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 start hot, but lose 5 of final 6 over break

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian
Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

In its nine games since taking final exams, the Massachusetts women’s basketball team have won four and has gotten off to a 1-3 start in Atlantic 10 conference play. The Minutewomen’s overall record now stands at 6-13.

Coming up short in conference play

In the annual Field Trip Day at the Mullins Center on Jan. 18, the Minutewomen couldn’t overcome an early deficit against Dayton as they fell, 80-55.

Juniors Shakia Robinson and Jasmine Watson led the way with 22 and 14 points, respectively, but the rest of the team could only muster 6-for-30 shooting as it was blown out of its gym.

Freshman Emily Mital earned her first career start in relief of sixth-year senior Megan Zullo, and recorded seven rebounds and three assists. Zullo, who was out with an illness, ended her streak of 48 consecutive starts.

Cassie Sant led the way for the Flyers with 17 points.

It was the Minutewomen’s second loss at the Mullins Center in five days. On Jan. 14, Watson recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds, but it was not enough as the Minutewomen lost to Richmond (14-3, 2-1 A-10), 73-54.

UMass couldn’t overcome the Spiders’ hot shooting, as they went 45 percent from the field and converted on eight 3-pointers to come up with the win. Four different Richmond players scored in double figures.

Backing up Watson’s big scoring night was Carolann Cloutier, who finished with eight points and six rebounds in defeat.
At Rhode Island (1-17, 0-3 A-10) on Jan. 11, UMass earned its first conference win with a 46-39 victory. It was the first time the Minutewomen have held an opponent to under 40 points since 2005. Zullo led the way for UMass on offense as she poured in a season-high 20 points.

Three losses in a row

In the A-10 opener on Jan. 7 against Saint Joseph’s (11-5, 1-1 A-10), UMass could not match the Hawks’ hot shooting and eventually fell, 86-58. SJU shot 33-for-66 from the field and 8-for-16 from beyond the arc. Freshman Kim Pierre-Louis was impressive for the Minutewomen as she totaled 14 points in just 16 minutes of action.

Four days earlier, in the non-conference finale against Harvard, the Minutewomen got off to a slow start and could not recover, eventually falling to the Crimson, 68-47. Robinson and Watson combined to score 32 of the 47 points for UMass.
Although UMass started its Dec. 29 game at Virginia hot from beyond the arc, hitting six of its first nine attempts, the shooting would eventually go cold. The Minutewomen went 0-for-9 for the rest of the game. Leading the way in the 53-38 loss was senior Emillie Teuscher with 11 points. Freshman Millie Niggeling also finished with a career-high seven points off the bench.

UM starts break with hot streak

Winter break began with a string of three wins in a row, as UMass defeated Binghamton and Siena in relatively close games, then defeated Elon by a 20-point margin in the University of Virginia Cavalier Classic.

The Minutewomen strung together their third win in a row with a 76-56 victory over Elon as part of the University of Virginia Cavalier Classic.

Zullo led the way for UMass, scoring all of her 19 points in the first half, hitting five 3-pointers and adding eight assists. For the game, the Minutewomen were 9-for-14 (64.3 percent) from beyond the arc.

Three other players notched double digit totals in points. Robinson had 16, while Teuscher and Watson added 15 apiece. Cloutier had a solid day running the point, finishing with seven points, seven assists and five boards.

A close 58-53 win at Siena on Dec. 21 marked the 500th victory in the history of UMass’ program.

Leading the charge in the game was Teuscher and Megan Zullo, who each totaled 14 points. Zullo also did a solid job distributing the ball as she ended up with five assists. Her contribution extended to the defensive side of the floor as well as she notched four steals. Watson also came up big, gathering 12 boards and tallying 10 points in what was her 12th career double-double.

While the overall shooting percentage wasn’t impressive, UMass consistently hit shots from beyond the arc, going 7-for-14. The Minutewomen held the Saints to 4-for-14 shooting from 3-point range.

In a 64-55 win at Binghamton on Dec. 19, the Minutewomen spread the ball around, as four players reached double figures. Watson and Teuscher led the way with 16 and 13 points respectively, while Cloutier and Robinson chipped in with 10 points a piece. Both Watson and Robinson were a rebound shy of a double-double.

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


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