Minutewomen come back before falling to Bonnies

By Michael Wood

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After trailing St. Bonaventure by 12 points in the first half, the Massachusetts women’s basketball team fought back to take a two-point lead late in the game, but couldn’t hold on, as the Bonnies recovered and defeated UMass, 62-51, on Saturday.

Senior Cerie Mosgrove, who has been playing extremely well of late, tallied her fifth double-double of the season, pouring in 18 points and tying a career high with 11 rebounds.

“I thought Cerie, with another double-double, was phenomenal,” UMass head coach Sharon Dawley said in a UMassathletics.com interview. “She’s playing so well. I think we have to find a way to get her a little bit more rest, but she’s doing a great job right now.”

“It’s her rebounding that has really taken over and helped us in games now, and I’m really proud of her efforts,” Dawley added.

The Minutewomen were ahead briefly to start the game, but quickly fell behind, 14-5, after six minutes of play. The Bonnies continued to pull ahead with layups from Doris Ortega and led by nine points at halftime.

The Maroon and White recovered in the second half, shooting 50 percent and making 10 of 16 free throws to cut St. Bonaventure’s lead to four. UMass tied the game at 40 when Mosgrove netted a 3-pointer, and took the lead when she converted on a layup to put her team up by two points.

“It was a great play, a great shot,” Dawley said. “Unfortunately, at that point we gave up some [offensive] boards after that, so we have to mature a lot to be able to make a big shot then get a stop.”

The Bonnies refused to let the Minutewomen’s lead last long, as they went on to outscore  UMass, 18-5, in the rest of the half to hold on for the victory.

UMass’ Jasmine Watson, last season’s Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, tallied 10 points and eight rebounds, Emilie Teuscher scored 10 and senior Megan Zullo recorded six assists and three points for the Minutewomen.

For St. Bonaventure, Megan Van Tatenhove had a double-double of her own, leading the attack with 20 points, 13 rebounds and six steals. Cara Gustafson added 12 points and seven boards, while Alaina Walker contributed 11 points and six rebounds.

St. Bonaventure shot 41 percent from the floor, made 26 percent of its 3-pointers and converted almost 80 percent of their attempts at the charity stripe. The team also forced 17 turnovers, 11 of which were steals, and blocked three shots.

The Minutewomen will return to Amherst for two games this week when they take on Duquesne Wednesday and Charlotte Saturday. Coach Dawley said that after a few games on the road, she’s happy to be back at home for a little while, so the team can practice and play on their home floor.

“[Not traveling] is a little less stress[ful] on the girls,” Dawley said. “It’s good to practice and play in one spot for a solid week.”

Michael Wood can be reached at [email protected]