Minutewomen advance to A-10 second round

By Ross Gienieczko

(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)
(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

Led by 22 points from senior forward Kim Pierre-Louis, the Massachusetts women’s basketball team won 55-49 in the first round of the Atlantic 10 tournament against St. Bonaventure on Wednesday in Richmond.

The 13th-seeded Minutewomen used strong defense to hold the 12th-seeded Bonnies to just 31.3 percent shooting, and limited St. Bonaventure to just 20.4 percent from the field in the first half.

It was a slow start offensively for both teams. At halftime, the score stood at 17-15 UMass, and the squads combined for just 10 made field goals. But the Minutewomen (12-17) rebounded to score 38 points in the second half and pull away for the six-point victory.

Though both teams had difficulties shooting, UMass was able to play strong defense and do the little things that helped their victory. The Minutewomen outscored the Bonnies 14-6 in points off turnovers, and led in second chance points 7-2.

Katie Healy led the Bonnies (15-15) with 15 points on 5-7 shooting, and led all players with eight rebounds on the day. Imani Outlaw was the next highest scorer for St. Bonaventure with 10 points. It was the third loss in a row for St. Bonaventure.

Free throw shooting was strong for UMass all afternoon, and helped them clinch the game in the final minute. The Minutewomen went 6-8 from the line in the final 23 seconds of the game to deny the Bonnies a chance to get close.

It was a clutch finish to a back and forth game that saw 10 ties and 11 lead changes.

It was the second win in a row for UMass, after they beat Rhode Island 78-70 in the final game of the regular season. Up next is a second round matchup with Richmond, the No. 5 seed in the tournament. In their previous meeting this season, the Minutewomen were blown out 64-44 on the road. In that game, UMass shot just 32.1 percent from the field.

Tip-off is set for today at 2 p.m. in Richmond.

Ross Gienieczko can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @RossGien.