A number of Minutewomen hope to return to the court soon as UMass preps for UNH

UMass looks to return players to help depth

Collegian+File+Photo

Collegian File Photo

By Freeman Alfano, Collegian Staff

  1. Sophomore center Maeve Donnelly

The team’s leading shot blocker—by a wide margin—and starting center from last season has still yet to play a game for the Minutewomen this season, but that could change soon. Head coach Tory Verdi said Donnelly is “day-to-day” as she continues to work her way out of concussion protocol. Donnelly’s return would be a welcome one to a team that has been forced to play small all season, as her 6-foot-5 height and 6-foot-8 wingspan are both the largest the team.

  1. Junior guard Madison Lowery

The sharpshooter off the bench missed yesterday’s game against URI due to an ankle sprain, which was her first scratch of the season. Despite receiving tremendous output from their starting guards in Tuesday’s win, Destiney Philoxy and Ber’nyah Mayo were forced to play 37 and 38 minutes, respectively, due to Lowery’s absence. Verdi said Lowery is also considered day-to-day at this point and could return in the near future.

  1. Transfer guard Desiree Oliver

In a game in which the starting guards rested for so little, it was surprising to see former Temple product Desiree Oliver on the court for just 14 minutes, especially considering she was averaging nearly 30 minutes per game before yesterday’s win. Verdi explained that the former top-100 recruit is returning to form from an injury of her own, and that he is optimistic she will have a bigger role as the season progresses.

“Hopefully she can get back to where she’s 100 percent and healthy and playing at the level that she’s capable of playing [at],” Verdi said of Oliver and her return to full strength.

The Minutewomen look to notch their third straight victory in Durham Thursday night against the Wildcats. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Freeman Alfano can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @freemanalfano.