UMass fought back from down 20 but lose in overtime to BC

A powerful third quarter for the Minutewomen couldn’t make up for a slow first half

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Nina Walat/Daily Collegian

By Lulu Kesin, Collegian Staff

The strong second half performance by the Massachusetts women’s basketball team wasn’t enough to secure the win as they fell 90-82 in overtime to Boston College on Sunday afternoon.

While lack of execution in overtime may have let the win slip away from the Minutewomen, UMass’ (1-1) performance in the second half spoke volumes about the team.

“It tells us a lot about our fight, our character,” head coach Tory Verdi said of his team’s impressive third quarter comeback. “I’m really proud of our team, we stayed with it. We didn’t play our best basketball the first 20 minutes of the game. We challenged them at halftime, and they came out and answered.”

Coming off a big 82-54 win against Bryant on Wednesday, the Minutewomen had a rocky first half. After a dominant first-quarter run by the Eagles’ (2-0), UMass found itself down by 15 heading into the second frame.

Senior captain Sam Breen scored 10 of the Minutewomen’s 15 first quarter points but early foul trouble limited her minutes.

Sophomore guard Sydney Taylor’s strong offensive presence late in the second quarter cut the lead to just 13 at the end of the half, but adjustments made at halftime was the turning point for UMass.

“We started going zone just to change the tempo of the game,” Verdi said. “We did a great job of identifying where the shooters are and moving around in it. We just tried to take them out of the flow they were already in and we were pretty successful in it.”

The energetic spark at the start of the half for UMass held the Eagles to just nine points in the third quarter and forced seven turnovers. With junior Desiree Oliver’s late third quarter jumper, UMass took the lead for the first time since the first two minutes of the game.

From there, the remainder of the game was a battle of trading baskets.

Despite her limited minutes however, Breen capitalized on the UMass’ strong third quarter comeback, scoring 13 points in the fourth quarter despite having just one foul left to give.

A strong offensive performance by the senior captain along with another clutch shot by Oliver had the game tied at 77 with just under a minute to play. After a charge drawn by senior captain Maddie Sims, the Minutewomen had the ball with 30 seconds to go.

“We had an opportunity to win the basketball game,” Verdi said. “We executed down the stretch, we had a great look and the three from Mayo was right on point. When it left her hand, I thought it was good.”

The missed 3-pointer from standout freshman Ber’Nyah Mayo brought the game into overtime, but the Minutewomen fell apart in the extra five minutes of play.

“Lack of execution, turning the ball over and giving points up on the opposite end, it kind of got away from us,” Verdi said of the final minutes. A powerful 13-point run at the start of overtime secured the win for the Eagles.

A layup from Mayo with 30 seconds left was the first basket for UMass in overtime. Breen added an and one layup with seconds left in the game to finish with a career high 31 points in the loss.

The Minutewomen fall to 1-1. They turn their attention to New Hampshire on Dec. 10.

Lulu Kesin can be reached at [email protected]