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Fordham Rams vs. UMass Minutemen preview: Can UMass stop the bleeding with a win over Fordham?

UMass basketball stock is dropping faster than your portfolio during the Great Recession of 2007.

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It seems a long time ago when the Massachusetts Minutemen were on top of the A-10 and riding a six game winning streak. Now in the midst of a three game losing streak it seems the tides might have turned for the Minutemen. They will have a chance to right the ship against the basement dwellers Fordham Rams. So clear your schedule on Saturday at 4PM to see whether UMass regains form or crashes and burns.

Records and Rankings

Fordham 9-17 (4-11)

RPI: 220 BPI: 194

Fordham has had a less than stellar season but has won four of its last six games and one of its losses was a very respectable two point loss at Richmond. The Rams aren't a dynamic scoring team as they average just 65.2 points per game but are a solid rebounding squad at 36.7 boards per game which is good for 68th in the nation.

UMass 16-12 (9-6)

RPI: 60 BPI: 103

UMass has stumbled as of late, dropping games against URI, VCU and Saint Joe's. The loss against the Hawks was the worst for UMass as dropping a game at home against an inferior team is not what gets you into the NCAA tournament.

Players to watch

Eric Paschall: Paschall is the Rams leading scorer and shows incredible promise as he is just a freshman. The 6-6 guard averages 16.8 PPG on 42.6 percent shooting from the floor. UMass will have to keep an eye on him from beyond the arc as he makes them at a 31.9 percent rate. He's coming off a down game against La Salle as he scored just four points on 2-11 shooting.

Christian Sengfelder: Another impressive freshman from the Rams. At 6-7 he is second on the team in rebounding with 7.4 per game. He is also the third player to average double digit scoring with 11.2 per game. He can also step out and ht a three with 32.6 percent but shoots a low volume at 3.7 attempts per game. He's had two double-doubles in the last five games including a 14 point, 14 rebound effort against La Salle.

Trey Davis: He's coming off a double-double of his own against Saint Joe's with 11 points and 10 assists. He's played fairly well during the losing streak and has found his stroke from the three point line.

Demetrius Dyson: After playing just eight minutes against URI he has averaged 27.5 minutes over the last two games. He scored 12 points in each game and added 10 boards against VCU and seven against Saint Joe's. Dyson has certainly earned an increased role so look to see him on the court for a significant amount of time.

Game time

While few people expected UMass to drop their last game, you would be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks Fordham is the better team. Obviously if Paschall goes for 30 then it won't really matter. I'm sure Derek Kellogg and the Minutemen have taken some time to review their efforts in the last game.

Both teams can battle down low but Cady Lalanne is the superior player to anything the Rams can muster up. Lalanne needs the perimeter defenders to do a better of staying between their man and the basket. As long as that happens I see no reason why UMass would make this their fourth loss in a row. Trey Davis will get it going from deep and he'll be dishing out dimes in droves as UMass wins 73-67.