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 recharge over winter break

While it has been a struggle to find its winning ways at the start of the season, the Massachusetts women’s basketball team will have ample time and competition to show what it is really made of.

Over the upcoming winter break, the Minutewomen (2-8) will play nine games. After UMass travels to New York for two games against Binghamton and Siena, UMass will travel to Charlottesville, Va., where they will compete in the UVA Cavalier Classic. UMass will play its first game against Elon and will play either Virginia or Wagner in the second affair.

UMass will then head home to play its last non-conference opponent, Harvard. After a few days off, the Atlantic 10 schedule will begin, starting with St. Joseph’s at home.

Last season, the Minutewomen had a conference record of 3-11, their worst finish since 2003-2004 where they went 2-14.

This season, turnovers have hurt UMass as through its first 10 games, it has averaged just under 18 turnovers a game.

Of the Minutewomen’s eight losses, four of them have been by five points or less. The amount of turnovers a team commits is only magnified when playing in tight games, as there is much less room for error.

Perhaps UMass’ toughest opponent it will face over break will be Richmond (7-2), which currently sits second in the A-10 standings. Most of the Spiders games have been blowouts as five of their seven wins have been by at least 15 points. Neither of their losses were close either, losing to Virginia by 13 and Florida Gulf Coast by 14.

Dayton (5-3) is another team near the top of the A-10 standings. The Flyers have proven that they can put points up on the board, having already gone over 80 points twice and the 90-point mark once.

Another part of the game that the Minutewomen have to work on is the inside game. With two reliable post players in Shakia Robinson and Jasmine Watson, the Minutewomen’s inside scoring should hold a distinct advantage in most games.

So far this season, Robinson and Watson lead the team in scoring, averaging 12.9 and 11.8 points per game, respectively. They both also chip in on the boards with Robinson leading the team at 7.4 rebounds and Watson is right behind her at 6.5 rebounds per game.

In the Minutewomen’s last win against Maine on Sunday afternoon, the duo combined for 18 points and 23 rebounds.

What could make the duo’s post presence even tougher to deal with is if the turnovers were limited. In the game against Maine, the two combined to lose the ball nine times.

Heading into the game against Maine, Robinson led the team in turnovers with 38, a little more than four per game.

UMass’ 3-point shooting could prove beneficial as well. At times the Minutewomen’s range has fallen short, however the combination of wing players Emilie Teuscher and Megan Zullo has been fairly consistent from behind the arc. Both players are shooting over 40 percent for the season.

Heading into the game against Maine, the pair combined to take 106 of the teams 155 three point attempts. No one else had taken 30 attempts, while Teuscher and Zullo have each taken around 50.

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

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