WESTON, Mass. – After almost four weeks without a game, the Regis College men's basketball team will head back into action this weekend at the Catholic Charities Tournament hosted by Saint Joseph's College in Standish, Maine.
The Pride will play non-conference games against Great Northeast Athletic Conference foes Emmanuel Saturday, Dec. 29, at 3 p.m., and Rivier Sunday, Dec. 30, at 1 p.m. That starts a stretch of three games in five days, as Regis hosts Fitchburg State next Wednesday, Jan. 2, beginning at 6 p.m. at Higgins Court.
After a tough loss at Lasell on the opening night of the season, Regis won four of its next five games, including convincing victories at Curry and at Framingham State. However, the Pride entered the holiday break with a three-game losing streak, featuring a close overtime loss at Clark and a five-point loss to Rhode Island College.
Senior Ademola Afonja leads the Pride in scoring with 17.8 points per game, plus he is shooting 53.1 percent from the field and grabbing 5.6 rebounds per game. Shawn Wedderburn is shooting 55.4 percent from the field and leading the team with 9.0 rebounds per game, fifth in the GNAC in both categories, as he is contributing 11.9 points per contest.
Emmanuel is one of the hottest teams in the region, winning seven of its last eight games to bring a 7-3 record into the weekend. As a team, the Saints are scoring 82.7 points per game and shooting 45.1 percent from the field, including 36.8 percent from behind the three-point line, and 75.7 percent from the free throw line.
Emmett Riddick leads the Saints in scoring at 14.3 points per game, followed by Joe Tamburro with 12.4 points per game and Marcus Fox at 10.8 points per contest. Senior Isaiah Ruffen leads the team with 9.9 rebounds per game to go along with 9.1 points per game.
Regis has won all three previous meetings over Emmanuel, including two wins over the Saints last season. The Pride held on for a 73-70 non-conference victory over the Saints Jan. 9, 2018, in Boston, and then defeated Emmanuel 86-79 in a GNAC contest at Higgins Court Feb. 10, 2018.
Rivier brings a 1-9 overall record into the weekend, including an eight-game losing streak. As a team, the Raiders are scoring 71.1 points per game and shooting 39.8 percent from the field, including 32.5 percent from behind the three-point line, and 74.7 percent from the free throw line.
Junior Nate Hale is Rivier's top player, averaging 18.2 points and 3.9 rebounds per game as he is shooting 50.0 percent from the field, including 41.2 percent from behind the three-point line, and 81.0 percent from the free throw line.
Regis defeated Rivier twice in the span of 13 days last season, starting with an 87-70 victory at Higgins Court Jan. 6, 2018. In the rematch at Rivier Jan. 18, 2018, the Pride held on for an 87-85 win over the Raiders.
Fitchburg State will bring a 3-8 overall record into the Jan. 2 game at Regis, as the Falcons do not play until they face the Pride. Fitchburg State snapped a four-game losing streak with a 73-65 victory over Castleton Dec. 11.
As a team, the Falcons are averaging 71.7 points per game and shooting 39.6 percent from the field, including 26.9 percent from behind the three-point line, and 61.4 percent from the free throw line. Kameron Jimenez-Fox leads the team with 12.7 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
This will be the seventh meeting all-time between Regis and Fitchburg State, with the teams splitting the previous six contests. The last meeting took place Nov. 18, 2016, at the Colby College Tip-Off Tournament, with the Falcons defeating the Pride, 88-78.
Regis will close out the non-conference schedule at Pine Manor Saturday, Jan. 5, and at Suffolk Wednesday, Jan. 9. The Pride open GNAC play against Norwich at Higgins Court Saturday, Jan. 12, at 3 p.m.