The Massachusetts women’s basketball team has a number of players that can easily be considered strong both on the court and in the locker room.
Two of these players made themselves known in a huge way in the team’s dominating 78-55 win over Brown at the Mullins Center Wednesday night.
Senior Cerie Mosgrove and sophomore Shakia Robinson have found themselves at the forefront of the UMass offense, making it clear that they would not walk away without anything less than a win.
Mosgrove made a statement with a career-high 20 points on the night, shooting 6-for-11 from the field and 6-for-7 on the free throw line, also adding six rebounds.
Robinson kept right behind her, scoring 18 points and seven rebounds in her 26 minutes on the floor.
As if to establish early on how they would play throughout the night, Mosgrove and Robinson had back-to-back fast-break layups to cap off a 12-0 run in the first four minutes of play, prompting Brown to call their second time out of the night.
Coach Sharon Dawley certainly knows full well how important the duo has been in the development of the Maroon and White’s offense.
“They are a huge part in the team’s progress,” Dawley said. “They are the core of our offense. Shakia’s been having great performances game after game, and Cerie’s been doing absolutely phenomenal. When they are having great days on the offensive end, then the rest of our offense really clicks into place.”
When asked if this type of play could commonly be expected from the two, Dawley was all too encouraging about the future.
“I think they are going to keep improving throughout the season,” Dawley said. “We are still running a new system, and both the offensive and defensive ends of the system are very new to them. They are both going to get better throughout season, as will the rest of the team.”
Thus far, the two have already laid the foundation for what will surely become a great year.
Together, Mosgrove and Robinson have 173 points on the season, along with 449 minutes played and 86 rebounds. The duo also averages a combined .445 field goal percentage and 6.2 rebounds per game.
In the locker room, Mosgrove has shown that she has what it takes to wear the title of captain.
“Cerie’s been doing great as one of our captains,” Dawley said. “She never takes a day off, she has great leadership, and she just does not quit. She’s a workhorse.”
As the team prepares to host BC on Sunday afternoon, Dawley expects more of the same effort and performances from the team.
“Our approach is the same every game, it’s just that who your playing has a lot to do with what’s going on,” Dawley said. “We will continue to do what we do game after game. BC is a formidable opponent, and they have a lot of size that we have to make up for, but I think that, if we play as hard as we have been, then we will do great.”
In the course of the team’s last two games, the Minutewomen have shot over 50 percent and have scored at least 44 points in the second half. They were also able to keep the Bears to just 27.3 percent shooting on the night.
With numbers like that, it’s not hard to imagine that Mosgrove and Robinson will be called on to score points en route to victories for UMass.
David Martin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.