area.’ I thought we didn’t do that very well,” Kellogg added.

Donte Clark led all UMass players with 23 points and was the only Minutemen to score in double figures. Trey Davis shot 0-for-11 from the field while the rest of the starters except Clark – C.J. Anderson, Tyler Bergantino, Davis and Antwan Space – combined for just eight points.

Jabarie Hinds and Rashaan Holloway each chipped in with seven points off the bench.

“Honestly, any time your group of seniors gives you a (bad) percentage from the floor, we’re going to struggle,” Kellogg said. “We need Trey’s points. I think everybody understands that. If he doesn’t give us any, we score (53 points).”

T.J. Cline led all Richmond scorers with 24 points, shooting 8-of-12 from the field including three made 3-pointers. ShawDre’ Jones (12) and Marshall Wood (10) were the only other Spiders to score in double digits.

Terry Allen controlled the glass finishing with 16 rebounds for Richmond. Bergantino and Space each led UMass with six apiece.

The Minutemen’s largest lead of the game was eight behind three straight 3-pointers from Clark and one from Seth Berger that capped off a 9-2 run with 13 minutes, nine seconds remaining in the first half. UMass only made two field goals for the remainder of the half as Richmond took a 27-21 lead into halftime.

“It’s going to be not enough help if Barie and Trey have their shots not going,” Clark told reporters about the Minutemen’s offensive struggle. “My team and myself personally, I think we settled for 3s instead of trying to get to the cup.”

Clark shot 6-of-12 from 3-point range while Hinds and Berger each made one.

The Spiders led by as many as 19 in the second half after Cline hit a jumper with 3:03 remaining.

Kellogg mentioned how UMass’ lack of a scoring threat inside, a common theme throughout the season, hurt the Minutemen attacking Richmond’s zone. 

“When the ball can’t go into the post, it’s hard to get away from the wall (down low),” he said. “We’ll continue to try to get some post presence in there, whether it’s Tyler (Bergantino) or Rashaan (Holloway) or one of the guys (Zach Coleman, Seth Berger and Antwan Space) in that mid-post area. They’ve got to be able to catch the ball and make a play.”

 UMass next plays Thursday night against Virginia Commonwealth and the game will be broadcasted nationally on ESPNU. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.

Andrew Cyr can be reached at [email protected], and followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.

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