The Massachusetts women’s basketball team couldn’t overcome a 23-0 run by Marist in the second half, falling 88-60 to the Red Foxes.
The Minutewomen (8-5) got off to an early lead in the game, leading 19-14 at the end of the first quarter. Nearing the end of the first half, UMass and Marist were neck and neck, with the Minutewomen trailing by just three heading into the halftime break.
After halftime, the Red Foxes went on a lengthy 23-0 run that gave them a large lead and put them in complete control of the game. UMass fell victim to a 37-9 scoring deficit within the third quarter, where it shot only 10 percent from the field.
“We didn’t play hard,” UMass coach Tory Verdi said. “That’s the bottom line. You can say we weren’t systematic, you can say we didn’t do certain things but when you don’t play hard and you don’t play with effort, then you’re going to breakdown, and that’s the part that’s disappointing.”
The loss comes off an eight-day break between games, which included final exams. However, Verdi does not believe that was necessarily the case for the loss.
The Minutewomen shot only 28.8 percent from the field in the game compared to Marist’s 48.5 percent. UMass still outrebounded Marist 44-42 in the game but gave away 14 turnovers.
“We had a total meltdown and breakdown,” said Verdi. “We can’t allow the lack of our offensive scoring and execution impact us defensively. During my time at the helm here, it’s not acceptable. My expectations are totally different than what we saw here today.”
Marist (4-8) was led largely by the scoring efforts of sophomores Alana Gilmer and Rebekah Hand who scored 20 and 19 points respectively.
The Minutewomen’s scoring leader Hailey Leidel struggled in the loss. The sophomore missed all six of her shots in the game, finishing empty handed on the scoring sheet.
Leidel wasn’t the only UMass player to struggle. Every Minutewomen starter shot worse than 33 percent on the game, with Maggie Mulligan going 3-12 from the field and Bre Hampton-Bey 1-7.
“There’s a lot of things you can control in this game and you can control your effort, regardless of what is happening out there on the floor,” said Verdi.
The loss is the last game the Minutewomen will play this season outside of the Atlantic 10 conference. Following a 3-13 interconference record a season ago, UMass will be looking to improve in A-10 play. The loss to Marist could serve as a wake-up call for the Minutewomen heading into the tougher portion of their schedule.
UMass will head to Pittsburgh to take on Duquesne on New Year’s Eve. Tipoff is at 1 p.m.
Dan McGee can be reached at [email protected]