Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Minutewomen’s struggles continue against Bearcats

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

The Massachusetts women’s basketball team fell just short in one of its closest games of the season against Binghamton, 58-52, on Saturday afternoon, despite strong performances from Meghan Zullo and Cerie Mosgrove.

The Minutewomen (1-9) battled hard in a defensive game that was too close to call until the final buzzer sounded.

As early as the opening minutes of the first half, it was clear that establishing a solid lead was going to be a real challenge on both ends of the court. Both UMass and the Bearcats (5-4) went back and forth on the scoring throughout the game, never allowing the other team to secure a comfortable position ahead.

One of the Bearcats’ keys to keeping the Minutewomen from having a strong breakout run was in the way they stifled forward Shakia Robinson.

Robinson was constantly guarded in the defensive end.  The double coverage worked well in keeping her from having another standout game that could have put her team into the leading threshold.  Robinson was held to just eight points on the afternoon.

Coach Sharon Dawley recognized that Binghamton is a team that is able to adjust well to opposing team’s strengths.

“They played both Shakia and Jasmine [Watson] very well today,” Dawley said. “They threw a couple doubles at her and made her make a move in situations instead of allowing her room for her to make a strong drive to the net. They are a scrappy team that can adjust and score in different areas.”

Dawley also commented on how teams are now really starting to study Robinson a lot more closely and are really shaping their defenses to contain her on the inside game.

The only real consistent sparks to the team’s offensive play, Zullo and Mosgrove performed well against a suffocating Bearcat defense.

Zullo had another strong performance from beyond the arc, scoring on five of nine three point attempts. She would end the night with 17 points and eight defensive rebounds in her 40 minutes of play.

Mosgrove also had a good showing at the Mullins Center, as she scored 13 points and racked up nine rebounds in her 34 minutes on the floor.

As far as their value to the team, Dawley made clear how important the duo were to the progression of the team’s game.

“They are the mainstay of our offense,” Dawley said.  “They have to make the big shots for us when we need them most. Most of our players score in hot and cold spurts, but they [Zullo and Mosgrove] score consistently every game.”

This game marks the second game back for Jasmine Watson, and her presence has been felt on both ends of the court.

“She has impacted us both positively and negatively in coming back,” Dawley said. “She has impacted us positively on the defense with both her size and her abilities.  But, she has had a negative impact on our offense. We have to adjust our transition with her presence because we have been playing without her until this point in the season, and now we have to incorporate her into the game plan.”

At the game’s end, UMass finished with 19-for-51 shooting (37.3 percent), 6-for-20 from beyond the arc (30 percent) and 8-for-13 (61.5 percent) at the charity stripe. The Bearcats finished 20-for-57 shooting (35.1 percent), 4-for-18 (22.2 percent) from three and 14-for-22 (63.6 percent) at the free throw line.

David Martin can be reached at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *