Makennah White serves as an offensive bright spot in 60-46 loss to URI

White finishes with 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting

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Maya Geer/ Daily Collegian

By James DiLuca, Collegian Staff

On a night where the Massachusetts women’s basketball team’s leading scorers were struggling, forward Makennah White provided a much-needed bright spot on the offensive end of the floor for the Minutewomen, scoring 12 points. White’s 12 points tied her season high.

Sam Breen and Sydney Taylor who both came into tonight’s contest against URI (16-3, 6-0 Atlantic 10) averaging over 15 points per game had difficulty scoring against URI’s frenetic defense.

Breen was held to six points on 3-12 shooting and Taylor finished with five points going 2-10 from the field.

Destiney Philoxy, who averages 11.6 points per game on the season also struggled with her shot, as she only connected on two of her 10 attempts.

“We can’t have our starters go 2-10, 0-1,… 3-12” said UMass head coach Tory Verdi. “We can’t have those numbers, we got to be better.”

White’s performance showcased her offensive versatility as she was able to score in a variety of ways whether it be off a perimeter jumper or a jump hook. White’s play against a talented URI team could be enough to get her back in the starting lineup. White began the season as a starter but lost the job to Angelique Ngalakulondi. White now typically serves as the teams sixth man as she usually is one of the first players off the bench.

Ngalakulondi is averaging 3.8 points and three rebounds a game throughout UMass’s past four contests. Ngalakulondi has struggled in conference play thus far likely due to the fact that UMass is going up against teams that have a great deal of size and length.

In Wednesday’s game, White checked in for Ngalakulondi with around five minutes to go in the first quarter and got to work quickly scoring within the first two minutes she was on the floor. The forward was able to showcase her outside shot as Ber’Nyah Mayo set up White’s first basket which came in the form of an 18-foot jumper near the top of the key.

Then with time in the first quarter winding down White displayed her ability to score in the post as she nailed a righty jump hook with just one second to go.

In White’s first six minutes of play she recorded six points, however UMass was not able to ride the hot hand of White as her touches inside decreased as the game went on. To go along with her 12 points, White had two rebounds and one steal.

“We were trying to iso [White] in the post, and try and have her take it at [Emmanuelle] Tahane and get her in foul trouble which never happened,” Verd said. “[White] has the ability to score with her back to the basket and she was getting those touches… We wanted to get her the ball inside as much as we could.”

With this loss the Minutewomen now move to 3-3 in conference play and now currently sit at 5th in the A-10.

“It’s a long season, you have your highs and your lows,” White said. “We’ll go back to work tomorrow, go back to the drawing board to figure out what we need to do to be better”

The Minutewomen’s next game will be a road tilt against Saint Joesph’s on Saturday at 2 p.m.

James DiLuca can be reached at [email protected].