UMass beats Maine, falls to Providence over weekend

By Michael Counos

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Behind Emilie Teuscher’s career-high 18 points, the Massachusetts women’s basketball team snapped an eight game winless streak on Sunday afternoon as it defeated Maine, 63-54.

UMass (2-8) got out to a quick 7-1 lead and never let up, holding the Black Bears (3-7) to no field goals in the first six minutes, 22 seconds of the game. UMass exploited the frantic Black Bear offense by forcing 12 takeaways in the first half. The Minutewomen went into intermission with a 28-16 lead.

The second half was no different for UMass, beginning the half with a 9-1 run to bring its lead to 20 points. With just over 15 minutes remaining the Minutewomen held their largest lead of the day, 41-19. The Black Bears did outscore UMass, 38-35, in the half, but were not able to cut the deficit to single digits except for when Kelsey Mattice hit a desperation 3-pointer with 27 seconds remaining.

The Minutewomen were just 22-for-61 from the field but took advantage at the free throw line going 11-for-15. UMass was hot from beyond the arc, converting going 8-for-21, while the Black Bears made just two all game. In one of the rare times this season, UMass was out=rebounded, 46-45.

Shakia Robinson corralled a career-best 16 rebounds and scored 10 points, recording the third double-double of her career. With the performance, Robinson became the first UMass player since 2008 to grab at least 15 rebounds in a single game. Redshirt sophomore Carolann Cloutier and guard Megan Zullo both reached double figures with 10 and 11 points, respectively.

For Maine, Ashleigh Roberts was the only player in double figures with 10 points. Rebecca Knight was right behind her with nine points while Danielle Walczak grabbed a team-high eight boards.

UMass knocked off by Providence

The Minutewomen did not fare as well on Friday night when they took on Providence as the Friars knocked off UMass, 66-45, at the Mullins Center.

Unfortunately for the Minutewomen, only three players showed up for their team as Teuscher, Robinson and Watson combined for 15-for-29 shooting while the rest of the squad was held to just 2-for-21 from the field.

Robinson led the team in scoring and rebounding with 15 points and eight boards. Teuscher dropped 12 points and distributed five dimes as Watson contributed with 11 points. For Watson, it was her eighth consecutive game scoring in double figures.

The game got out to an early 5-5 tie and that would be the closest UMass would come. UMass went scoreless in a streak of over five minutes and allowed the Friars to take a 20-point lead. In the second half, UMass couldn’t cut the deficit below 19 points as it lost its eighth straight contest.

“They’re definitely strong inside, I think the presence by [Teya] Wright in the paint, she is definitely quite a presence both defensively and offensively,” said UMass coach Sharon Dawley in a post-game interview.

Teya Wright, the Friars best player on the roster, led Providence with 17 points and 11 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season. Rachel Barnes contributed with 13 points and four rebounds. The Friars also out-rebounded UMass, 43-34.

The pair of weekend games was the last time UMass will play at the Mullins Center before the new year. On Jan. 3, 2012, the Minutewomen return to Mullins to take on Harvard after a four-game road stretch.

Michael Counos can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Counos.