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Minutewomen prepared for clash with Terriers

After earning a split in Ohio, the Massachusetts women’s basketball team will look to right its ship Wednesday night at Boston University.

Bryn Rothschild-Shea/Collegian

The Minutewomen (2-6) snapped their 5-game losing skid against Ohio Thursday afternoon, but came up short in a loss against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday. The Terriers (5-3) are coming off of a 66-49 home victory over No. 17 St. John’s.

However, Minutewomen coach Sharon Dawley is comfortable with her team’s preparation heading into Wednesday’s game.

“(Our team is) very prepared,” Dawley said. “We walked through all their man hits, we know exactly how we’re going to defend them. We know we are going to focus on and who we are going to slag off of for additional help. We’ll play multiple zones against them.”

Senior guard Dee Montgomery, whose leadership Dawley praised following the Minutewomen’s win over the Bobcats, echoed her coach’s sentiments.

“We’ve really focused on their sets, their key players, and defensively making sure we know what we need to do,” Montgomery said. “At the same time, we’re worried about us. We’re worried about our defense, making sure our rotations are right. We’re making sure we get what we want out of our sets, we get what we want in the shots that we want, and we make sure we don’t have any crazy turnovers that we’ve been having.”

As UMass inches its way towards Atlantic 10 play in January, both Dawley and Montgomery think there is more to come from the team.

Montgomery said the team has been playing better than their overall record shows.

“I think that our record doesn’t give our team justice right now,” Montgomery, a co-captain, said. “Right now we are on the bubble; we are there. We just haven’t had that click for us yet. We keep on the way we are going, we keep on playing the way we’re playing, we keep getting after it then we are going to find that stride.

“I think we are about to hit our stride going into conference play, which is what you want going into conference play.”

Both coach and captain agree that the team needs to finish off their easier chances.

“We need to do a better job securing loose balls, boxing out and we just got to make our (easy shots),” Dawley said. “This afternoon we broke down our last film and we gave over 40 points of (easy shots).

“The good news is that we could’ve had 70 points in that game if we made (easy shots). The bad news is we didn’t make those (easy shots),” she said.

Montgomery mirrored her coach’s sentiments, but has confidence that their shots will start to drop.

“Right now we just can’t put the ball in basket, unfortunately,” Montgomery said. “We’re getting all the looks we want. We’re doing all the layups, all the 3s, every look we want, all the sets we’re running. We’re getting what we want but we can’t, for some reason, convert.

“When you feel good, you go back, watch film and you see you are getting every shot you want but you just can’t put it in – that is something that can be easily fixed because as players we just have to put the time in at the gym,” she said.

Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. in Boston, and Dawley said her team is ready for the challenge.

Confident?

“Yes,” Dawley said.

Jeffrey Okerman can be reached at jokerman@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @MDC_Okerman.

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