Rhody Welcomes UMass to Ryan Center Wednesday Night

Photo Credit: Alan Hubbard
Photo Credit: Alan Hubbard

THE BASICS
Massachusetts at Rhode Island
Tip-Off: Wednesday, Jan. 17, 7:02 p.m. EST
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RHODE ISLAND VS. MASSACHUSETTS - SERIES NOTES

  • Wednesday will be the 151st game all time between Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and the first of two meetings during the regular season.
  • The Minutemen hold a 62-88 edge overall, but Rhody has won two straight and three of the last four in the series.
  • Last season marked the first time in 14 years Rhode Island swept the season series against UMass. In the last meeting between the schools, Rhode Island got big games from Jared Terrell (14 points, 3 rebounds), E.C. Matthews (12 points, 6 rebounds) and Nicola Akele (12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 3 assists in 18 minutes) en route to a 70-62 win at the Mullins Center.
  • Massachusetts last won at the Ryan Center on Feb. 9, 2014, in a 73-68 victory.
  • Massachusetts comes into Wednesday having won back-to-back games in which it overcame double-digit deficits. UMass beat La Salle 86-79 in overtime after trailing by as many as 21 points. Before that, the Minutemen rallied from 16 points down to beat Saint Joseph's, 72-69.
  • UMass sophomore guard Luwane Pipkins was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week Monday, and freshman guard Carl Pierre is the league's Rookie of the Week.
  • Pipkins earned his second A-10 Player of the Week honor this season after setting a new UMass and Mullins Center scoring record with 44 points on Wednesday against La Salle, breaking Billy Tindall's record of 41 set on Feb. 10, 1968.  Pipkins recorded a game-high 27 points while adding a team-leading seven rebounds and six assists in the win over Saint Joseph's.
  • Pierre averaged 21.0 points over two games last week while adding 3.5 rebounds per contest. He tied his career-best mark for points in a contest with 25 against La Salle and had 17 against the Hawks.

RAMS MATCH HIGHEST SPOTS IN BOTH TOP 25 POLLS

  • Rhode Island is clearly on the national radar, receiving votes each week in both the Associated Press Top 25 poll and the USA Today Coaches poll. 
  • Rhody got 39 votes in the latest Associated Press poll, good for 27th in the country.
  • It matches the highest the Rams have been in the poll this season. Rhode Island also was 27th in the Week One poll, when it received 55 points.
  • The last time Rhode Island was ranked during the conference schedule portion of the regular season was on Jan. 14, 2008, when the Rams were No. 23 in the poll. 
  • The Rams got 16 votes in the USA Today poll, putting them 31st there. 
  • Rhody was also 31st in the USA Today preseason poll, its highest spot in that poll this year.

BATMAN AND BATMAN (AKA, MATTHEWS AND TERRELL)

  • Since E.C. Matthews returned from a broken wrist, Rhode Island is 8-0. 
  • Matthews returned to the starting lineup six games ago, and in that time he and Jared Terrell have combined to average 34.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, causing head coach Dan Hurley to refer to the duo as Batman and Batman. 
  • Rhode Island as a team is outscoring opponents by an average of 15.5 points per game since Matthews and Terrell got back together in the starting lineup. 
  • Two of Rhody's three losses (Virginia, at Alabama) came with Matthews injured, and the third loss (at Nevada) was the game Matthews suffered the broken wrist.
  • Following Saturday's game against St. Bonaventure, Matthews and Terrell have combined for 3,091 points.
  • Both rank among the NCAA's top 50 in career points, as Matthews is 21st (1,661) and Terrell is 46th (1,463).
  • Matthews needs 17 points to tie Will Daniels (1,678 from 2004-08) for 10th place on Rhode Island's all-time scoring list.
  • Terrell moved up to 17th Rhode Island's scoring list with 13 points last time out. He passed Delroy James (1,460 from 2007-11), Art Stephenson (1,458 from 1965-68) and Eric Leslie (1,453 from 1988-91).
  • Terrell has scored 20 or more points seven times, and Matthews has done so three times.
  • Entering the year, Terrell had scored 20 or more points 13 times in 99 career games.
  • Matthews has 30 career 20-point performances.

RAMS BOAST STRONG RPI, STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE 

  • Rhode Island's non-conference schedule wa as difficult as any in the country. At the end of non-conference play, the Rams had the No. 11 toughest schedule in the nation.
  • As of Monday, Rhode Island's RPI was No. 14 in the nation, the highest it has ever been in January in program history.
  • The Rams are 3-3 against teams with an RPI in the top 45, beating Seton Hall (12), St. Bonaventure (42) and Providence (45), while losing to Virginia (3), Nevada (17) and Alabama (39). 
  • Despite playing the No. 11 toughest schedule during the non-conference portion of its schedule, Rhode Island combined to outscore its opponents by 84 points (7.64 ppg).
  • Rhode Island was 4-1 against preseason conference favorites during the non-conference portion of its schedule.

HOME SWEET HOME

  • Rhody has yet to lose in the Ryan Center this season.
  • Over its last 26 home games, URI is 23-3, including 12 straight wins dating back to last year. 
  • The 12 straight home wins is a Ryan Center record. 
  • Since the 2014-15 season, the Rams are 50-9 when playing in Kingston.