UMass Minutemen v. Rhode Island Rams at the Ryan Center in Kingston, Rhode Island
Sunday, January 15th, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. EST
Point Spread: Rhode Island -11.5
The Rhode Island Rams are hosting the Massachusetts Minutemen in this Atlantic 10 showdown. Both of these teams have had some success in the first half of the season. The Rams are 10-6 on the season. They’re 2-2 in conference play, which puts them at 5th in the A10 standings. UMass has the better record overall at 11-6. However, the Minutemen have struggled with their conference schedule. UMass is just 1-3 in the Atlantic 10, which puts them near the bottom of the conference standings. Will the Minutemen pick up their second conference win in this visit to the Ocean State?
Minutemen ground the Flyers
The UMass Minutemen were able to pull off an upset at home in Amherst as they beat the Dayton Flyers in a 67-55 victory. The Minutemen took the lead about halfway through the first half, and they never trailed in the final 28 minutes of play. Luwane Pipkins led all scorers in the win. Pipkins poured in 17 points. He also added 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and an assist. Dejon Jarreau contributed with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, and a block.
UMass was fantastic on the defensive end against the Flyers. They held Dayton to just 31% shooting from the field. The Minutemen also did a great job of defending the three-point line. UMass held the Flyers to 30% shooting from beyond the arc. The Minutemen did a fantastic job pressuring the ball. They forced 19 turnovers in the win. UMass has been one of the Atlantic 10’s best defensive teams this season. They pick up nearly 9 steals per game, which is the second most in the conference.
Abysmal first half dooms Rhode Island
The Rhode Island Rams struggled to start-up in Thursday night’s 87-75 loss to the LaSalle Explorers. The Rams only managed to score 13 points in the first 13 minutes of play. They ended the first half with only 22 points. Jared Terrell led Rhode Island in scoring with 14 points. Terrell may have scored a team high in points, but he struggled in the loss. The junior guard made just 21% of his shots from the field against LaSalle.
Rhode Island struggled to shoot the ball in the loss to the Explorers. The Rams only made 39% of their shots from the field, and they converted on just 35% of their three-point attempts. It was an usually bad night for the Rams. Rhode Island has been a pretty good from beyond the arc this season. The Rams are hitting over 37% of their shots from the outside this season, which is the third best percentage in the Atlantic 10.
The UMass Minutemen are:
- 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
- 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 Sunday games.
The Rhode Island Rams are:
- 8-20-2 ATS in their last 30 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 Sunday games.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
UMass looked fantastic in their win over Dayton. I think the Minutemen are starting to pick up some momentum after struggling earlier against conference opponents. The Rhode Island Rams have lost two in a row heading into this matchup, and they could struggle against the Minutemen’s defense. Massachusetts has been great in Rhode Island over the years. The Minutemen are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 meetings in Rhode Island. I’m taking UMass in this one.