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Men’s basketball downed by UMass for 11th-straight loss

Rileigh Repovich | Photographer
Redshirt freshman Darren Buchanan Jr. backs down a UMass defender.

Men’s basketball (14-14, 3-12 A-10) fell to UMass 69-57 (18-10, 9-7 A-10) Tuesday night at the Smith Center, marking their 11th-straight loss.

In a season marred by missed expectations and an ill-fated losing streak, the loss drops the team’s record to .500 after a promising 14-3 season start. 

“When we go back to a lot of games ago, that wasn’t the case. We were feeling like ‘Hey, we’ve got some good things going,’ playing fair and well,” Head Coach Chris Caputo said. “It’s turned into something different. Quite honestly, it’s turned into what it normally turns into for people who take over their jobs.”

UMass quickly jumped out to a strong lead, with a layup off a turnover from fifth-year senior guard James Bishop cementing an 8-2 lead five minutes in. The Revs struggled shooting in the first half, starting just 1-8 from the field.    

The Minutemen lead grew to double digits when a 3-pointer from freshman guard Robert Davis Jr. brought the lead to 24-13 nine minutes in. UMass connected on half of their first eight attempts from 3-point territory and six of 15 in the half. 

3-point defense has been a consistent struggle for the Revs, ranking 260th out of 363 Division I teams with an opponents’ average of 34.5% entering the game. On the offensive side, they made only one of their 17 3-point attempts in the first half. 

Caputo attributed the team’s poor first half 3-point performance to “shooting luck,” pointing to successful shooting during the last two games, where the Revs went 11-29 and 12-27, respectively.

“Shooting variance, we call it,” Caputo said. “You can look at those shots in the first half and I would guess when we go back and watch that tape, they were paint-to-great threes from guys who can pretty much make them.” 

The half ended with two free throws from redshirt freshman Darren Buchanan Jr., bringing the score to 40-21. Buchanan ended the game with 21 points off 7-12 shooting, coming off the bench after missing two-straight games with a “lower body” injury. 

“I told Coach Caputo I’d be ready to go game time,” Buchanan said. “So, I’m feeling a lot better. Not quite all the way yet but I feel good enough to play.”

A 3-pointer from junior guard Rahsool Diggins extended the Minutemen lead to 25 six minutes into the half, their largest of the game. Diggins finished second on UMass, behind senior forward Matt Cross who had 17, with 13 points.

Cross played at the University of Miami under then-Associate Head Coach Caputo in the 2020-21 season, where he scored 6.9 points per game. 

Freshman guard Trey Autry cut the deficit to 16 with a 3-pointer with just under four minutes remaining, but Davis responded with a three of his own to bring UMass’ lead back to 19.

This was UMass’ first game following yesterday’s news that the team will leave the Atlantic-10 to join the Mid-American Conference in 2025. UMass Head Coach Frank Martin declined to answer questions on the teams’ departure in his postgame interview. 

“Respectfully, I’m not sure some of the towns in the MAC have as good of food,” Caputo quipped, comparing the cities in the conference to those in the A-10. “I would think that would be a big factor.” 

The Revs will travel to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to take on La Salle on March 2 at 2 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Grace Chinowsky, Senior News Editor
Grace Chinowsky is a junior majoring in journalism and mass communication from Seattle, Washington. She leads the News section as The Hatchet's 2023-2024 senior news editor, and previously served as the assistant news editor for the Metro beat.
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