Ohio hoping to knock UMass from ranks of the unbeaten

Updated: December 18, 2013

Athens, OH (SportsNetwork.com) – The 22nd-ranked Massachusetts Minutemen take
their perfect record on the road, as they clash with the Ohio University
Bobcats at the Convocation Center on Wednesday night.

UMass, which has a game against Florida State in Springfield this weekend
before hosting four straight contests, is coming off an overwhelming 80-54
victory against Northern Illinois on Saturday at home. The Minutemen are one
of the final 13 teams, among the 351 Division I programs, that are still
undefeated as of Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Bobcats have posted seven wins in nine opportunities to this
point in the campaign. The team saw a five-game win streak come to an end on
Dec. 7 with a 73-56 loss to Oakland, but rebounded with a 72-47 romp over
Alabama A&M a week later.

With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood,
the Minutemen have taken both previous encounters. Last season, UMass captured
an 85-76 victory at home.

Ahead by 12 points at the break, the Minutemen went from 45.9 percent shooting
from the floor through the first 20 minutes to 57.1 percent in the second half
versus Northern Illinois. Cady Lalanne led five players in double figures with
17 points, followed by Raphiael Putney and Clyde Santee with 13 points apiece,
the latter doing his damage in just six minutes off the bench. Maxie Esho and
Chaz Williams responded with 12 points each, the former clearing seven
rebounds and the latter handing out the same number of assists.

Four of the five starters for UMass are scoring at least 12.7 ppg, the other
(Derrick Gordon) is putting up 9.9 ppg due to the fact that he is shooting
just 47.2 percent at the free-throw line. Williams is at the top of the
scoring list with 16.9 ppg, knocking down 44.4 percent behind the 3-point
line, as well as delivering a team-best 68 assists in nine games, against just
27 turnovers. Lalanne (15.2 ppg) handles the action in the paint with almost
10 rpg and is also tops with 23 blocked shots, but that still doesn’t make up
for the fact that he has handed out only two assists.

Ohio wasted little time taking out Alabama A&M, limiting the visitors to nine
field goals in the first half and a dismal 27.8 percent shooting from the
floor overall in the lopsided outing. For the Bobcats, as they converted an
even 50 percent from the field, Maurice Ndour, T.J. Hall and Javarez Willis
all tallied 12 points. Ohio overcame 17 turnovers by forcing Alabama A&M into
19 miscues and outscoring the visitor in the paint, 36-8.

Nick Kellogg, who scored only four points to go along with four assists and
four rebounds in the latest win, is now tied with Ndour for the scoring lead
in Athens with 13.9 ppg. Both players are shooting better than 50 percent from
the field, with Kellogg also accounting for 20-of-43 (.465) beyond the arc for
a group that is shooting only 31.8 percent on the perimeter. Defensively, the
Bobcats have limited the competition to 37.2 percent from the floor and 29.2
percent beyond the arc.