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Massachusetts Minutemen vs. La Salle Explorers - 2/5/14

La Salle Explorers (12-9) at Massachusetts Minutemen (17-4)

College Basketball: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Mullins Center)

The Line: Massachusetts Minutemen -9 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


Massachusetts is hoping that a home game against La Salle will help put a two-game losing streak to bed. Both the Minutemen and the Explorers have lost three of their last four games.

UMass has shown some serious flaws as of late. It struggles to put the ball in the hope against an above-average defense and is capable of going on long stretches where it turns the ball over a ton. The loss to St. Bonaventure produced 17 turnovers, and there were 15 turnovers in the loss to St. Joseph’s. Well, at least the defense hasn’t been terrible as the Minutemen are holding teams to just 36.7 percent shooting and 67 points in their last five games. Chaz Williams is coming off one of his best games in which he had 16 points and 10 assists.

Massachusetts Minutemen vs. La Salle Explorers - 2/5/14

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

La Salle will have to rely on its defense if it hopes to be the next team to pull off the upset. The offense just isn’t there with the Explorers shooting just 26.3 percent from beyond the arc and averaging 66.4 points in their last five games. On the season, they’re holding teams to 68.6 points per game defensively.

UMass is 9-0 straight up at home and La Salle is 2-5 SU on the road. Against the spread, UMass is 12-9 overall and La Salle is 4-13-1, which includes 0-4-1 in its last five games. It’s also worth noting that the Minutemen are a different team on the road, as all of their struggles have either come on the road or a neutral location.

Maybe I’m stubborn, but I refuse to give up on UMass and will eat the chalk. 

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Massachusetts Minutemen -9

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