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Center Izzy Freeman academically ineligible for Minutemen

Cady Lalanne of UMass (right)  grapples for the ball along with Greg Robbins (back center) and Terry Allen (front center) of Richmond during Sunday's game at UMass on January 27, 2013. Wayne Sparrow of Richmond (left) and Maxie Esho of UMass (second from left) prepare to catch the ball.

SARAH CROSBY

Cady Lalanne of UMass (right) grapples for the ball along with Greg Robbins (back center) and Terry Allen (front center) of Richmond during Sunday's game at UMass on January 27, 2013. Wayne Sparrow of Richmond (left) and Maxie Esho of UMass (second from left) prepare to catch the ball. SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

The sparingly used, 7-foot big man from Manassas, Va., will be able to practice, but won’t play in games or travel with the team for the remainder of the 2012-13 season, according to UMass spokesman Brian Henry.

Freeman last played in the Minutemen’s win over Duquesne on Jan. 17. He has appeared in just five games this season, all when the outcome was determined. Freeman had three rebounds and no points in six minutes played.

STUDENTS RETURN – UMass junior guard Chaz Williams was on Twitter just after 11 a.m. Sunday before the game encouraging people, especially students, to attend the game:

“Expect to see the student section full and loud today As we take on Richmond !!”

He was pleased with the result as 5,467 fans showed to see the Minutemen’s 70-65 win.

“Playing back in front of the students, it was a great crowd out there tonight,” Williams said. “It was great to see everyone come out and support us for this victory.”

He went back to Twitter after the game.

“Great Team Win Today!! Such A Great Crowd Out There Today, We Couldn’t Let Y’all Down!! You guys were amazing.”

WILLIAMS’ TURNOVERS — Williams’ seven turnovers were a season high and outnumbered his five assists. It was just the third time this season he’s had more turnovers than assists.

“Most of them were lackadaisical turnovers, not being strong with the ball,” Williams said. “The team kept the turnovers down (UMass had 13), so mine didn’t affect us that much, but being the point guard I can’t have this many turnovers. I’m just going to cut back on them.”

REBOUNDING – The Minutemen had a 32-23 rebounding edge, their second largest advantage in that category this season. UMass is 5-0 when it outrebounds its opponents.

NEXT UP – UMass will go on the road to play La Salle at 7 p.m. Wednesday The Explorers (14-5, 4-2 Atlantic 10) are coming off their best regular-season week in 60 years as they beat ranked teams back-to-back for the first time since 1952. La Salle defeated No. 9 Butler 54-53 on Wednesday and No. 19 VCU 69-61 on Saturday.

MISCELLANEOUS – Terrell Vinson fouled out for the fifth time this season and played 20 minutes. Oddly, UMass is 5-0 when Vinson fouls out.

Freddie Riley played all 40 minutes, marking the fourth time this month that he’s set a new career high in minutes.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/GazetteUMass.

Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

AMHERST — Trailing by seven points with just over six minutes left Sunday, the University of Massachusetts men’s basketball team used its best defensive stretch of the season to pull out a come-from-behind win at home. Richmond did not make another field goal in the game as the Minutemen scored 11 straight points as part of a 14-2 run that …

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