Wednesday, January 23 at Maine (7 p.m.)
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BANGOR, Maine –
The UMass Lowell men’s basketball team (17-4, 5-2 AE) hits the road for a two-game road trip, beginning with a rematch against Maine on Jan. 25.
I WILL WIN
A win against the Black Bears would improve UMass Lowell’s record to 18-4, continuing the program’s best start since 2002-03. It would also extend the program record for wins in a season at the DI level to 18. A win would also River Hawks to 6-2 in conference play, setting another Division I program record.
LEADING THE HERD
Three river hawks averaged double figures, as Everett Hammond leads with 12.8 points per game on 44% shooting from the field. bound to him, Abdul Karim Coulibaly averaged 12.8 points while adding a team-best 8.6 rebounds. The main playmaker this season, Ayinde Hikim totaled 86 assists with 10.1 points. Max Brooks adds 9.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game and leads the team with 40 blocks.
LAST TIME OUT
Abdul Karim Coulibaly totaled 18 points along with a career-high 15 rebounds as the UMass Lowell men’s basketball team defeated America East newcomer Bryant. The River Hawks started the game strong, taking an 11-3 lead before the Bulldogs fought back, closing the gap to one. However, the River Hawk offense could not be stopped as they went on a 16-2 run to break the game open early. The Bulldogs looked to chip away at the lead, scoring eight of the next 12 points, but the hosts didn’t slow down, adding 22 more points before halftime to maintain a commanding 57-31 lead. UMass Lowell kept the momentum going coming out of the locker room with a layup from Brooks. Hammond followed with a step-back 3-pointer to give the River Hawks a 62-31 lead, their largest of the afternoon. Bryant continued to score in the second half, but the lead proved to be too much and UMass Lowell walked away with a 98-79 victory.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING
The win against Bryant on Jan. 22 was the team’s 17th of the season, extending the program’s new Division I record for total wins in a season.
BREAKING DOWN THE RANKINGS
The River Hawks were ranked in the Mid-Major Top 25 for the first time the week of Dec. 12, when they moved into the No. 25 spot. Up from No. 17 the week of Jan. 2, the team checked in at No. 24 in the most recent edition.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
The River Hawks are 11-0 at home so far, which is a new program record, surpassing a 10-0 home start since the 2002-03 season. That record also marks the second-best perfect home record in the nation. The team also won its ninth straight home game in 2022-23. With an 11-0 home record thus far, UMass Lowell is now 159-94 over the River Hawk Nation since 2003-04.
COSTELLO ROCK CLUB
For the first time at the Division I level, the River Hawks played in front of a sold-out crowd at the Costello Athletic Center.
EVERYTHING FOR THE BIG ONES
Abdul Karim Coulibaly and Max Brooks combined to go 22 for 28 from the field with 44 points against UMBC on Jan. 18. Koulibaly set a career high with 24 points, while Brooks boasted a season-best 20 points.
The River Hawks recorded a season-high 23 assists in a win against UMBC on Jan. 18. The team is currently second in the league with 15.2 assists per game. Individually, with his 11 assists against Sacred Heart on Nov. 16, Ayinde Hikim then set a new Division I program record Ryan Jones first registered 10 in 2018 vs. NJIT.
FROM THE CENTER
The River Hawks produced their best performance by a long shot this season to earn just their second win in their last 13 matches against the Catmounts on January 11. The team that sank 13 threes on 59.1 percent shooting against Vermont now leads the league with a 37.6 percent clip from beyond the arc in 2022-23, including at least eight threes in nine of their 20 contests. While Ayinde Hikim went a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point territory against Vermont, Yuri Covington has drained a team-best 32 triples this year.
SHARING IS CONCERN
Coach Duquette said this is his strongest and most talented team yet. Eight different River Hawks have already led the team in scoring this year, and six of them have led the team in scoring in at least two games. The River Hawks also boasted at least eight goal scorers in 20 of their first 21 games, including 11 against Emerson. In the contests against Fisher and Emerson, the team had six total scorers in double figures for the first time since 2017-18 (at Maine, 01/31/18). At least four River Hawks have scored in double figures in 11 of 21 games.
The River Hawks, who shot a season-high 63.5 percent from the field in the win against Emerson, have outscored their opponents in 18 of their 21 games this season. The team has shot over 50% in 10 of 20 games so far. The team averaged 49.0% from the field to rank 14th in the nation.