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 look to tame Bobcats to end skid

Alex Mojcher/Collegian
Alex Mojcher/Collegian

The Massachusetts women’s basketball team will travel to Hamden, Conn. to face Quinnipiac Tuesday night in what will be the first of a stretch of three consecutive away games.

UMass (1-4) is coming off of four consecutive losses, with its latest being a close game against Ole Miss on Saturday.

Quinnipiac (3-2) is coming off of three-straight wins, two of which came in the Concord Hilton Classic, where the Bobcats defeated Saint Mary’s in the championship game Saturday.

Two players that could prove difficult to contain for the Minutewomen are Quinnipiac’s Brittany McQuain and Felicia Barron, a forward, guard combination that has consistently put up the best numbers for the Bobcats this season.

McQuain is averaging a double-double, with 13.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game. Barron leads the team in scoring at 15.2 points per game. Based on the amount of shots each player has put up this season, this combination has been the focal point of Quinnipiac’s offense.

Each player has taken no less than 25 more shots than all of their teammates save one; Jasmine Martin, a freshman guard who is averaging 12.8 points per game off the bench this season.

UMass coach Sharon Dawley understands the challenges the Minutewomen will face.

“They’re just very deep, very smart, they play very hard and [they’re] coming off a three [game] win streak,” said Dawley.

While the importance of recognizing the opposition is obvious, Dawley seemed to be more concerned with just how UMass was looking at this point in the season.

“I think right now in this particular part of the season it’s about us and [Monday’s] practice was pretty much firming up what we have to do,” said Dawley. “It almost doesn’t matter who we play right now. We can’t beat ourselves.”

UMass will counter the Bobcats’ attack with two facets of its game that it has harped on all year. Dawley said that the Minutewomen will continue to try to get up and down and use their size and skill advantage down low, which are two things that Dawley expects the team to take advantage of in each game they play.

Another focus for UMass will be on the defensive side of the ball, where Dawley thought the last game showed that the team was taking a step in the right direction.

“There were a couple plays towards the end where basically we forced them into throwing an air ball that they got the possession back and scored,” said Dawley. “Those things are going to happen”

In total, Dawley has been pleased with the effort on that end of the floor and hopes to see more of it down the line.

“I think we played a really good defensive game…but we’re building on just a great effort and great rebounding,” said Dawley.

So far this season, the Minutewomen have out-rebounded their opponents by an average of 41.6 to 39.2 rebounds per game. Twice this season, UMass has totaled 50 rebounds, something the Minutewomen had not done since 2006.

Not only is UMass getting contributions on the boards from low post players like Jasmine Watson and Shakia Robinson, as well as wing player Emilie Teuscher and point guard Carolann Cloutier.

Cloutier, as a redshirt sophomore in her first season with UMass, enters Tuesday’s game against the Bobcats with 5.4 rebounds per game, while Teuscher is averaging 5.0.

In its only previous meeting, UMass defeated Quinnipiac 82-66 in 2009 at the University of Miami Holiday Tournament.

Eric Mansfield can be reached at ea[email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Mansfield.

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