Temple outshoot Minutewomen

By Neil Carroll

The Massachusetts women’s basketball team has struggled to defend teams with a high 3-point shooting percentage so far this season. Although Temple did not shoot at a higher percentage than the Minutewomen coming into the game, the team lit UMass up from beyond the arc on its way to a 66-54 victory on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

Shaqwedia Wallace did most of the damage against UMass, as she scored 22 points on 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. However, Wallace was not the only sharp shooter in Wednesday’s contest. The Owls shot a staggering 45 percent in 20 3-point attempts.

While the Minutewomen shot 7-of-11 from 3-point land themselves, the team couldn’t keep up with Temple’s fast paced defense. The Owls held the Maroon and White to 37.3 percent shooting in the game – a characteristic that has been their trademark throughout the season.

The UMass scorers could not gain any room on offense and the team also lost the battle underneath the rim.

Even though the Minutewomen won the rebounding battle, 16-10, Temple pulled away thanks to second-chance baskets. The Owls had the advantage, 23-10, over UMass in that category because they kept the ball alive under the hoop.

Diatiema Hill led all UMass scorers with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field. The game marked the first time Hill scored in double-digits since the last time UMass traveled to Pennsylvania – that game was a loss to Duquesne.

The senior was 2-of-2 from beyond the arc, and also improved her free-throw shooting percentage by hitting both free throws. Hill also helped out with five assists, four rebounds and three steals.

Jasmine Watson managed 10 points and five rebounds in the game despite heavy pressure from Temple’s Jasmine Stone and Marli Bennett. Coming off of a 21-point game against Fordham, Watson drew a lot of attention and was constantly double-teamed in the post.

Temple’s aggressive defense also held Kristina Danella in check. The sophomore scored two points on perfect from the free-throw line. She also had four rebounds, two assists and two steals.

UMass now drops to 9-15 overall and 3-6 in the Atlantic-10. However, the Minutewomen have a chance to improve their conference record over the weekend against Dayton.

The Minutewomen won against Fordham the last time they returned to the Mullins Center and will try to do the same this weekend. Heavy snow postponed Dayton’s last game until Thursday, and the Flyers will come to Amherst off of a grueling road trip that lasted five days.

However, they are coming off a three-game winning streak with an 18-point average margin of victory during that stretch. Dayton (18-5, 6-2 A-10) beat its last opponent, 72-42, with Kari Daugherty coming off the bench to score 16 points in as many minutes.

The Flyers (71.3 points per game) have the second best offense in the A-10 with forward Justine Raterman (11.8 ppg) leading the team in scoring.

Dayton is a young team with mostly underclassmen, but is deep at the guard position. This season, the Flyers have used that to their advantage with 42.6 percent shooting – third best in the A-10.

If UMass hopes to have any luck against Dayton, it will have to clog up the middle with its size, and force outside shots.

 Neil Carroll can be reached at [email protected]