Dominguez and Weeks bright spots in loss to Richmond after two week pause

The young pair combined for 29 points

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Megan Lee/ VCU

By Frederick Hanna III, Collegian Staff

For the Massachusetts men’s basketball team, it was all but certain that there would be rust from the players coming out of a two week pause, but Dyondre Dominguez and TJ Weeks capitalized on the opportunity to finally get some minutes during the 79-65 loss to Richmond on the road.

UMass (7-5, 6-3 Atlantic 10) came into Tuesday night’s game against the Spiders (13-5, 6-3 A-10) just having went through a two week pause. the Spiders on the other hand are coming off of a win over Duquesne. With Tre Mitchell and Noah Fernandes not selected to be in the starting lineup, players like Weeks and Dominguez stepped up.

Weeks and Dominguez combined for 29 points, just under half of the total points scored by the Minutemen. The two were the spark that UMass needed if there was to be any chance that the game stayed within striking distance of Richmond.

Weeks started off the first half hot, going 4-of-6 from the field and 2-of-4 from deep. In the second half he cooled down a little bit, only managing to sink home one three, but his first half stint of solid basketball proved to be key in keeping the Minutemen within reach of the Spiders.

“Obviously we love it when he is making shots,” said UMass coach Matt McCall. “When he is shooting the ball well, impacting the game defensively. I think a thing TJ has done really well all year is putting his body in plays and taking charges and not being afraid to be physical, especially when people are coming down the lane. I thought TJ was good and again we need all hands-on deck going forward.”

The ability to have a gifted scorer in Weeks being able to switch in and out of the starting lineup has definitely been a boost for McCall. Weeks ability to sink catch and shoot threes, dribble through contact and drive through the lane has proven to many how valuable he is and how much he has improved since last year. His shooting hasn’t always been a steady asset on the court, but his defense and rebounding has shown that he can add to tools to his game as he progresses through each year.

“I was feeling a little extra confident,” Weeks said. “I was feeling good; my legs were into it.”

Dominguez had a solid first and second half. The freshman racked in seven points in the first half and eight to boot in the second for a total of 15 off the bench. It was a career-high in points and minutes for the freshman who showed how valuable he can be down the stretch if the Minutemen want to make a run in the A-10 tournament.

With Dibaji Walker now ruled out for the rest of the season due to a wrist injury, Dominguez has the chance to make his mark out on the floor for UMass. Dominguez only missed two shots on the night and both of them were back-to-back threes on the same possession.

“I thought Dyondre’s effort was through the roof,” McCall said. “I thought he really gave us a spark there. That’s really a large reason why he was in there as much as he was. I thought that was a positive for us.”

UMass heads on the road again to matchup against Saint Louis March 1st with tipoff scheduled for 6 p.m.

 

Frederick Hanna III can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @FrederickHIII