April 16, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

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UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

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Putting the ‘new’ back into ‘news’ -

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Kurt Cobain, remembered 20 years later -

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Feist plays engaging, soulful show at the Calvin Theater -

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UMass poll shows Coakley emerging as a frontrunner in upcoming election -

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Rain washes out baseball, softball -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

General Education courses should not be required -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Campus Perspectives: One year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings -

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Boston Marathon: One year later -

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Bostonian spirit prevails -

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Minutewomen continue to show offensive improvement -

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Overalls and whitewashed outfits trend in spring 2014 -

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UMass looks to continue to build confidence against non-conference opponents -

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UMass rowing overcomes food poisoning and earns gold at Knecht Cup -

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Lessons from the Marathon bombings -

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Watson’s 20 points give UMass win over Explorers

It took the final few minutes for the Massachusetts women’s basketball team to squeeze out a 62-57 win over Atlantic 10 rival La Salle Wednesday night.

On a night where UMass (10-16, 4-7 A-10) received just seven points from usual leading scorer Kristina Danella, the Minutewomen looked to freshman center Jasmine Watson and senior guard Kim Benton to lead them past the Explorers (6-20, 1-10 A-10).

Watson led all players in scoring with 20 points while adding six rebounds and three assists. The game marked her fifth-straight scoring night in double-figures. Benton anchored the point throughout the game, registering five assists to go along with five rebounds and nine points.

“I was really happy for Kim,” UMass coach Marnie Dacko said. “She really struggled playing in Philly playing in front of her hometown crowd. It was so nice to see her hit a couple of 3’s and give us an emotional lift.”

The Minutewomen went 9-for-22 shooting, but eight turnovers led to 11 Explorer points. However, UMass went 6-for-8 from the free throw line, 3-for-6 from beyond the arc, and outrebounded La Salle, which allowed it to take a tie at 27 into halftime.

The second half was a different story for the Minutewomen, who limited turnovers and shot a much cleaner 46.4 percent from the field. The constants remained for UMass, which continued its accurate free throw shooting (6-for-7), as well as its strong play on the glass. The Minutewomen had 19 rebounds in the second half, 10 of which were offensive, which led to 14 second-chance points.

“Getting those extra touches were really big for us,” Dacko said. “It just gives us more opportunities to score. We were passing up open looks and we were having a hard time finding separation on shots, so we turned to our rebounding.”

Down by seven points late in the second half, Benton hit two 3-pointers to bring her team back. UMass then relied on its free throw shooting to gain the lead.

“Danella got an o-board and made [two] clutch free throws,” Dacko said. “Then Kim [Benton] stole the ball and Tema [Diatema Hill] finished a three-point play. Watson was also fouled and she made two for us. Three different people stepped up to the line and made free throws for us, which was huge.”

The Minutewomen return to action Saturday when they travel to Cincinnati for a game against Xavier. The Wildcats (20-3, 10-0 A-10) currently sit atop the A-10 conference and are ranked sixth in the nation.

Xavier leads the league in multiple statistical categories and it features two of the most prominent players in the conference in juniors Amber Harris and Ta’Shia Phillips. Harris (15.2 points per game) and Phillips (13.7) rank third and seventh in the league in scoring. Phillips (10.4 rebounds per game) is first while Harris (8.8) averages fourth in the league. The duo ranks first and second in field goal percentage, and second and third in blocked shots as well.

“I think we have to take it as a challenge. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Dacko said. “It’s going to be a physical game. They’ve got two premier players in the league. They’re sixth in the country, so we’re just going to leave it all out on the floor. We’re going to play hard, go at them and be as aggressive as possible.”

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

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