Flat offensive effort cripples Minutewomen basketball in 75-47 loss to Dayton

The Minutewomen only mustered four points in the second quarter

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Flat offensive effort cripples Minutewomen basketball in 75-47 loss to Dayton

By Dan McGee, Collegian Staff

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Tallying a season low in scoring, the Massachusetts women’s basketball team was unable to defeat the Dayton Flyers on Wednesday, falling 75-47.

UMass (9-7, 1-1 Atlantic 10) were plagued by a poor shooting effort in the game, as the Minutewomen shot just 29.1 percent from the field, including converting on a dreadful 2-for-17 from beyond the arc. The lowlight for the UMass offense came in the second quarter, when they could only muster four points.

“We couldn’t make shots,” said coach Tory Verdi. “We played against a really good team that was bigger, stronger, faster and quicker than us. They did a really good job of hedging on-ball screens. We just weren’t clicking enough on all cylinders offensively.”

Dayton (7-6, 2-0 A-10) took advantage of the shots the UMass defense gave it, shooting a solid 40.4 percent for the game, including 10-for-21 on three-pointers. Each team shot similar marks at the free-throw line, with UMass shooting 72 percent compared to Dayton’s 73 percent at the charity stripe.

The Minutewomen were also dominated on the boards throughout the game, losing the rebounding battle 50-28 to the Flyers. Verdi attributed the rebounding struggles to the plethora of height on the Dayton roster, which includes nine players measuring six-feet or taller.

UMass had no answer for Dayton guards Jayla Scaife and Shakeela Fowler, as the backcourt duo combined for 34 points and seven assists to lead the Flyers scoring attack. Fowler also added nine rebounds, putting her just short of a double-double.

On the positive side, UMass was able to control the turnover battle in the game, forcing 11 steals and blocking three shots, compared to only five steals and zero blocks for the Flyers.

In the final quarter, the Minutewomen showed some prowess on the defensive end, not allowing a Flyer field goal over the final 6:17 of game time.

“I thought the group that was in there toward the end did a great job,” said Verdi. “They went in there trying to just create something and I thought they did a great job of pressing the ball and turning them over.”

Among the bright spots for the Minutewomen was the play of sophomore guard Bre Hampton-Bey. Hampton-Bey lead the scoring effort for the Minutewomen, tallying a team-high 17 points on 5-for-11 shooting. She also added three steals in the losing effort.

After a tough loss to one of the better teams in the Atlantic-10 conference, Verdi knows his team needs to move on from the loss quickly.

“Our next game is the biggest game of the year,” said Verdi. “That’s how we have to approach it. We have to get back to what we’re doing and we have to allow this game to motivate us and to get excited. But offensively, we have to do a better job of being ready shooters, and we have to knock down shots when they’re available to us.”

The Minutewomen will look to rebound from the loss on Sunday versus La Salle. Tip-off against the Explorers is set for 2 p.m. from Philadelphia.

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