With a record below .500, No. 10 seed Massachusetts is at a point where the only way in which they’ll reach postseason play is by winning the Atlantic 10 tournament. It’s a longshot to say the least, but Derek Kellogg’s Minutemen kept the dream alive with a 67-62 win over No. 7 seed Rhode Island in the second round of the Atlantic 10 tournament Thursday night.
Trey Davis’ three-pointer with 32.7 seconds remaining gave UMass the cushion they needed to hang on for the win in a game they led by as much as 18 points in the first half. Jabarie Hinds, who scored 16 points in the first half, finished with a game-high 21 points and Davis added 20 for UMass. Next up for the Minutemen is No. 2 seed VCU in Friday’s quarterfinal round.
Four McGlynn scored 16 points for the Rams, who dropped to 17-15 on the season. McGlynn shot just 5-for-17 from the field, with fellow guard Jared Terrell scoring 14 points on 5-for-16 shooting. As a team the Rams shot just 34.9 percent from the field and 4-for-21 from beyond the arc.
Friday’s quarterfinal round at the Atlantic 10 tournament can be seen on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.
It’s been a tough season for Rhode Island from an injury standpoint, beginning with their expected primary scoring option (E.C. Matthews) going down with a torn ACL in November. Kuran Iverson and Jarvis Garrett have also battled injuries for the Rams, who were fashioned by many as an Atlantic 10 contender before the season began.
Wednesday things got even worse for head coach Dan Hurley, as it was reported that junior forward Hassan Martin will miss the remainder of the season due to tendinitis in his right knee. Martin, who was selected to the second-team All-Atlantic 10 and Atlantic 10 All-Defensive teams last season, is currently averaging 12.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game for the Rams.
Without him, even more responsibility falls upon the shoulders of players such as Iverson, Earl Watson and Nikola Akele as the Rams play to improve their seeding in next month’s Atlantic 10 tournament.
Martin played just ten minutes in Tuesday’s loss to Davidson as a result of the knee issue, with the Providence Journal reporting that he was a game-time decision after doing little in the two days of practice leading up to the game. Martin also missed two games in late December/early January due to an ankle injury suffered in a game against Old Dominion December 22.
News of Martin being sidelined for the remainder of the season was first reported by ESPN.com.
The first game of NBC Sports Network’s Atlantic 10 triple-header matched two teams with aspirations of contending for the conference title in Rhode Island and Saint Joseph’s. At Hagan Arena it was the host Hawks who moved to 2-1 in conference play, with DeAndre Bembry and Aaron Brown leading the way offensively in the 72-67 victory.
Bembry played all 40 minutes for Phil Martelli’s team, finishing with a game-high 22 points along with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Senior Aaron Brown added 19 points, shooting 4-for-4 from beyond the arc, and classmate Isaiah Miles scored ten points for the 12-3 Hawks.
Hassan Martin led three Rams in double figures with 20 points to go along with eight rebounds, but URI’s 16 turnovers were converted into 21 points by Saint Joseph’s.
Still playing without injured forward Hassan Martin (ankle), Rhode Island opened Atlantic 10 play at home against a Saint Louis team that has struggled for much of the season. That remained the case for the visiting Billikens at the Ryan Center, as URI rolled to an 85-57 victory on NBCSN.
Five Rams scored 12 points or more with guard Four McGlynn leading the way with 16. URI shot 50 percent from the field and 12-for-27 from three while limiting Saint Louis to 40 percent shooting. SLU shot just 3-for-15 from three, with Miles Reynolds and Achraf Yacoubou scoring 12 points apiece to lead the way.
Rhode Island’s 71-65 loss at Old Dominion Tuesday night proved to be a costly defeat, as they lost their best player for the foreseeable future due to injury.
Junior forward Hassan Martin, who played in just 11 minutes Tuesday night as a result of injuring his left ankle in the first half, has been declared out indefinitely according to Bill Koch of the Providence Journal. The Rams won’t play again until December 30 against Brown in their final non-conference game before the start of Atlantic 10 play.
URI opens up conference play with home games against Saint Louis (January 2) and Richmond (January 5), and according to Koch’s report it’s likely that Martin will at the very least miss the games against Brown and SLU.
Martin’s currently averaging a team-best 11.9 points per game while also contributing 5.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per contest. He’s one of the nation’s best defenders, so losing Martin is a serious blow for Dan Hurley’s Rams to absorb. How long Martin remains sidelined as a result of the injury remains to be seen.
URI is already playing without junior guard E.C. Matthews, who suffered a torn ACL in the team’s season opener against American.
With guard E.C. Matthews going down with a knee injury during the first half of Rhode Island’s season-opening win over American Friday night, the fear was that the preseason all-conference selection would be lost for the season. Saturday afternoon those fears became reality, as the school announced that the junior guard will not play again this season.
“The injury I sustained on Friday night vs. American will unfortunately keep me from playing the rest of this season,” Matthews said in the release. “While the news has been a lot to process in such a short period of time, I know that it is a temporary setback and I will be back stronger and hungrier than ever before. Whether it is a rehab or physical therapy session, I will fight to get better everyday. This is a new challenge and I am up for it.
“I plan on using this setback as an opportunity to continue to grow as a student, a leader, and a man. I will be at every study hall, every practice, every film session, every game – no different than before.”
As a sophomore Matthews averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, earning second team all-Atlantic 10 honors. With the athletic Matthews out of the lineup head coach Dan Hurley will have to call on Jarvis Garrett, Jared Terrell and Four McGlynn for even more production on the perimeter. McGlynn, who arrived at URI as a grad student by way of Towson, scored 15 points against American and gives the Rams much-needed perimeter shooting.
Terrell may be the best equipped of the three to pick up where Matthews left off as a slasher, and 6-foot-4 freshman Christion Thompson will also factor into the Rhode Island backcourt rotation. While this is a major loss for Rhode Island, by no means does Matthews’ injury mean they can’t contend in the Atlantic 10 or reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999. There are adjustments to be made, but the talent and experience needed to do so is there.