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

UMass women’s basketball wins third straight in victory over Davidson


(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)
(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

Down a single point with under a minute to go against Davidson College on Sunday, the Massachusetts women’s basketball team needed someone to step up and make a shot.

Most teams wouldn’t trust someone who was previously 0-for-10 from the field with that responsibility, but that’s exactly what UMass did.

Freshman Bria Stallworth saw her opening from 3-point range with 34 seconds left and made it count, making the game-winning 3-pointer for the Minutewomen as they took down the Wildcats 66-62 Sunday afternoon at Belk Arena.

UMass (9-17, 3-11 Atlantic 10) coach Sharon Dawley was impressed with her young guard’s perseverance.

“That’s what’s so great about (Bria) and our players,” Dawley said. “When they’re open they have the guts to shoot it. They’re not thinking ‘I missed 10.’ She might have been frustrated in the game, but when great shooters are open they are going to take that shot.”

The Minutewomen were led offensively by sophomore guard Cierra Dillard, who had 23 points, her third straight 20-point game and eighth time this season she’s reached the mark. Sophomore forward Alyssa Lawrence also chipped in 13 points and five rebounds for UMass in 18 minutes of play.

But it was Rashida Timbilla who filled up the stat sheet, scoring 12 points, pulling down nine rebounds and adding six assists.

The senior forward now has 973 career rebounds as she closes in on the 1,000-rebound milestone. Only one UMass player (Jennifer Butler – 1,328) has ever crossed that threshold.

Dawley had nothing but good things to say about her captain.

“She refused to let us lose today,” Dawley said. “She was going to do whatever it took to help us win today. She was determined to give us a spark when we were struggling on offense. That is what a veteran captain does on the road.”

Davidson (11-16, 5-9 A-10) struggled mightily in the first half, shooting only 25 percent from the field. The Wildcats did turn the game around with their play in the second half, especially on the offensive end, outscoring UMass 22-14 in the third quarter.

Davidson was led by senior forward Dakota Dukes, who posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. It also saw a strong performance from sophomore forward Mackenzie Latt, who had 12 points.

Senior forward Hannah Early was stifled by the defense of Timbilla in the game, only putting up five points. UMass outscored the Wildcats 36-22 in the paint.

“Our post players have come up big for us lately, so it’s definitely been a focus,” Dawley said. “Early in the year we were scoring mainly on the perimeter, but now that we have our bigs playing well, it has made our offensive attack a lot more balanced. We’re looking for the bigs to continue to step up.”

With the win, the Minutewomen extended their win streak to three games. Dawley believes the team is peaking at the right time.

“We wished we could have grabbed some wins earlier on, but we were playing good basketball and coming up short,” Dawley said. “I credit the girls for their work to get better and better over the last few weeks because it has been huge. I think we have a lot more basketball to play and hopefully a run in the A-10 tournament.”

Adam Aucoin can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @aaucoin34.

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