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 collects 15th consecutive loss, fall 59-55 to George Washington

Minutewomen end with zero road wins during 2024 campaign
Matt Skillings
Daily Collegian (2024)

The Massachusetts women’s basketball team fell short on Saturday, losing 59-55 to George Washington University. This game marks the 15th consecutive loss for the Minutewomen (3-26, 1-16 Atlantic 10) who gave their best attempt to capture their first road win of the season.

“I was really pleased with our effort, pleased with how we played and how we moved the basketball,” head coach Mike Leflar said. “I thought it was a lot of steps in the right direction.”

George Washington (11-17, 4-12 A-10) was powered by Kamari Sims and Nya Robertson, and defensive force Mayowa Taiwo, who collected 20 rebounds, her new career high. The Revolutionaries’ ability to capitalize defensively, pulling down rebounds left and right, ultimately sealed the deal, giving Geroge Washington its fourth conference win of the season.

Offensive rebounds were frequent for George Washington, but the Minutewomen failed to cash in during times of need. The Revolutionaries collected 41 total rebounds, 28 defensively and 13 offensively, while holding the Minutewomen to 29 total rebounds. With 15 points accumulated off second-chance plays, rebounds were a crucial focus point between the two teams. UMass had a mere two points from second-chance plays, failing to put the ball in the hoop after a first miss.

“The offensive rebounding and Taiwo having nine of her own [offensive rebounds] hurt, but we certainly did enough on that end of the floor to win the game,” said Leflar.

Down two with 6:45 to go, Alexsia Rose got her chance to tie up the game but missed a jumper. Stefanie Kulesza followed with a 3-point attempt to take the lead, but the ball fell short. Kristin Williams was next up, shooting a midrange jumper with 5:01 left in the fourth, but she also couldn’t connect. Had any of these shots been picked up and put back in, UMass would have been on an even playing field going into the final minutes, with a chance to secure its second A-10 victory.

The Minutewomen had another chance to take the lead with 0:28 to go in the 4th quarter. Down 57-55, Kulesza threw up a jumper but found a lid on the rim once again. A timeout was called by the Revolutionaries, who extended their lead at the free throw line and held UMass to 55 points. Leflar reflected on the last minute of the game, saying he would “love to have the last minute of the game back.”

Sims led George Washington with 16 points, shooting 5-of-11 from the field. Robertson added in 10, and the trio of Taiwo, Asjah Inniss and Sara Lewis each had eight points.

“[Saturday], I thought we played with a lot of effort on the defensive side of the ball and we did enough on that side of the ball to win, but we just didn’t make enough plays offensively whether it was making layups or missing open shots. We didn’t do enough to win,” Leflar said.

On the Minutewomen’s side, Kulesza had a team-high 16 points, eight rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Rose had 14, and Tori Hyduke chipped in 10 points. The Minutewomen shot 42.3 percent from the field, and made one out of eight 3-point shots, compared to the 18 points Geroge Washington racked up from six 3’s.

The Minutewomen are back at home on Feb. 28, where they face Saint Bonaventure at 6 p.m. in their final home game of the season. The game is available to stream on NESN+.

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

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