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UMass football fall camp: Minutemen look for Robert Kitching to anchor defensive line -

Monday, August 31, 2015

Closing arguments delivered in Adam Liccardi rape trial -

Monday, August 31, 2015

Early goals sink UMass men’s soccer in loss to Saint Peter’s -

Monday, August 31, 2015

UMass field hockey splits weekend matches with UNH and BU -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass women’s soccer struck by injuries, struggles offensively as it falls to No. 24 Rutgers -

Sunday, August 30, 2015

UMass men’s soccer drops season opener to Utah Valley in overtime -

Friday, August 28, 2015

UMass football notebook: Jackson Porter moves to WR, UMass schedules 2016 game with South Carolina -

Friday, August 28, 2015

Former UMass student who accused four men of rape in 2012 testifies during trial Friday -

Friday, August 28, 2015

REPORT: UMass football’s Da’Sean Downey faces two assault charges in connection with February fight -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football Media Day: Catching up with Joe Colton -

Thursday, August 27, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Creating turnovers, forcing mistakes the focus for linebacking corps -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Jurors hear police interview, read text messages by defendants in third UMass rape trial -

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

‘Living at UMass’ app aims to make move-in weekend a breeze -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass rape trial halts abruptly, opening statements delivered Tuesday -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Jamal Wilson returns from injury with confidence he is ‘main guy’ at running back -

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

UMass football fall camp: Freshmen Sekai Lindsay, Andy Isabella impressing at running back -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass ranked in top 25 for LGBTQ students -

Monday, August 24, 2015

UMass football fall camp day five: Rodney Mills looks to continue bringing versatility to tight end position -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Route 9 Diner to reopen under new ownership -

Friday, August 21, 2015

Rising UMass sophomore dies unexpectedly -

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Minutewomen bitten by Bulldogs in first ever meeting with Butler, extend losing streak to three games

Taylor C. Snow / Collegian

The Massachusetts women’s basketball team failed to break out of its losing ways Wednesday night at the Mullins Center, falling 75-61 to new conference-foe Butler in the first ever meeting between the two schools.

UMass coach Sharon Dawley, who emphasized the importance of rebounding and intensity in practice, could only describe the game as frustrating considering the high-caliber play of her squad before halftime.

“It was a tale of two halves,” Dawley said. “I thought we looked good in the first half … It’s frustrating, they came on our floor and outplayed us in the second half.”

Facing a Bulldogs  team that was riding the momentum of a two-game win streak, the Minutewomen (3-16, 1-3 Atlantic 10) did not let Butler get a mental advantage after scoring the first two buckets.

Senior center Jasmine Watson took it upon herself to knot the score at four less than three minutes into the game en route to compiling 13 points in the first half to go along with seven rebounds after 14 minutes of play.

Aiding the UMass effort was redshirt sophomore center Millie Niggeling, who contributed four points and matched Watson in rebounds before halftime.

Going 0-for-3 in her first few chances, Niggeling said her first basket was the one that fueled her confident play early on.

“It was really big for me to hit a (bucket) just to get my confidence up,” Niggeling said. “Once I made that shot, I was confident to shoot the other ones.”

With the Minutewomen taking a lead into the second half for the first time since Dec. 8, 2012, the 35-33 frame marked a clear turning point in the game.

Powered by junior forward Daress McClung and sophomore guard Taylor Schippers, who combined for 39 points in the matchup, the Bulldogs (12-7, 3-1 A-10) were on the right side of a 42-26 tilt during the second half.

Dawley acknowledged that missing easy “bunnies” rattled her team’s confidence and mostly affected the defense.

Pointing out a trend of putting Butler on the foul line too many times, while UMass only sank 13 of 19 tries from the charity stripe, Dawley said the main factor that led to the play in the second half was a lack of confidence.

“I would welcome the day we’re too confident,” Dawley said. “Lack of confidence is always our problem. We just didn’t come out of the gate in the second half and do what we were able to do in the first half.”

Watson said the way to build confidence in the future is for better play as a team to set up better shots.

“Any play that we get to each other boosts our confidence and the whole team feeds off of it,” Watson said. “When we’re not hitting shots and not rebounding, we need to figure out how to keep talking to each other and not forget how good we’ve been playing in the past.”

Aside from confidence, Dawley believes that success will come if the team gives an effort like they did in the first half.

“There’s no reason why if we can do it for 20 minutes, we can’t do it for 40,” Dawley said.

Peter Cappiello can be reached at pcappiel@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @MDC_Cappiello.

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