Coatney's Call: UMass-Lowell Preview
Wednesday, Nov. 27, 7 p.m. (central)
Pinnacle Bank Arena (Lincoln, Neb.)
Live Premium Video: BTN.com
Radio: Husker Sports Network
(Matt Coatney-PBP; Jeff Griesch-Analyst)
Internet: Free live audio on Huskers.com
It’s always great when you can defeat a team that was picked to win their conference in the preseason. No. 10 Nebraska did just that Sunday afternoon when they defeated SWAC favorite Southern, 87-64.
If you like watching teams that shoots three-pointers, then UMass-Lowell will quickly become one of your favorites. The River Hawks are a transitional Division I team and Head Coach Sarah Behn has said the way they can make their mark as a first-year D-I team is to score a lot of points. She said the best way they can do that is with “volume and shooting a lot of threes”.
Heading into Tuesday night’s road game Oklahoma State, the River Hawks have attempted 142 triples in four games (35.5 attempts per game), making 34 (8.5 makes per game). By comparison, the Huskers only attempt 19.4 three pointers per game but are making 7.75, or 0.75 fewer threes than UML.
UMass-Lowell has started the season 0-4 with losses at home to Providence and Holy Cross and on the road at Yale and St. Francis. Wednesday night’s game at Nebraska will be game three of a lengthy nine-game road stretch. UML does not have a home game in December and won’t play another home game until Jan. 7.
The River Hawks return five players from last season’s team and have nine freshmen and two junior college transfers on their roster. UML lists four players 6-0 or taller on their roster, but only one is expected to start or see significant playing time. Last season, UMass-Lowell finished with its best record in 10 years with an 18-9 clip, 15-7 in conference play. Its 81.5 point-per-a-game was good enough for second in Division II. Leading the charge was senior Bianca Simmons with a nation’s best 28.2 ppg.
This season’s River Hawks squad features 5-5 junior guard Shannon Samuels, a transfer from Roxbury Community College. Through the first four games, she leads the team in scoring (14.9 ppg). Another juco transfer, Jasmine McRoy, is second on the team in scoring (11.3 ppg). The 5-9 McRoy was a first-team NJCAA All-American last year, leading Monroe (N.Y.) College in scoring and finished her career with 985 points, the second all-time scorer in school history. In 2012, McRoy led Monroe to a NJCAA Division II national title.
Sophomore Lindsey Doucette, a 6-2 forward, gives UML some size in its starting lineup. She averages 7.0 points per game and is tied with McRoy for the team lead in rebounds (6.8 rpg).
While this is the first meeting ever between UMass-Lowell and Nebraska, the Huskers certainly are familiar with UML because of Jelena Spiric. The 2005 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year came to Nebraska one season after starting 30 games as a freshman for the River Hawks. She led the 2002-03 UMass-Lowell team to the NCAA Division II Tournament. After one season at Colby (Kansas) Community College, Spiric joined the Huskers and helped the 2006-07 Nebraska team reach the NCAA Tournament.
I cordially invite you to join Jeff Griesch and me for Nebraska women’s basketball on the Husker Sports Network. Our radio broadcast Wednesday evening begins with the pre-game show at 6:45 p.m. (central) with the tip-off scheduled for 7:05 p.m. on the Husker Sports Network. There won’t be any over-the-air coverage of our broadcast, but it will be available for free worldwide on the internet at www.huskers.com. I hope you can join us.
There are a number of ways to get enhanced information about our broadcast and Husker women’s basketball via social media. You can learn more about the team on the Nebraska Women’s Basketball Facebook page or follow the team on their official Twitter page @huskerswbb. I also invite you to friend me on Facebook (Matt Coatney) or follow me on Twitter @coatman1.
Go Big Red!