Men's Hoops Heads To Saint Joseph's On Saturday

Fri Feb 9, 2018

Coming off a thrilling double-overtime win last weekend against Dayton, the UMass basketball team returns to action at Saint Joseph's after a week off. The Minutemen snapped a five-game losing skid in epic fashion with an 86-82 win for their second straight victory this season over the Flyers.   

UMass and Saint Joseph's are currently in a four-way tie for ninth in the Atlantic 10 standings. George Mason and La Salle also have 4-7 records in league play entering Saturday. The Minutemen won the earlier meeting with Saint Joseph's in the Mullins Center, 72-69, after overcoming a 16-point second-half deficit. 

Saturday's game will not be televised, but will be streamed on the Atlantic 10 Digital Network. On the radio airwaves, the game will be broadcast on the UMass Sports Network anchored by flagship station 105.5 FM WEEI and online via the TuneIn App. Voice of the Minutemen Josh Maurer will be joined courtside by former Minuteman Tim Collins.

Overall, UMass leads the series against the Hawks 38-34 since first playing in 2002. The Minutemen have won four straight in the series including January's previous meeting this season. In Philadelphia, however, Saint Joseph's has proven to be tougher in recent history winning five of the last six at Hagan Arena.

Last Saturday's win over Dayton, Luwane Pipkins once again led the charge with 28 points followed by 17 points from C.J. Anderson and 15 points from Carl Pierre. Malik Hines rounded out the top scorers with 14 points. 

In the prior meeting with Saint Joseph's, Pipkins scored 27 points while Pierre added 17 points. The Hawks went up by as many as 16 points just 90 seconds into the second half, but UMass rallied to outscore SJU 47-28 in the balance of the second half. Overall, UMass shot 63 percent (17-of-27) in the second stanza to compensate for the slow start.

On the season, UMass continues to be led by Pipkins who is averaging 20.5 points followed by Pierre who is posting 12.0 points in his rookie campaign. The lone senior on the roster, C.J. Anderson, has been one of the most well-rounded players on the squad with 8.6 points, 5.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. Over the last four games, Malik Hines has been surging with a 13.3 point per night average while shooting 21-of-30 (.700) from the floor.

After averaging 23.4 points per game in January, Pipkins ranks second overall in the A-10 for scoring average this season. His 44 points against La Salle set a new UMass school record, a Mullins Center record, was the ninth-best performance in A-10 history and was the fourth-best individual performance in the NCAA this season. Defensively, the Chicago native is 7th overall in steals per game (1.58). Offensively, the guard has improved from 2016-17 to this season by +10.3 points per game - the best of any Minuteman this year.

Anderson ranks third among the league's best in assists as well with 5.0 per game while his 116 assists are third-most overall as well.

Pierre leads the A-10 in three-point field goal percentage (47.8%) and is the nation's most accurate three-point shooting freshman through 24 games. Overall, the Boston native ranks 5th nationally in three-point field goal percentage. He currently holds the third-best single-season shooting percentage in school history from beyond the arc. With 66 made three pointers, figures to set a new UMass freshman record as well breaking the 71 shared by Pipkins and Anthony Anderson.

Following Saturday's action, UMass will return home to host George Washington on Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 7 PM. The game will be televised live on Eleven Sports and simulcast on NESN Plus. For tickets, contact the Mullins Center Box Office at 866-UMASS-TIX.

For complete coverage of the UMass men's basketball team, follow the Minutemen on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @UMassBasketball and online at www.UMassAthletics.com.