Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s basketball’s defense fails to stop impressive Dayton team in 78-49 route

Minutewomen can’t halt Flyers as Dayton rolls to 13th straight win

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(Amelia Shaw/Daily Collegian)

(Amelia Shaw/Daily Collegian)

(Amelia Shaw/Daily Collegian)

By Ryan Beaton, Collegian Correspondent

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The Massachusetts women’s basketball team suffered a blowout 78-49 loss against Dayton Wednesday night, giving the Flyers their 13th straight win.

UMass (11-13, 3-8 Atlantic 10) couldn’t find its rhythm as Dayton (19-4, 12-0 A-10) controlled the game for the majority of the contest.

Freshman Bre Hampton-Bey posted a team-leading 14 points on the night. Hampton-Bey came close to recording a double-double as she contributed eight rebounds for the Minutewomen.

“There were two things,” said coach Tory Verdi when asked about his team’s rebounding. “Size was [the] number one [issue] and number two was our inability to find a body and box out and drive people back. We allowed them second chance opportunities. We allowed them to do whatever they wanted to do tonight.”

Dayton came out of the gate strong, jumping to a quick 17-5 lead in the first six minutes of the game that included a 10-point run for the Flyers. They would continue to control the scoring, going on multiple seven-point runs.

“I thought we rushed shots, we weren’t systematic, we didn’t play our style,” said Verdi. “We did not play well today. We’ll give Dayton credit; there’s a reason why they’re the number one team in our conference. They’re bigger than us, stronger than us.”

The Flyers’ perimeter shooting game was key, as they converted 10 of their 25 3-point attempts. Junior guard Lauren Cannatelli led Dayton with 26 points on the night, shooting 7-for-15 from behind the three-point arc.

“For one, [we need to] compete,” said Verdi on finding other ways to win. “Just because you are struggling offensively doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to impact the game. We have to figure that part out when things aren’t going well. You can’t just take yourself out of the game. That’s not who we want to be. It goes back to our consistency on both sides of the ball.”

The Minutewomen lost the battle of the boards 56-41 as Dayton’s rebounding leader of the night JaVonna Layfield (17) bested UMass’ Maggie Mulligan (14).

“Adversity brings that out in you,” Verdi said of facing a great team. “We got crushed on the boards and they would make open shots. They’re a very good basketball team. There’s a reason why they’re undefeated. There’s a reason they’ve beaten teams in our conference by 50-plus points per game. We did not do the little things. We got out-toughed, outworked, and outplayed.”

Dayton outworked UMass 25-10 in second chance points and led points in the paint as well, 34-24. The Minutewomen struggled playing zone defense and eventually switched to man-to-man as part of their defensive game plan.

“We played man primarily in the majority of the second half,” said Verdi. “Regardless of what we did, whether it was man or zone, you’ve got to play really, really hard. Again, I don’t think we did a very good job. We weren’t consistent at all.”

Sophomore guard Vashnie Perry grinded out four points and a steal contributing off the bench. Perry was part of a fourth quarter jolt that sent the Minutewomen on a quick five-point run to slightly narrow the gap.

“She came in and worked really, really hard,” said Verdi on Perry’s performance. “I thought she competed [well] and hopefully that will continue.”

UMass will look for redemption on Sunday as they will travel to Fairfax, Virginia to square off against George Mason.

Ryan Beaton can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @ry_beaton.

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