UMass women’s basketball suffers first loss of season to Towson, 78-53

The Minutewomen shot only 27 percent for the game


(Katherine Mayo/Daily Collegian)

By Dan McGee, Collegian Staff

In its first road game of the season, the Massachusetts women’s basketball team lost, 78-53, to Towson on Sunday afternoon.

UMass (1-1) fell victim to a particularly poor 27 percent shooting percentage from the field.

“We just got beat at every facet,” said coach Tory Verdi. “From our offensive perspective, we couldn’t score. We only scored nine points in the first period and in the second period. If you look at our lack of offensive production and look at the fact that we turned the ball over 25 times, it led to a lot of points for [Towson], a lot of one-legged layups.”

The Tigers (1-1) came out aggressively on the defensive end. Pressing the Minutewomen all throughout the first half, Towson forced the UMass ballhandlers into committing nine first quarter turnovers and 25 for the game. Coupled with their low shooting percentage throughout the first half, the Minutewomen fell behind 36-18 at halftime.

“You can’t shoot 27 percent,” said Verdi. “You look at all the field goal attempts and see that we can’t have those numbers. We have to be able to make shots, and for whatever reason we weren’t able to knock down shots. Our lack of offensive production with our 25 turnovers hurt us tremendously.

“It’s uncharacteristic of who we were, but you have to give Towson credit,” added Verdi. “They pressured us, and for whatever reason we weren’t able to make them pay for it. They were just ultra-aggressive defensively, offensively they were aggressive.”

Continuously forcing pressure on UMass allowed the Tigers to get good shooting looks throughout the game. By working the ball inside and out, Towson shot a respectable 42.9 percent from the field.

“They did a great job of having a balance of pounding the ball inside and also being able to knock down perimeter shots and beat us in transition,” Verdi added. “We got beat in every facet of the game here today.”

Though they struggled throughout the first half, the Minutewomen were able to recoup going into the second half. During the third quarter, UMass added 21 points, over double of what they scored in the first half.

The Minutewomen’s scoring effort was aided by their ability to get to the free throw line. Though they couldn’t find their shots from the field, UMass got to the free throw line 22 times, making 18 of their attempts. Both captain Hailey Leidel and freshman Asia McCoy shot a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe.

Leading the offense in points for the second straight game, UMass guard Bre Hampton-Bey shot a solid 5-13 from the field, adding four steals in the losing effort.

Though a hefty early season loss isn’t what Verdi wanted out of his team, he’s looking at the bright side of things moving forward.

“The positive of this game is that it’s game two,” said Verdi. “We have 28 more games. We were on the road and we faced adversity. The first five possessions of the game we had four turnovers and you can’t do that. You have to take care of the basketball and I think that hurt us right from the start. We have to be systematic and I think they took us out of everything we wanted to do today.”

The Minutewomen will hope to get back on track next Saturday as they take on Central Connecticut at the Mullins Center.

Dan McGee can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @DMcGeeUMass.