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

URI hands UMass 12th consecutive loss, wins 86-64

Rams speed and consistency too much for Minutewomen
Matt Skillings
Daily Collegian (2024)

The Massachusetts women’s basketball team fell to the University of Rhode Island 86-64 in the second matchup this season between the two squads. Coming off a three-game losing streak, the Rams (16-11, 8-6 Atlantic 10) played a full 40 minutes of fast competitive basketball, handing the Minutewomen (3-23, 1-13 A-10) their 12th consecutive loss.

The dynamic duo of Sophie Phillips and Ines Debroise led URI in the second quarter, picking up buckets left and right to go into halftime with the Minutewomen trailing by 14.

Phillips hit her first of two second-quarter 3-pointers early into the quarter, using her team’s collective speed as an advantage off a fast break. Debroise matched Phillips, hitting another 3-pointer for the Rams just minutes later at 5:07, and again at 3:10. Phillips hit one more 3-point shot for good measure, making the duo 4-of-7 from deep in the second.

The Rams had a successful 3-point night, scoring 21 points from seven 3s to capitalize in Amherst while also shooting 52.3 percent from the field.  On the other end, the Minutewomen were 6-of-13 from deep and shot 40.7 percent from the floor.

Although the Minutewomen have seen bigger deficits, they failed to capitalize on their opportunities, consistently trailing URI.

“There were times out there we acted like it was 40, it was 14. A couple of stops, a couple of scores, single digit game, right back in it,” head coach Mike Leflar said.

The Ram’s game advantage came was due in part to their speed. With 16 points to UMass’ two off fast breaks, the Minutewomen struggled to defend a fast-moving offense and it showed on the scoreboard. With veterans Phillips and Maye Toure leading the offense, URI leaped ahead of the Minutewomen with its ability to move the ball quickly in transition and move for open shots.

A factor UMass knew was coming was the height of post players Toure, a six-foot-two-inch senior, and Tenin Magassa, a six-foot-five-inch sophomore. Both used their size to their advantage, combining for 33 points against UMass’ double-big frontcourt of Lilly Taulelei and Chinenye Odenigbo.

“My attention was to rebound, not get pushed around, and put a couple more points on the board,” Odenigbo said. The freshman had 10 points and three rebounds in the loss.

After Bre Bellamy went down with an injury to the leg early in the second quarter, Odenigbo was set to fill in. Coach Leflar said he was “really impressed” with Odenigbo, and that “it was great to see the ball go in for her.”

URI was led by Toure with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Following behind was Phillips with 15, Debroise with 14, and Dee Dee Davis with 13 points.

“[Leflar] is going to start a new era,” University of Rhode Island head coach Tammi Reiss said. “His kids play hard, they compete, and he’s setting the culture the right way.”

For the Minutewomen, Kristin Williams led the pack with 15 points, and Alexsia Rose trailed close behind with 13. Stefanie Kulesza tossed in nine points and grabbed four rebounds in the loss. Looking ahead, the Minutewomen will follow Leflar’s lead.

“We have to be able to push through that physically, mentally and emotionally,” Leflar said.

The Minutewomen look to break their losing streak this Saturday at home in the Mullins Center, where they face off against VCU at 1 p.m. for senior day. The game will be streamed on NESN+.

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

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *