Tennessee (2-1) vs. Massachusetts (2-1)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, November 18, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Coliseo Ruben Rodriquez (12,000) -- Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: Tennessee 1-0, UMass 1-0. Away Record: Tennessee 0-0, UMass 0-0. Neutral Record: Tennessee 1-1, UMass 1-1. Conference Record: Tennessee 0-0, UMass 0-0. Series Record: Tennessee leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: A battle for third place in the 2012 Puerto Rico Tip-Off takes place at Coliseo Ruben Rodriquez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico on Sunday afternoon, as the Tennessee Volunteers get together with the Massachusetts Minutemen.
UMass opened the 2012-13 campaign with back-to-back victories, the first coming against Harvard at home and the second being a narrow 77-75 final versus Providence in this tournament. Then on Friday, the Minutemen were beaten up by sixth-ranked NC State in a 94-76 final.
As for the Volunteers, they too began the campaign with consecutive triumphs over the likes of Kennesaw State and UNC-Asheville, but two days ago the team was humbled by Oklahoma State in a 62-45 outing in second-round action of this event.
The Vols won the only two previous meetings in the series back in 2003 and 2004.
For the 29th time in his career, Trae Golden scored in double figures as he dropped in 11 points versus the Cowboys, but he was the only player on the team to reach double digits and only did so after shooting 4-of-12 from the floor, including 2-of-8 behind the three-point line. In fact, no one else on the roster made more than a pair of field goals for Tennessee as the team ended up converting a woeful 26 percent from the floor and 5-of-23 on the perimeter. Defensively, the Volunteers limited OSU to 3-of-13 on the outside, but that wasn't nearly enough to keep the game close. Golden and Jordan McRae both lead the group in scoring through three games with 11.0 ppg, but while McRae is getting the job done with 47.6 percent shooting from the floor off the bench, Golden has made a mere 8-of-26 (.308) of his chances from the field.
The defense for the Minutemen simply could not slow down NC State the other day, allowing the Wolfpack to shoot 54.5 percent from the field, including 6- of-12 beyond the arc, in the first half and that made all the difference. NC State left the door open a little bit for UMass to make things interesting as the team converted a mere 16-of-31 at the free-throw line however, it also didn't help that UMass turned the ball over 18 times in the meeting. Jesse Morgan led five in double figures for the Minutemen with his 15 points off the bench, followed by Terrell Vinson and Chaz Williams with 13 points apiece, while Maxie Esho and Raphiael Putney contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively. Coming off the bench in all three games thus far, Morgan has used his 10-of-25 shooting behind the three-point line to fuel his team-high 17.3 ppg, but still this is a group that is being outscored by more than four points per game at the moment.
Assuming that Morgan can continue to provide a spark off the bench and both Williams and Vinson can get their shots, this is a game that UMass should be able to control.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Massachusetts 77, Oklahoma State 72
11/18 10:40:50 ET