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St Louis at Massachusetts - March, 9 - 2:00 EST
From - Larry Ness
Syracuse and St Louis have suffered similar collapses this season. The Orange were 25-0 and No. 1 but have lost FOUR out of five, while the Billikens rode a 19-game winning streak to reach 25-2 and earn the school's first top-10 ranking since the 1964-65 season. However, St Louis enters thid gme at UMass on a three-game losing streak.
The Billikens have clinched the No. 1 seed in the A-10 tournament but are hoping to regain some of their swagger before heading into the postseason. That will be no easy chore, as they'll have to find a way to end their slump against high-scoring UMass, which has just lost once at home all season. After averaging 70.8 points on 44.7 percent shooting during a school-record 19-game winning streak, the Billikens have scored just 62.3 PPG and shot 41.8 percent while dropping the last three.
Derek Kellogg is in his sixth season at UMass and has led the Minutemen to 25 and 21-win seasons these last two years. This year's team has been ranked for the better part of the season and enters this game 23-6, including 10-5 in the A-10. UMass is led once again this season by 5-9 PG Chaz Williams, who is averaging 15.7-7.1 APG) Fellow guard Gordon checks in at 9.1 plus UMass has an excellent frontcourt, with size. The 6-10 Lalanne (12.1-8.2) is the center plus the forwards are the 6-8 Carter (10.8-4.8) and the 6-9 Putney (9.6-5.4). That’s an impressive starting-five, plus UMass has the 6-8 Esho (8.2-4.9), as the first player off the bench plus guard Davis (9.6) backs up Williams and Gordon.
St Louis has a terrific guard trio in Jett (13.7-3.9-4.7), McCall (10.1-5.4) and McBroom (8.1) plus a solid frontcourt in the 6-6 Evans (14.0-6.5), the 6-11 Loe (10.1-5.4) and the 6-5 Barnett (4.9). However, the "wheels have fallen off" and fixing things here in Amherst just doesn't figure to happen. The Minutemen lead the A-10 with 76.9 PPG and rank second with a 46.7 field-goal percentage.
UMass is 12-1 at home, where the team averages 80.1 PPG. Lay the small price.
Play On: Massachusetts
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