Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s basketball falls to Monmouth, 74-62

Minutewomen lose their fourth straight contest
Kalina Kornacki
Daily Collegian (2023)

The Massachusetts women’s basketball team lost to the Monmouth Hawks 74-62 on Sunday. Once again, the Minutewomen (1-4) failed to get off to a good start and found themselves fighting back late.

Monmouth (2-2) came out on fire, steadily controlling the game on the offensive and defensive sides of the floor, forcing UMass to shoot just 3-18 from the field, opening the game with a 24-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Minutewomen held a steady offensive barrage while charging back at the Hawks, outscoring them in both the second and third quarters finding themselves down just four at the start of the fourth quarter. 40 seconds into the fourth, Bre Bellamy hit a 3-pointer, UMass forced a turnover and Lilly Taulelei hit a turnaround jumper in the post to put the Minutewomen down just one point, paving the way for Jermany Mapp to hit the go-ahead 3-point bucket, giving UMass its first lead of the ballgame. However, from then on it was all Monmouth, outscoring the Minutewomen and leading a 9-0 run that squashed their hopes of a comeback.

“Tough one to swallow for our team. Fought back, had opportunities … just couldn’t execute on the offensive end or defensive end of the floor,” head coach Mike Leflar said. “As I just shared with our team, I am proud of their fight, and I’m never not going to be proud of their fight … because we’ve gotten off to really tough starts in three of our last four games and the fight is there, but we have to get off to better starts.”

Leading the way for the Minutewomen was stellar play from the frontcourt of Bellamy, Stefanie Kulesza and Taulelei combining for 40 of the 62 total points. Kulesza had a career high 19 points.

“After our Northeastern game, as we start to figure out an identity, I thought that the post would do … work in terms of our scoring. They would be the ones that would be consistently night in and night out putting points on the board for us. I’m glad that [the frontcourt] did that again [Sunday],”  Leflar said.

UMass shot just 37.9 percent from the field. It hasn’t shot over 40 percent in a losing contest this season. Taulelei scored her highest point total in a Minutewomen uniform with eight points as well as career highs in rebounds and assists with three and two respectively. Leading the way in the win for the Hawks was Jania Hall and Ariana Vanderhoop each scoring 16 points and Kaci Donovan adding 13 herself.

“For me, it’s the controllables. How can we get better? We’ll practice in Cancun on Tuesday and Wednesday. It’ll be just two days of helping us get better, helping us run our stuff better and get more organized and on the same page. I think that’s all we can control,” Leflar said about getting back on track.

The Minutewomen now turn their attention to the Cancun Challenge where they play three games in three days over the Thanksgiving holiday. First up is Green Bay on Thursday, Nov. 23 with tip off set for 1:30 p.m.

Owen Shelffo can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @owen_shelffo

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