Cold shooting night haunts UMass women’s hoops in loss to BU

By Joey Saade

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Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian

It was a cold night in Amherst on Wednesday both outside – where the weather reached below freezing temperatures – and inside the Mullins Center, where the Massachusetts women’s basketball team’s shooting performance wasn’t much different.

The Minutewomen couldn’t convert on their last two 3-point attempts in the final 20 seconds of a back-and-forth 66-63 loss to Boston University.

After BU forward Rashidat Agboola’s layup with 33 seconds left put the Terriers up 66-63, the Minutewomen’s Emily Mital missed a potential game-tying 3-point attempt from the top of the key.

After Whitney Turney missed two free throws with 12 seconds left that could’ve sealed the deal for the Terriers, UMass still had one last chance.

The Minutewomen decided not to call a timeout after Turney’s second miss and failed to execute the right play as time ran out, ending the game with a heavily contested Jasmine Harris 3-pointer that fell well short.

“We had a different 3-point play called, but ended up passing and going to the wrong side,” UMass coach Sharon Dawley said. “It kind of fell apart.”

Despite holding the Terriers to only 32 percent shooting, UMass had a tough time defending Agboola, who led all scorers with 21 points along with eight rebounds. In a game that featured 29 fouls called on both teams, Dawley believed the slow pace of the game had an effect on the game.

“We got killed on the same play over and over again, it was hard to know how we could defend the screen with the tempo of the game,” Dawley said. “There was a little confusion of when we’re allowed to bump and not bump.

“It’s hard for the girls because it was a whole different game than our last game. Tonight there was no up and back without a break in the action.”

Foul trouble to key players Rashida Timbilla and Kim Pierre-Louis played a factor into the Minutewomen’s offensive struggles. Despite only playing 21 minutes, Pierre-Louis poured in a team-high 15 points and added seven rebounds. Timbilla chipped in with nine points and 12 rebounds in only 27 minutes of action.

Timbilla picked up two early fouls in the second half, forcing Dawley to sit her down. Soon after checking back into the game, Timbilla picked up her third personal foul. Pierre-Louis picked up her fourth personal foul with 16:38 left in the second half, forcing Dawley yet again to sit one of her best offensive players.

“The perfect game plan for us is Rashida and Kim don’t come off the floor, so that plan went right out the window,” Dawley said. “That’s how the foul trouble affected us.”

While only shooting 30 percent from the field for the game doesn’t help their cause, the Minutewomen also failed to capitalize from the free throw line, connecting on only 24 of their 43 attempts.

Joey Saade can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Jsaade1225.