UMass wins big against George Mason, 87-58

Minutewomen score 30 points in the third quarter


Maya Geer/ Daily Collegian

By James DiLuca, Collegian Staff

The Massachusetts women’s basketball team won its fourth straight game Friday afternoon with a dominant performance against George Mason across both ends of the floor culminating in an 87-58 victory.

With six minutes to go the second quarter the Minutewomen (19-5, 7-3 Atlantic 10) held a 10 point lead against the Patriots (8-14, 2-8 A-10). After the next two minutes saw neither team score, UMass broke the drought when Sydney Taylor drove into the lane and got a contested floater to fall in.

Following the Taylor basket, Sam Breen intercepted a Paula Suarez pass and found Alexzeya Brooks in transition for an easy layup.

That sequence ignited the Minutewomen as they finished out the half on a 13-4 run. In the third quarter UMass blew the game wide open and took a 31-point lead into the final frame.

“Overall, I’m really proud of our effort,” UMass head coach Tory Verdi said after the game. “In the third period we talked about forcing [George Mason] to quit, and [George Mason] did that, and we scored 30 points in the third period and the game was over at that point.”

In the third quarter Sydney Taylor caught fire from deep and knocked down five threes. Taylor scored a game high 27 points, 17 of which came in the third frame. On the day Taylor hit six threes which tied her career high.

The Minutewomen received a breakout performance from reserve guard Alexzeya Brooks. Prior to Friday’s game the most minutes Brooks had seen in a game was eight. Brooks played 23 minutes Friday and delivered a career high 11 points off the bench.

“It’s going to grow my confidence,” Brooks said of her performance. “On the court [Taylor], [Destiny Philoxy], and all them, they help me so I know what to do … I think knowing the plays more will help me to get my shot off or affect things on the defensive side.”

Sam Breen got double-double No. 15 of her season as she finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds, four  assists, and three steals.

Philoxy stuffed the stat sheet for the Minutewomen, as she finished with six points, 10 assists, six rebounds and four steals. Philoxy finished the game with a 10-to-1 assist to turnover ratio and was instrumental in pushing the ball in transition.

With 5:38 to go in the first quarter Philoxy grabbed the rebound off a missed George Mason shot and fired the ball downcourt to Angelique Ngalakulondi for an easy layup.

A similar play occurred early in the second where Philoxy looked ahead in transition and found Sam Breen for another easy basket.

Makennah White had a career high 13 points on 6-10 shooting to go along with five rebounds.

“She established herself in the paint, and was physical, and was able to get position and score around the basket…She’s just scratching the surface,” said Verdi of White. “She’s a post player who can face up and shoot it. The is going to be a maturation process and I just can’t wait to see the player that she’s going to become down the road.”

George Mason was led on the offensive end by Tamia Lawhorne and Amaya Scott. Lawhorne finished with 19 point and Scott added 15.

The Minutewomen will remain in Amherst to face off against Duquesne and celebrate senior day on Sunday. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m. from the Mullins Center.

James DiLuca can be reached at [email protected]