UMass Lowell

UMass Lowell River Hawks Head South for League Tilt at UMBC

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BALTIMORE, Md. – The UMass Lowell men’s basketball team will visit UMBC for a rematch of the 2021 America East Championship semifinals on Saturday.

A WIN WOULD
A win against the Retrievers would mark the first conference win for the River Hawks this season. It would also give the River Hawks three victories in the last four meetings of the series.

LEADING THE FLOCK
Kalil Thomas is averaging 11.4 points per game to pace the squad. Max Brooks, who adds 10.1 points, boasts a team-best 6.0 rebounds per game and 23 blocks. Justin Faison adds 38 assists, while Everette Hammond totals 23 steals.

LAST TIME OUT
Ayinde Hikim posted a team-high 15 points, as UMass Lowell faced a 77-72 setback against NJIT on January 6. The contest featured 11 lead changes, but the Highlanders took the lead for good with 10 minutes remaining, and even though the River Hawks were within a bucket with less than four minutes to go, a trio of threes down the stretch helped seal the decision for the visitors. Hikim, who went 5-for-7 from the foul line, led five double-digit scorers. Max Brooks and Kalil Thomas added 14 points apiece, while Allin Blunt and Justin Faison chipped in with 13 and 11, respectively.

TIPPING POINT
Starting off with the ball in their hands has proved to be a recipe for success for the River Hawks this year, as the team is 8-1 so far when winning the tip.

CONTROLLING THE BOARDS
Including the NJIT game, the River Hawks have outrebounded opponents seven times. The team currently owns a DI program-best rebound margin (+2.6) and is first in the America East for offensive boards per game (11.5).

PUTTING UP A FIGHT
So far, three of the team’s six losses, including its two conference losses at Binghamton (13) and against NJIT have featured double-digit lead changes.

THREAT ON THREES
For the second time this season, Kalil Thomas sunk a personal-best five made three-pointers at Binghamton en route to a career-high 21 points. He is shooting almost 40% from beyond the arc this year to rank fourth in the conference.

DEFENSE WINS GAMES
This year, Coach Duquette has made defense a huge point of emphasis for his program, which typically leads the America East in several offensive categories. So far, the River Hawks have only allowed more than 57 points six times this season and are first in the league in FG% defense. The team held Fisher to an all-time program-low 38 points on Nov. 27.

SHARING IS CARING
The performance against MCLA on Dec. 11 featured a program-record seven, double-digit point scorers. 10 of the team’s 14 games so far have featured eight or more point scorers, including five games with at least 10 scorers.

SHARPSHOOTERS
The River Hawks, who have ranked in the top two in the America East in shooting percentage for the previous three years, are currently third in the league with a 44.8% clip. Max Brooks is pacing the conference, shooting 63.7% from the field.

ON HIS BLOCK
Max Brooks, who tied a DI program record with four blocks against Rivier on Nov. 9, totals 21 so far this year. He leads the conference and is 67th in the country with 1.75 blocks per game.

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL
So far this year, UMass Lowell owns a 6-0 record when leading at halftime.

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