The UMass Lowell River Hawks welcome the Boston University Terriers to the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Massachusetts for a mid-week contest. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. eastern. Be sure to follow @JMSoderberg and @MillCitySports on twitter!
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|DATE||Thursday, December 10|
|TIME||7:00 p.m. ET|
|LISTEN||ESPN New Hampshire / 980 WCAP|
LAST TIME OUT
UMass Lowell overcame a 10-point deficit late in the second half to earn an exciting, 68-66 victory at Boston College on Sunday afternoon, December 6. Freshman Isaac White notched a game-high 20 points, including a personal-best five three-point field goals on the day. The River Hawks outscored the Eagles, 14-5, in the final four minutes of play en route to the program’s first ever win against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent. Freshman Ryan Jones added to the offensive effort with 11 points, while redshirt sophomore Jahad Thomas paced the team on the glass with eight rebounds and tied a career high with seven assists.
LEADING THE FLOCK
Through eight games in 2015-16, Isaac White leads the squad with 12.4 points. He is also first on the squad from beyond the arc, shooting 48.8 percent (20-41), and adds 11 steals so far. Jahad Thomas follows with 11.0 points per game, in addition to averaging team bests with 7.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. Ryan Jones and junior Tyler Livingston chip in with 9.4 and 9.1 points, respectively. In addition, freshman Keith Hayes II is pacing the team from the foul line, shooting at a clip of 81.8 percent (27-33). As a whole, UMass Lowell is shooting 44.3 percent (215-485) from the floor, 38.7 percent (70-181) from beyond the arc and 71.3 percent (102-143) on free throws.
SCOUTING BOSTON UNIVERSITY
Boston University enters Thursday’s contest at 3-4 after dropping a pair of decisions last week. The Terriers fell at Massachusetts, 99-69, on Dec. 2 before being defeated at home by Harvard, 75-69, on Dec. 8. Senior John Papale and sophomore Cheddi Mosely are headlining the squad’s offense, averaging team bests of 13.1 and 12.8 points, respectively. Mosely leads the team with nine steals, while Papale is third with 17 assists. Defensively, Nick Havener leads the Terriers, pulling in 5.6 boards per game and seven blocks. As a team, Boston University is averaging 72.8 points, while shooting 44.1 percent (205-465) from the field and 36.6 percent (70-191) from long range. BU is also grabbing 34.6 rebounds per game.
Thursday’s contest marks the fourth meeting between UMass Lowell and Boston University in the sport of men’s basketball. The Terriers own a slight, 2-1 edge in the all-time series, although the River Hawks picked up a 69-59 victory when the teams met last season on Nov. 30, 2014.
STEALING THE SHOW
The River Hawks posted 15 steals against Sacred Heart on Nov. 18, while forcing 25 turnovers. In that outing, the squad was led by Mark Cornelius, who logged a career-high with five takeaways. The team as a whole leads the America East with 8.0 steals per game, while Isaac White is sits sixth in the league with 1.4.
A THREAT ON THREES
UMass Lowell is strong from beyond the arc for the second straight season. The team, who posted a season-high 12 threes at NJIT on Dec. 5, is currently leading the America East for 3FG percentage (38.7) and 3FGs made (8.8). Through eight games, Isaac White paces the squad with 20 three-pointers.
On Nov. 24 against Wheelock, UMass Lowell recorded 25 assists as a team for the first time since 2009, when the team posted 32 against Division II Mercy (11/15/09). Isaac White logged a single-game high with six helpers in the Wheelock contest. As a whole, the River Hawks sit second in the America East with 14.4 assists per game.
HOME SWEET HOME
Although the River Hawks have only 12 home games this year, the squad has a history of performing well in friendly confines. Including this season in which the team is an undefeated, 3-0, in Lowell, UMass Lowell has accumulated a 102-53 mark at home since 2003-04.
PLAYING AT TSONGAS
UMass Lowell improved to 3-5 all-time at the Tsongas Center with its 87-84 victory against Sacred Heart on Nov. 18. The decision marked the team’s first Division I win at the arena since defeating Division II NE-10 rival Merrimack in 2010 (71-70) and 2011 (68-66). The River Hawks fell three times at Tsongas in 2013-14 (Duquesne, New Hampshire and Stony Brook) and twice in 2014-15 (Vermont and New Hampshire).
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
UMass Lowell has earned last-minute wins against BC, Cornell and Sacred Heart already this year for a 3-0 record in games decided by less than five points. Since 2014-15, 11 of the squad’s most recent 16 wins have been decided by 10 points or less, including nine by seven points or less. The team has even trailed in the second half in 10 games before battling back to earn the victories.
Following the high-scoring thriller against Sacred Heart on Nov. 18, Coach Duquette commented that this year’s team has a bit of a different identity from his teams in the past because they have the ability to score a lot of points, although his teams are typically defensive oriented. So far this season, the River Hawks are averaging 75.2 points per game, compared to 61.4 points in 2014-15.
UMass Lowell men’s basketball heads to Connecticut next to take on Central Connecticut State on Friday, December 18. Tip-off set for 7:00 p.m. eastern.
PHOTO: Justin Soderberg/Mill City Sports