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 loses sixth in a row, falls to Davidson 72-42

Second half woes drag Minutewomen down
Kalina Kornacki
Daily Collegian (2023)

The third quarter proved to make all the difference for the Davidson Wildcats on Wednesday night. With the Massachusetts women’s basketball trailing by nine going into halftime, the Wildcats (14-5, 4-4 Atlantic 10) picked up the pace during the second half of play, going on to catch a conference win over UMass (3-17, 1-7 A-10) 72-42.

This loss is UMass’ sixth in a row, leaving them without a win since a 77-66 victory over Dayton on Jan. 2.

“The only way to get through this is together,” head coach Mike Leflar said.

Elle Sutphin, a preseason A-10 first team selection and Davidson star forward sat the bench Wednesday night with an injury and was joined by teammate Suzi-Rose Deegan who suffered a season ending ACL injury earlier this season. With Davidsons top two leading scorers out on injury, UMass held on for the first half, trailing the Wildcats by just four at multiple times during the first 20 minutes.

Kristin Williams hit her first 3-pointer 2:31 into the second quarter and followed the first deep shot with two more 3-pointers on three consecutive UMass posessions. These nine points took the Minutewomen from being down 21-11 to only being down four, with a score of 21-17. Even with the offensive effort led by Williams, four points was the closest UMass came to taking the lead.

“That’s what the game should feel like,” Leflar said referring to Williams’ 9-0 run. “That kind of intensity, that kind of togetherness. It’s got to be that for forty minutes.”

Williams led the Minutewomen with 13 points. Chinenye Odenigbo followed with nine points and six rebounds, while Alexsia Rose and Lilly Taulelei each had six in the loss.

Davidson took off running after halftime, outscoring UMass 20-8 in the third quarter. Eight of these 20 points came from turnovers, a frequent struggle for the Minutewomen. With 13 turnovers through a full 40 minutes, Davidson capitalized on UMass weakness, putting UMass turnovers back into the basket for 19 total points.

“I was concerned with our effort in the second half,” Leflar said. “And that’s about us, not our opponent.”

Aside from turnovers, the Minuteowmen struggled to defend an experienced Davidson squad. UMass committed 19 personal fouls, giving the Wildcats multiple opportunities at the charity stripe. The wildcats shot 18-22, 81.8 percent, at the line, contributing to the wide lead obtained during the third. On the opposite side of the spectrum, UMass went 7-11 at the line shooting 63.6 percent.

“You can’t make the same mistakes over and over again,” Leflar said in regard to the foul trouble UMass found itself in.

Five Davidson players reached double-digits, and even with offensive threats Sutphin and Deegan out for the conference matchup, the Wildcat offense had no problem putting the ball in the basket. Mallorie Haines led the pack with 15 points, with Maddie Plank following close behind with 14 points and nine rebounds. Charlise Dunn tossed in 10 points and snagged 11 rebounds for a double-double in the win.

The Minutewomen are on the road again for their next matchup, heading to Kingston, Rhode Island where they will face the University of Rhode Island Rams on Saturday Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. The game is available to watch on ESPN+.

Lucy Postera can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @lucypostera

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