Sydney Taylor leads the Minutewomen past Davidson, 82-61

Taylor poured in 27 points in the blowout victory

By James DiLuca, Collegian Correspondent

Against a red-hot Davidson team riding a 6-game win-streak, the Massachusetts women’s basketball team put together a dominant 82-61 performance led by Sydney Taylor’s career high 27 points on 10 of 15 shooting. Sam Breen added 19 points to go along with guard Destiney Philoxy’s 13 points and 11 assists as every Minutewomen (7-2, 3-1 Atlantic 10) starter reached double digits in scoring. UMass had a stellar day shooting the ball, finishing the game shooting nearly 62 percent from the field and 45 percent from three.

“I was just letting it come to me,” Taylor said. “I know these last two games I didn’t perform as well both offensively and defensively, so I knew I needed to pick that up.”

A huge reason for UMass’ success was their ability to slow down the Wildcats (6-4, 3-1 A-10) from beyond the arc. Coming into the game, Davidson had the 18th ranked 3-point attack in the country as well as the most made threes in the Atlantic 10 with 78 on the year. UMass was able to hold the Wildcats to just 4-15 shooting from three.

“They score by shooting quick threes and going to the basket,” said UMass head coach Tory Verdi. “They get you to breakdown defensively and then they drive, the defense collapses, then they kick it out to open shooters for catch and shoot shots. When you contain the dribble penetration, they weren’t getting those type of looks.”

UMass played frenetic defense throughout, forcing 20 turnovers. Davidson struggled to find a rhythm offensively as its only lead came at the 5:57 mark in the first quarter. The Minutewomen were everywhere on defense, finishing with 14 steals as a team. Breen had four of those and guard Ber’Nyah Mayo put forth an outstanding defensive effort finishing the game with six steals.

“I think it was a collective effort with our whole team,” said Taylor. “Everyone did a great job, we had lot of tips, a lot of steals, and just running in transition, getting those fastbreak points was definitely what we needed.”

Sidelined for the first eight games of the year due to a concussion, center Maeve Donnelly made her season debut scoring three points to go along with two assists and a block in 10 minutes of play. Donnelly is coming off a great freshman year which saw her set the school record for blocked shots in a single season with 76.

“It was great to see her back on the floor,” said Verdi. “She does so much, she does things that you don’t even see on the stat sheet… She helps out a ton and covers a lot of mistakes.”

With Donnelly back in the mix the Minutewomen can look to continue their impressive defensive play as she provides great size and rim protection.

UMass will look to continue their success against Fordham, a team who has won its last four in a row.

Tipoff is scheduled for Sunday at 1:00 p.m. in Amherst.

James DiLuca can be reached at [email protected]