Scrolling Headlines:

UMass tuition set to rise 3-4 percent for 2017-2018 school year -

July 18, 2017

PVTA potential cuts affect UMass and five college students -

July 10, 2017

New director of student broadcast media at UMass this fall -

July 10, 2017

Whose American Dream? -

June 24, 2017

Man who threatened to bomb Coolidge Hall taken into ICE custody -

June 24, 2017

Cale Makar drafted by Colorado Avalanche in first round of 2017 NHL Entry Draft -

June 24, 2017

Conservatives: The Trump experiment is over -

June 17, 2017

UMass basketball lands transfer Kieran Hayward from LSU -

May 18, 2017

UMass basketball’s Donte Clark transferring to Coastal Carolina -

May 17, 2017

Report: Keon Clergeot transfers to UMass basketball program -

May 15, 2017

Despite title-game loss, Meg Colleran’s brilliance in circle was an incredible feat -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball loses in heartbreaker in A-10 title game -

May 14, 2017

Navy sinks UMass women’s lacrosse 23-11 in NCAA tournament second round, ending Minutewomen’s season -

May 14, 2017

UMass softball advances to A-10 Championship game -

May 13, 2017

UMass basketball adds Rutgers transfer Jonathan Laurent -

May 13, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse gets revenge on Colorado, beat Buffs 13-7 in NCAA Tournament First Round -

May 13, 2017

Meg Colleran dominates as UMass softball tops Saint Joseph’s, advances in A-10 tournament -

May 12, 2017

Rain keeps UMass softball from opening tournament play; Minutewomen earn A-10 honors -

May 11, 2017

Former UMass football wide receiver Tajae Sharpe accused of assault in lawsuit -

May 10, 2017

Justice Gorsuch can save the UMass GEO -

May 10, 2017

Field goal percentage paying off for Minutewomen as of late

Field goal percentage has not been one of the Massachusetts women’s basketball teams strong points, but it certainly was on Saturday.

The Minutewomen (8-13, 2-4 Atlantic 10) have the third worst shooting percentage in the A-10, at .381 percent. However, the Minutewomen’s most recent win over Rhode Island (9-13, 2-5 A-10) shows that maybe they’re bucking the trend.

At the Ryan Center on Saturday afternoon, UMass shot at a 44.4 percent clip from the field, their most-efficient scoring effort this season.

Sophomore forward Kristina Danella led the Minutewomen with 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Redshirt junior guard Megan Zullo played one of her best games since transferring from North Carolina State last year, registering 13 points on 4-of-8 shots, while adding six rebounds, three assist and four steals.

The two starters that hurt UMass’ shooting percentage were senior guards Kim Benton and Diatema Hill. Benton converted on one of her seven shot attempts and was not much of a factor in the backcourt, while Hill made up for her nine missed shots with an all-around game, finishing the contest with nine points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Although both Danella and Zullo helped lead UMass to a superb shooting night, the bench players were the difference-makers.

After missing significant time due to a concussion, freshman guard Dee Montgomery returned to action and showed what she’s capable of.

In seven minutes off the bench, Montgomery netted five points, and hit both of her shots from the field, including a 3-pointer. The bench’s perfect shooting night continued when sophomore center Nicole Jones hit all three of her shot attempts for nine points.

 Junior forward Stephanie Lawrence followed suit, going 1-for-1 from the field in seven minutes of play. The only UMass bench player to not record a perfect shooting night was junior forward Cerie Mosgrove, who shot 2-of-6 from the field, with both of her made baskets being three-pointers. Rounding off bench play was freshman forward Shakia Robinson, who did not register a shot attempt in eight minutes of play.

The Minutewomen also reversed another strong trend by registering more points off turnovers than their opponents. In most contests this year, UMass’ poor ball control has given their opponents many opportunities for easy baskets. On Saturday however, the Minutewomen scored 19 points off Rams’ turnovers, while giving up just 12 points on their own turnovers.

UMass continued its consistent shooting at the free throw line, where it converted on 12-of-16 shots (75 percent). That percentage is essentially identical to the Minutewomen’s 75.1 percent season average, which is second best in the conference, behind Saint Bonaventure’s 79.5 percent.

Although Rhode Island is one of the A-10’s weaker teams, UMass took several steps in the right direction against the Rams. If the Minutewomen can continue to shoot a high percentage from the field while turning the ball over less, more wins could be coming their way.

UMass begins a two-game home stand tonight when it hosts the Bonnies at 7 p.m. in the Mullins Center

Steve Levine can be reached at slevine@student.umass.edu.

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