December 18, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

BLOG: UMass football recruiting roundup: UMass signs DT, offers two kickers -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass President Robert Caret resigns to become chancellor of the University of Maryland system -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Brandon Montour: ‘It felt great to be out there’ -

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UMass falls to Northeastern in Brandon Montour’s debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cady Lalanne continues to evolve as a potential outside shooting threat -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

UMass hockey returns to action against Northeastern, Montour to make season debut -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Demetrius Dyson remains hopeful despite rocky start to season -

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Former UMass soccer star Matt Keys aims to continue his career professionally -

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pierre-Louis, Dillard shine in UMass victory over Holy Cross -

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Passing, spacing improved in UMass victory -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Prolific first half propels UMass past Canisius, 75-58 -

Saturday, December 13, 2014

UMass Faculty Senate hears ad hoc committee’s report on FBS football, shoots down contentious motion -

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Minutemen hope improved spacing will aid struggling half court offense -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Divest UMass urges Board of Trustees to split with fossil fuel industry -

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cady Lalanne accustomed to dealing with increased attention -

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Front to Back: Week of Dec. 1, 2014 -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Chiarelli: UMass basketball running out of time to find its identity -

Monday, December 8, 2014

Minutewomen take care of business against American -

Monday, December 8, 2014

UMass women’s basketball handles American, 71-61 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

UMass basketball downed by Florida Gulf Coast 84-75 -

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, UMass hosts Duquesne

Taylor C. Snow/Collegian

For the Massachusetts women’s basketball team, the math is final. With three games left, UMass (3-23, 1-10 Atlantic 10) has statistically been eliminated from the Atlantic 10 Tournament conversation.

Even if the Minutewomen win out the rest of the season, they would lose a head-to-head tiebreaker with conference-rival La Salle, which pulled out a 68-57 win at the Mullins Center on Jan. 30.

UMass closes out a two-game homestand Sunday against Duquesne (19-6, 8-3 A-10).

Assistant coach Allison Brown said that while the Dukes should beat the Minutewomen on paper, Duquesne has holes in its game that UMass will look to exploit.

“They’re obviously one of the top teams in the conference,” Brown said. “Those three (conference) losses were all to the top three teams, but I think them coming off two losses will be in our favor. And (us being) at home as well.”

Brown said the Dukes’ motion offense and tendency to set ball screens will create chances for her team to pressure ball handlers, leading to turnovers.

A winner of 15 of its first 16 outings to start the season, Duquesne is powered by junior forward Wumi Agunbiade and freshman guard April Robinson, who averaged a combined 22.5 points per game.

Brown also said UMass’ high-tempo makeup will allow it to keep up with covering opponents and shut down 3-point shooters who typically see a lot of minutes on the floor.

“We’re going to need to go as deep as they do,” Brown said. “They play 11 kids, almost all of them average up to 10 minutes. That’s been our (modus operandi) as of late, so I think we’ll be able to stay with them in that respect. They like to push the ball, we like to push the ball.”

Adopting a motion offense of their own in the dying weeks of the season, the Minutewomen have seen their new style click, but in bursts.                                                  Freshman guards Jasmine Harris and Adriana Jordan, along with sophomore forward Kim Pierre-Louis have anchored a youthful group that has shouldered a bulk of the scoring load in recent games after responding well to the new offense.

Brown said the younger group has found a groove because they are proactive on the floor.

“We asked them just to come in, leave it all out there and they did exactly that,” Brown said. “Being aggressive and attacking, kids coming up with plays that we didn’t even ask of them, is something that’s huge.”

Although scoring leader and senior center Jasmine Watson and sophomore guard Carolann Cloutier remain the most prominent point-getters, Brown supports giving creative liberty to freshman when running the motion offense.

Saying the new offense is a lot more about playing pure basketball, she thinks the freedom has allowed freshman to contribute more.

Brown is hoping an upset win against the Dukes will spark a strong final week for the Minutewomen.

“We know that each of these games, it’s it own entity, but we need to win all three,” Brown said. “We’ve been talking about all of our freshman and young kids bringing that energy and the leadership of our veteran players to steady them along the way is going to be critical.”

Sunday’s tip off against Duquesne is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Mullins Center.

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

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