NCAA BK

Tue, Dec 3, 2013 - 7:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

UMass-E. Michigan Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Massachusetts' first week ranked in the AP Top 25 in 15 years consisted of plenty of rest following a strong start that included a tournament championship.

The 21st-ranked Minutemen get back to work Tuesday night as they face Eastern Michigan in their first true road game of the season.

UMass (6-0) has been tested plenty in the early portion of its schedule, beating foes from the ACC (Boston College, Clemson), SEC (LSU) and Big Ten (Nebraska) while also knocking off then-No. 19 New Mexico 81-65 on Nov. 22 in the semifinals of the Charleston Classic.

It beat Clemson 62-56 two days later to capture the tournament title, leading to a No. 24 ranking in last week's poll that marked its first honor since the week of Nov. 17-23, 1998. It jumped three spots this week despite being idle.

Center Cady Lalanne was named the MVP in Charleston, averaging 17.0 points and 11.7 rebounds in the three games. He finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks in the championship, and the junior is leading the team with averages of 17.8 points and 11.3 rebounds.

Chaz Williams, the team's 5-foot-8 senior point guard, is averaging 16.0 points, but he scored four and shot 1 of 12 against Clemson. Williams finished 10 for 33 from the field for the tournament.

The Minutemen have trailed for only 5:46 in the second half all season, with all of that time coming in the opener against Boston College. They didn't have much trouble against Eastern Michigan last season either, leading by 13 at the half en route to a 75-61 home victory Jan. 5 as Williams finished with 14 points.

While UMass will come into this matchup well-rested after an eight-day layoff, the Eagles (5-1) should be well prepared for a tough test after falling 81-63 at No. 3 Kentucky on Wednesday.

Darell Combs was the only player in double figures with a career-high 23 points off the bench for Eastern Michigan, which has lost 13 straight to ranked opponents since beating No. 21 Michigan on Dec. 17, 1997.

Combs scored 18 points in a win over Texas-Arlington on Nov. 23 after going into that contest averaging 3.5 over the first four.

''I just took it as another game, a regular game, and got mentally ready,'' the first-year guard said. ''I got a good night's rest and I didn't look at it like, `oh, we're playing Kentucky.' I just looked at it as another game and did everything the same that I normally do.''

Karrington Ward averages a team-best 16.0 points followed by Ray Lee's 15.3, but they were held to five and two, respectively, against the Wildcats.

''We just have to move forward, continue to get better,'' coach Rob Murphy said. ''We will learn from this game as we move forward. Each and every practice, each and every game we will get better. We lost to Kentucky, (which) is a top-five team, so like I told my guys in the locker room, it's not the end of the world.''

UMass' last game as a Top 25 team was Nov. 18, 1998, when the 23rd-ranked Minutemen fell 73-69 to St. John's at home.

Tagged: Michigan, Clemson, Kentucky, Eastern Michigan, Massachusetts, Chaz Williams

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..