Minutewomen Fall To Fordham, 60-52
Jan. 12, 2003
BRONX, N.Y. -- Despite a career-high 23 points from senior Nekole Smith (Ann Arbor, Mich.), the University of Massachusetts women's basketball team fell to Fordham University, 60-52, this afternoon in an Atlantic 10 game at Rose Hill Gym. Massachusetts is now 9-5 overall and 1-2 in the A-10, while Fordham improves to 10-5 overall, 1-2 in conference.
The Minutewomen used an 11-0 run at the end of the first half and into the second half to take a 27-25 lead at the 16:32 mark, but Fordham's Beth Ann Dickinson came right back down to tie the game. UMass fell behind by four, but used a 6-0 run of its own to retake the lead, 39-37, at the 10:18 mark. The Minutewomen, plagued by poor shooting all game, watched as the Rams heated up and went up nine points with just 3:40 left. Capped by a three-pointer by sophomore Katie Nelson (Ellicott City, Md.), the Minutewomen got back within three at 52-49, but an offensive rebound by the Rams and a put-back by Mobolaji Akiode sealed the Rams' 10th victory of the season.
Senior Jen Butler (Brooklyn, N.Y.) was stymied by the Fordham defense all day, but still managed to record her 13th double-double of the season on 10 points and 12 rebounds. She also had two blocked shots. Senior Kristin Cannon (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) scored five points, including a three-pointer which gave the Minutewomenn their 39-37 lead. Nelson finished with six points, four assists and no turnovers. With her 23-point performance, Smith is now just 21 points shy of becoming the 14th Minutewomen to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau.
The Minutewomen took an early 11-4 lead at the 14:11 mark of the first half, but Fordham went on a 14-0 run over the next 4:53 to take an 18-11 lead. UMass went 6:51 without a point but for the second time in three games, it was able to keep the game within reach by playing solid defense. Fordham led 25-16 at the 4:32 mark, but a 6-0 run by the Minutewomen to end the half cut their deficit to just three at intermission. Smith poured in a game-high 10 points in the first half, while Cannon scored her first basket of the season. UMass shot .290 (9-31) in the half, while Fordham was .303 (10-33). The Minutewomen out-rebounded the Rams, 25-22, including 7-5 on the offensive glass.
Fordham, which had four players score in double-figures, was paced by Akiode's 16 points. Dickinson had 13, while Monica Mack had 11 and Caitlin Chiaramonte finished with 10.
UMass shot just .300 (21-70) in the game and was a season-low .400 (6-15) from the free throw line. The Minutewomen were .154 (4-26) from the free throw line. Aided by a .629 (13-21) second half, Fordham shot .426 (23-54) for the game. They were also .800 (8-10) from the free throw line.
Massachusetts returns to action on Thursday, Jan. 16, when it hosts A-10 foe Temple at the Mullins Center. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m.