LOWELL, Mass. – The UMass Lowell River Hawks men’s basketball team will wrap up the regular season with a rubber match against New Hampshire on Saturday.
A WIN WOULD
A win against New Hampshire would give the River Hawks the 2-1 advantage against the Wildcats this season. UMass Lowell could also match its most America East wins (8) since joining the league in 2013-14.
LAST TIME OUT
The River Hawks split their most recent series at UAlbany on Feb. 12-13. Led by four, double-digit scorers and shooting 20-for-25 (80%) from the floor in the second half, UMass Lowell defeated UAlbany, 79-71, on Feb. 12. The team scored seven of its eight three-point field goals in the second half to pull away in that contest that was tied seven times. Sophomore Connor Withers led the River Hawks to the victory with 19 points on the night. The following day, sophomore Kalil Thomas recorded a career-high 19 points to pace UMass Lowell in an 81-69 loss against the Great Danes. Although the River Hawks led, 42-40, at halftime, their hosts outscored the visitors, 41-27, in the second to earn the comeback decision.
LEADING THE FLOCK
Obadiah Noel, the squad’s lone senior, is pacing the America East and is ranked 13th in the nation with 21.2 points per game. He adds a team-best 3.5 assists per game. Connor Withers is controlling the boards with 6.3 rebounds per game, in addition to chipping in with 10.3 points per game and a team-best 20 blocks.
HOME SWEET HOME
The River Hawks have not played a home game in 40 days, since Jan. 10 against Hartford.
OVER OR UNDER
Attaining 70 points has seemed to be the bar for the River Hawks this year, as the team is 8-1 so far when scoring at least 70 points and 0-9 when scoring less than 70.
ETCHING HIS NAME IN THE RECORDS
Obadiah Noel continues to add to his record-setting career, as he became just the second River Hawk to surpass 1,500 career points at the Division I level with his 26-point performance on Jan. 16 at Binghamton. He now sits behind only Jahad Thomas (1,864).
Kalil Thomas has come on strong as of late. After scoring a then personal-best 13 points against Hartford on Jan. 10, he bested that mark with 16 points at Binghamton on Jan. 16 and 19 points at UAlbany on Feb. 13. Thomas is now averaging 13.4 points in his last seven outings, compared to 2.4 points in his first 10 this year.
Max Brooks, who scored 12 points (5-for-6) off the bench against San Francisco in his collegiate debut, has continued to impress. The newcomer logged a personal-best 10 rebounds and four blocks at UAlbany on Feb. 13.
So far this year, no player in the America East has been sent to the foul line (122) or made more free throws (93) than Obadiah Noel. He currently ranks 18th in the nation for free throws made. The guard set a new personal best, going 15-for-16 from the charity stripe at Stony Brook on Dec. 28. With that performance, he logged the most free throws in a single game for the program since Logan Primerano made 16 in 2015-2016.
The River Hawks, who led the America East in shooting percentage for the last two years, are shooting 45.9 percent from the field this year. The team shot a season-high 63.6% in the win at UAlbany on Feb. 12. Salif Boudie is currently pacing the squad with a field goal percentage of 64.6%.
Both Obadiah Noel and Bryce Daley are currently ranked in the top five in the America East for assists per game. Daley, who is leading the league, logged a personal-best nine helpers at UAlbany on Feb. 12.
SHARING IS CARING
For the first time since Feb. 20 of last season, the River Hawks had four scorers in double figures in a win against NJIT on Jan. 3, led by 18 points apiece from Salif Boudie and Gregory Hammond. The team has since boasted four double-digit scorers in both games against Binghamton on Jan. 16-17 and the opener against UAlbany on Feb. 12.
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL
The River Hawks have been quick to attack this season, scoring first in 12 of their 18 games so far, with the initial bucket coming from Connor Withers in three of those contests.
The River Hawks, who averaged just 12.6 points off the bench last season, are showing off their newfound depth in 2020-21 with 19.4 points per game coming off the bench so far.
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