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

Sluggish offense hurts UMass in 70-52 loss to George Mason

Minutewomen outscored in every quarter
Jon Asgeirsson

The up and down season continues for the Massachusetts women’s basketball team, as the Minutewomen suffered a tough 70-52 loss to George Mason on Wednesday afternoon.

UMass (10-8, 2-2 Atlantic 10) struggled to get anything going on the offensive side of the ball, outscored in every quarter by a George Mason (9-8, 1-3 A-10) team looking to turn around its season. The Patriots surely made a statement in this game, as they played with energy and passion from opening tip to the final horn.

“I thought we got outworked for 40 minutes,” UMass coach Tory Verdi said. “George Mason came in and they did a great job. They out-competed us. It absolutely looked like they wanted it more, and they did want it more. That’s disappointing on our part.”

UMass seemed sluggish on offense throughout the entire game, failing to string together the run they needed to bring themselves back after falling behind in the first quarter. Defensively, the Patriots were fantastic, forcing UMass to be passive and continuously switching, stifling the offense of a UMass team that was failing to punish them with outside shots.

“They did a great job of switching everything,” said Verdi. “But regardless of who they switched and all of their switches, we didn’t do a good job of attacking the paint. We have guards who now have forwards on them and for whatever reason, we’re making passes instead of attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line.”

George Mason came out of the gate playing with a feverish energy that seemed to resonate with every player on the court. Led by the aggressive and fearless play of sophomore guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary, who finished the game with 22 points, five rebounds, and five assists, the Patriots started playing frenetically and never looked back.

Shots just weren’t falling for UMass. The team shot a putrid 35 percent from the field and their top three scorers combined for an appalling 8-26 overall. The lone bright spot for the Minutewomen was junior guard Vashnie Perry, who led the team with 13 points and played aggressively on both ends of the court.

“We need our best players to step up and knock down shots at tough times,” said Verdi when asked what contributed to the shooting woes. “That did not happen here today. We got point-blank layups and our post players need to a better job of finishing around the rim. We can’t miss wide-open layups and we do. They’re like turnovers. I thought offensively we turned the ball over on fast break opportunities. All those empty possessions added up and gave the ball right back to them. [George Mason] did a great job of executing offensively and being systematic and we weren’t that here today.”

The Minutewomen will look to bounce back Sunday when they travel to North Carolina to play Davidson as A-10 play continues.

Javier Melo can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @JMeloSports.

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