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Weber State Beats UMass 88-73

By Kevin McCaskill Jr.

11/18/21 * 7:33 PM

The Jersey Mike’s Classic 🏀 tournament opened today. The only reason I’m interested in this underwhelming season opening tournament is because UMass is playing 3 games in the JMC this weekend. UMass opened the tournament with a contest against Weber St. The JMC is being played in St. Petersburg, FL. The halftime show convinced me that St. Petersburg, FL is a wonderful place.

UMass started the same lineup as the last few games - Noah Fernandes, Rich Kelly, TJ Weeks, Dyondre Dominguez and Trent Buttrick.

Its evident that UMass HC Matt McCall is still tinkering with his rotation. 11 players got minutes for the Minutemen. Cairo McCrory didn’t play last game; tonight, he was one of the 1st subs off the bench. Javohn Garcia also didn’t play last game but he got some minutes in the first half.

The first half was back and forth. Neither team was playing good defense. Both offenses were inconsistent.

UMass left too many Weber St. shooters open. Hitting 3s kept Weber St. in the game and eventually got them the lead going into halftime 36-34.

The second half started with a 8-2 Weber St. run. During that run, Trent Buttrick had 2 opportunities to score on baseline drives to the basket. On the first drive, he missed the layup. On the second drive, Buttrick was called for an offensive foul.

Noah Fernandes had the best performance amongst the Minutemen tonight. He scored 21 points and had 5 assists. He never gave up on the game even though Weber St. lead the entire 2nd half. He plays hard and with conviction.

The Kelly’s - Rich and CJ - both had good performances. CJ had 11 points; Rich had 9 points.

Buttrick had 12 points tonight.

UMass couldn’t stop Weber St. The Minutemen left a lot people open. Even when UMass played good defense, Weber St. hit contested shots over them.

Fernandes did all he could but it wasn’t enough. UMass lost to Weber St. 88-73.

UMass may be shooting too many 3s.

UMass shot 21 3s in the 1st half, 37 for the game. They made 13. Weber St made 11 threes but only took 20 3-pt shots.

UMass needs a few wing players to drive to the basket more. No one on the roster is a knock-down, Trae Young-type of 3-pt shooter. The offense needs to get better shots.

The defense wasn’t that bad but the intensity was missing which is a common theme for road games in the Matt McCall era. In the first half, Dominguez and Greg Jones were guarding one player on Weber St. and the player went by both of them and scored a layup.

The Minutemen will need more effort for the next two games. They also might want to dial down the number of 3-pt shot attempts.

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