Men's Hoops Faces George Mason In A-10 Second Round

Wed Mar 7, 2018

Coming off a thrilling win over La Salle on Wednesday night in the first round of the Atlantic 10 Championship, it's a quick turn-around for the UMass basketball team as the 13th-seeded Minutemen take on No. 5 seed George Mason. The game will pit two of the most evenly matched teams in the league against each other as both games during the regular season needed overtime to be decided.

The game will be televised on the NBC Sports Network at approximately 2:30 PM. Paul Burmeister (play-by-play), Jordan Cornette (analyst), and David Kaplan (sideline) will have the call. 

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.

Wednesday's winner will advance to face No. 4 seed Saint Joseph's on Friday at 2:30 PM on the NBC Sports Network.

Both regular-season meetings between UMass and George Mason needed overtime but saw the Patriots come out on top in both. Mason won the first meeting on Jan. 3, 80-72, and the most recent game in Fairfax, 78-76, on Feb. 24. The road game was particularly impressive as the Minutemen forced the overtime session with Luwane Pipkins out of the game due to injury.

Overall, George Mason leads the all-time series 5-3 having won four straight. This will be the first time the squads have met in the Atlantic 10 Championship.

C.J. Anderson led UMass in its win over La Salle yesterday with 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists. The 20-point effort was his fifth of the season and the third time in the last four games for the senior. Luwane Pipkins notched 15 points, while Malik Hines had 14 points and five rebounds. Carl Pierre had 11 points and a career-high six rebounds to round out the top performers. The game featured nine ties and six lead changes with the Minutemen taking hold of the lead for good with 3:42 remaining in the second half.

Pipkins remains ninth all-time for career three-pointers made (173) and moved into second for single-season threes (102), while Pierre ranks seventh with 89 three-pointers extending his UMass freshman record. Pipkins needs 16 more points to reach 1,000 for his career and three three-pointers to set a single-season record currently held by Ricky Harris and Carmelo Travieso.

On the season, UMass continues to be led by Pipkins who is averaging 20.9 points followed by Pierre who is posting 12.3 points in his rookie campaign. The lone senior on the roster, Anderson, has been one of the most well-rounded players on the squad with 10.6 points, 5.2 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game. Over the last 10 games, Anderson has been scoring at a clip of 16.4 points while averaging 5.2 assists and 5.5 rebounds.

After averaging 23.4 points per game in January, Pipkins ranks second in the A-10 for scoring average this season and is 28th nationally. His 44 points against La Salle set a new UMass school record, a Mullins Center record, was the 10-best performance in A-10 history and was the 10th-best individual performance in the NCAA this season. Defensively, the Chicago native is 8th overall in steals per game (1.53). Offensively, the guard has improved from 2016-17 to this season by +10.7 points per game - the best of any Minuteman this year. Pipkins is looking to become the sixth player in program history to average 20-plus points for a season - a list which includes Julius Erving, Jim McCoy and Marcus Camby.

Anderson ranks fourth among the A-10's best in assists as well with 5.2 per game while his 160 assists are third-most overall.

Pierre ranks second in the A-10 for three-point field goal percentage (46.8%) and is the nation's most accurate three-point shooting freshman. Overall, the Boston native ranks 7th 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 89 made threes, he broke the previous UMass freshman record shared by Pipkins and Anthony Anderson (2001-02).

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