UMass looks to keep its surprising hold on first place in the A10 when it visits a quality Richmond team on Tuesday night at 8.5-point underdogs. John Perrotto looks at the meeting of two teams with NCAA Tournament hopes and makes a pick.
- Richmond is an 8.5-point favorite at home over Massachusetts on Tuesday night in an Atlantic 10 Conference game at the Robins Center
- UMass, which is in first place in the A-10, has not played since Feb. 6 because of COVID-19 concerns
- The odds, line and spread for UMass-Richmond along with game analysis can be found below
Massachusetts will try to overcome a 17-day layoff and keep its surprising hold on first place in the Atlantic 10 Conference when it visits Richmond at 6:00 pm ET Tuesday at the Robins Center.
Not expected to contend for the conference title this season, UMass is 7-4 overall and 6-2 in the A-10. The Minuteman have also won back-to-back games and five of their last six. However, they have not played since Feb. 6 because of COVID-19 protocols.
Richmond (12-5, 5-3) was ranked as high as #19 in the Associated Press media poll in December but is in fifth place in the conference despite winning three of its last four games. The Spiders are favored by 8.5 points in this one despite losing four in a row against the spread.
UMass vs Richmond Odds
|UMass||+330||+8.5 (-110)||Over 150 (-110)|
|Richmond||-420||-8.5 (-110)||Under 150 (-110)|
Odds as of Feb. 22 at FanDuel.
UMass Back to Full Strength
UMass won its last two games despite missing its leading scorer and 2019-20 A-10 Newcomer of the Year center Tre Mitchell and point guard Noah Fernandes. Mitchell had a shoulder injury and Fernandes was felled by a wrist injury.
Both are expected back for this game.
Tre Mitchell bullied the A-10 all season on his way to being named 2nd Team All- Conference & ROY.
— League Him (@League_Him) August 13, 2020
Mitchell is averaging 20.0 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while drawing 6.4 fouls per 40 minutes.
A transfer from Wichita State, Fernandes has stuffed the stat sheet in his first season in Amherst. He has averaged 11.9 points, 5.2 assists, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.9 steals while shooting 86.5% from the foul line.
When they last played, the Minuteman pulled a road upset by beating Rhode Island 75-63 as a 10-point underdog.
Senior guard Carl Pierre scored 19 points, including five three-pointers, to go with five rebounds and five assists. It was the second-highest point total of the season for Pierre, who averages 13.5 PPG and has committed just 10 turnovers in 377 minutes this year.
— Sammy Jo (@SammmyJo21) January 24, 2021
Freshman guard Cairo McCrory had his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman forward Ronnie DeGray III finished with 11 points, three assists, three steals, and three blocked shots. Senior center Mark Gasperini added 11 points, five rebounds, and four assists.
UMass held Rhode Island to 0-for-10 on three-point attempts.
Richmond Finishes Strong
Richmond scored the game’s final seven points in the last minute to beat visiting Duquesne 79-72 on Saturday as a nine-point favorite. Senior guards Jacob Gilyard and Blake Francis made two free throws each to break a 72-72 tie and Gilyard added a three-pointer at the buzzer.
— Richmond Basketball (@SpiderMBB) February 20, 2021
Gilyard and Francis both had 17 points as all five starters scored in double figures. Francis is averaging a team-high 16.4 a game, has been in double figures in 16 of 17 games this season, and is playing 88.3% of Richmond’s minutes.
Sophomore forward Tyler Burton finished with 16 points and eight rebounds after having 10 and seven combined in the previous two games. Senior forward Nathan Cayo added 13 points and eight rebounds and senior forward Grant Golden contributed 10 points and eight boards.
Tyler Burton celebrates Leap Day! *send tweet* pic.twitter.com/GpPDkZTswG
— Richmond Basketball (@SpiderMBB) March 1, 2020
Richmond had an outstanding shooting performance, hitting 55.1% (27 of 49) from the field and 88.9% (16 of 18) from the line.
Francis is one of five Spiders scoring in double digits as well as Golden (13.2), Burton (12.8), Cayo (11.8), and Gilyard (11.6)
Spiders Dominate Series
Richmond has won six of its last seven games against UMass, including a 95-71 rout last season as an 11-point home favorite.
Francis scored 20 points as Richmond made 55.2% (32 of 58) of its field goal attempts, 41.7% (10 of 24) of its threes and 91.3% (21 of 23) of its free throws. The Spiders also outrebounded the Minutemen 42-26.
Mitchell had a fine all-round game for UMass with 18 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
The oddsmakers are not bullish on UMass, as evidenced by the number on this game. However, rusted and all, the Minutemen are good enough to at least keep things close.
Pick: UMass +8.5 (-110)
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.