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Northeastern Huskies vs. UMass Minutemen Basketball Preview

UMass looks to finish out the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament with a win against instate foe Northeastern.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Northeastern Huskies will make a visit to Amherst on Wednesday for a 7PM contest against the Massachusetts Minutemen. With a winter storm expected the campus of UMass has shutdown on Wednesday but there has been no indication that the game has been affected so assume it will go on as scheduled. You can only watch the game if you have the A-10 digital package or on the radio at one of these fine stations:

Springfield WEEI FM 105.5
Boston WXKS AM 1200
Marshfield WATD FM 95.9
Worcester WVEI AM 1440

Who are the Huskies and what have they done?

Northeastern is from the Colonial Athletic Association where they finished 11-21 a year ago. This season they are off to an impressive 4-0 start. They have beaten Boston University and Navy along with two teams that UMass has also played in Florida State and Manhattan. They beat FSU 76-73 and ran away from Manhattan 65-51. UMass, you may remember, struggled with both teams beating Manhattan in overtime and edging out FSU 75-69.

They are also from Boston, a city that has struggled recently against the Minutemen basketball wise. Bill Coen , in his ninth year at the university, will try his best to best UMass.

Huskies to watch

The Huskies are led by a trio of players, all of whom score in double figures. Scott Eatherton is the most impressive of the three as he leads the team in four categories. Those would be: points (16.3), rebounds (7.5), steals (1.3), and blocks (1.5). At 6-8 he is their best rim defender along with being their senior leader. He plays along side frontcourt man Quincy Ford who averages 11.5 points and 6 rebounds.

David Walker is a big guard at 6-6 and leads the Huskies in minutes at 36 per game. He is second on the team in scoring with 14.8 and also second in assists with 3.0. He's most dangerous from behind the arc hitting 14-22 and also shoots 59.4 percent from the field.

How they matchup

UMass averages 7.2 more points per game than the Huskies. UMass likes to push the tempo and will likely employ their press again. The Huskies though have played exceptional defense against Navy and Manhattan this year allowing 44 and 51 points respectively.

Northeastern will be hard pressed to matchup with Cady Lalanne as Eatherton is their tallest and heaviest guy at 6-8, 235. Cady should be able to post up and get position all game on undersized opponents. Eventually the Huskies will be forced to double team him which will open up the guards to spot up and get open shots.

Northeastern did play Florida State very well on the road to no less. But Florida State does not have the big man talent that UMass does with Lalanne and Maxie Esho.

Finding a defensive matchup for David Walker could prove difficult. Putting Derrick Gordon on him would give Walker three inches. Seth Berger might draw him early on but Berger doesn't play too many minutes after his first substitution.

Donte Clark and Jabarie Hinds had their coming out party last game as they both led the team in scoring. With Trey Davis struggling it will be interesting to see how the minutes are distributed.

Prediction

Northeastern just doesn't have the size to deal with UMass and will find themselves in foul trouble early and often. Barring a three point barrage from the Huskies it should be easy going to UMass. In a high scoring one UMass wins 79-64.