Women’s basketball falls in tight contest versus St. Bonaventure

Two possessions in final 15 seconds netted UMass zero points

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Women’s basketball falls in tight contest versus St. Bonaventure

By Noah Bortle, Collegian Staff

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Down by just one point with 15 seconds remaining, the Massachusetts women’s basketball team had two chances to take the lead and failed to capitalize, falling 64-63 to St. Bonaventure.

The Minutewomen (11-9, 3-3 A-10) had the ball with 15 seconds left due to a drawn charge by Bre Hampton-Bey. Hampton-Bey also took the shot on the first of UMass’ two possessions in the final seconds, getting to the rim but unable to get her layup attempt to drop as she collided with a Bonnie defender.

Following a foul, St. Bonaventure (5-14, 2-4 A-10) proceeded to miss both free throws, giving the Minutewomen one last chance with five seconds on the clock. However, Hampton-Bey never got a shot off, as the clock expired without an attempt to win the game.

“We had our opportunities tonight,” head coach Tory Verdi said. “The last two possessions were not the reasons we lost.”

Despite playing from behind for the final stretch of the game, the Minutewomen had built themselves a comfortable lead in the second half, leading by as many as eight points.

Freshman point guard Destiney Philoxy sparked the offense in the second half, scoring 12 points on the afternoon. Three of Philoxy’s 12 points came midway through the fourth quarter, when she hit a layup through contact and drained the ensuing free throw to give UMass a six-point lead with 6:23 remaining.

“This game was a roller coaster to me,” Philoxy said. “We were good, then we were bad. We got up, we got in over our heads, we played bad defense, we thought the game was in our hands. We needed to take it and we didn’t go out and take it.”

After a strong first quarter, the Minutewomen found themselves struggling in the second frame. UMass headed into the half down four points but trailed by as many as nine at times in the second quarter.

“We missed a lot of layups and high percentage shots,” Verdi said. “That’s where it started, and we didn’t compete for the full 40 minutes.”

St. Bonaventure guard Dajah Logan caused the Minutewomen problems all afternoon. The junior was on fire from behind the arc, knocking down four of her six attempts from long range. Her 16 points were good enough to tie her for a team-high with Mckenna Maycock.

Hailey Leidel moved further up the UMass all-time scoring list with her 17 points against the Bonnies. She now sits at 11th all-time.

“It’s not something that I keep track of,” Leidel said of her accomplishment. “It is a goal of mine though to end up in at least the top five, it’d be cool to end up at one.”

Leidel had a chance to give the Minutewomen a lead with 40 seconds remaining in the game. The junior spun towards the hoop, laying the ball through the hoop for what appeared to be her 18th and 19th points of the game. However, refs waived the basket off, calling a travel instead. The bucket would have put the Minutewomen up one late in the contest.

“It sucks, we lost,” Leidel said, “We were just inconsistent, which is one of our main issues. We weren’t consistent on offense and we weren’t executing, and on defense we were getting stops on and off.”

UMass mustered only 12 fourth quarter points, allowing St. Bonaventure back into a game that the Minutewomen controlled for most of the second half.

“They played really good defense at the end,” Leidel said.

Verdi echoed that sentiment, saying, “[St. Bonaventure] did a great job. Give them credit. They were desperate for a win and it showed.”

The Minutewomen take the floor again on the road Wednesday at VCU. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. in Richmond.

Noah Bortle can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @noah_bortle.