The Massachusetts women’s basketball team took on Temple on Wednesday at the Mullins Center in an Atlantic 10 conference battle.
While tip off was moved up to 5:00 p.m. due to inclement weather, the University of Massachusetts was unable to advance in the A-10 standings. The Owls remained undefeated in A-10 play with a 76-48 victory Minutewomen
The game started out close with the Minutewomen (6-15, 2-4 in A-10) leading 11-7 after seven minutes of play. The UMass defense had the Owls (14-6, 5-0 in A-10) confused, forcing them to take bad shots from beyond the perimeter.
“We started off well and were leading but it seems like when our offense gets bad, everything else gets bad as well,” coach Sharon Dawley said.
Things went downhill from there for the Maroon and White. The Owls went on an 8-0 scoring run to take a 15-11 lead. The UMass offense looked disoriented as turnovers became a serious problem, finishing the first half with 19 total. The Owls took advantage of Minutewomen mistakes by scoring 23 points off turnovers in the first half.
UMass relied heavily in the first half on points in the paint, scoring 16 of its 24 down low. Sophomore center Jasmine Watson had a scary moment in the beginning of the game when she fell to the ground and grabbed her knee, but she was able to recover and continue to play. Watson chipped in four points in the first half while Shakia Robinson came off the bench to add six. UMass trailed at the intermission 40-24.
Temple stayed hot in the second half as they extended their lead to a game-high 30 points. UMass was unable to come within 16 points for the remainder of the game. With 48 points, the Minutewomen tied their worst offensive performance of the season while also committing 32 turnovers.
“32 turnovers in one game are just not acceptable, you’re going to lose to anybody if you play like that,” Dawley said. “Turning the ball over to an elite team like Temple 32 times means you’re going to get blown out.”
Only two UMass players were in double-figures; Cerie Mosgrove had a team-high 13 and Robinson added 11 off the bench. The starters combined for just 26 points while Robinson, Marisa Stabile, Kelly Robinson and Talen Watson all saw quality minutes on the hardwood.
“The starters just weren’t good, and when you have bad starters you go to the bench and look for them to step up,” Dawley said. “If the starters continue to play this poorly then we look to something else that will work.”
UMass was outplayed in nearly every statistical category. The Owls had the edge in points in the paint 42-24 and Temple scored 35 points off of turnovers including 18 on the fast break.
“We’re going to run in practice for every turnover we had tonight,” Dawley said. “32 turnovers are not acceptable and they are going to pay for it and realize that we need more urgency.”
Michael Counos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.