Minutewomen Down Temple, 89-80, In OT
Jan. 16, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. -- Senior Jennifer Butler (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored a career-high 31 points and grabbed 21 rebounds as the University of Massachusetts women's basketball team (10-5, 2-2) beat Temple University (5-10, 1-3), 89-80 in overtime, in an Atlantic 10 Conference game tonight at the Mullins Center. Temple's Stacey Smalls scored a Mullins Center woman's record 35 points, including the game-tying three-pointer with 2.6 seconds remaining, but the Minutewomen outscored the Owls, 13-4, in the extra session to claim sole possession of second-place in the A-10 East.
Butler stood at the free throw line with 14.3 second remaining in regulation and the Minutewomen clinging to a one point lead at 74-73. She made just one of the freebies, giving the Owls life. After a timeout, Smalls drove the length of the floor for the Owls and missed a wild shot from just inside the arc. On the ensuing rebound, Butler and an Owl player got tied up and a jump ball was called. With the possession arrow favoring the Minutewomen and just eight seconds showing on the clock, they called a timeout to set up the inbound play. A Temple foul before UMass could inbound sent Butler back to the line with a chance to ice the game. For the second straight possession however, she converted just one of two and kept Temple in the game. After an Owl timeout, Smalls dribbled down the left side of the court and hit a three-pointer, her ninth of the game, to tie the game with just 2.6 seconds left on the clock. UMass could not get a shot off and the two teams went into overtime for the third straight contest in the series. For Smalls, her nine trifectas set a school- and Mullins Center-woman's record.
In the overtime, UMass went back to its bread and butter play by feeding the ball to Butler on the post. She converted an old fashioned three-point play 36 seconds into the extra session to give UMass a 79-76 lead. After a basket by the Owls' Lorenthea Jones, senior Ebony Pegues (Columbus, Ohio) scored two of her career-high 20 points to give UMass all the points it would need. Massachusetts went on to out-score the Owls, 13-4, in the overtime and improved to 6-1 at the Mullins Center against its Philadelphia rival.
Butler led five UMass double-figure scorers with 31, her third 30-plus point performance of the season. She also grabbed more than 20 rebounds (21) for the fourth time this year. In addition to Pegues' 20 points, she dished out eight assists. Sophomore Katie Nelson (Ellicott City, Md.) had 13 points, five assists and three steals, while senior Nekole Smith (Ann Arbor, Mich.) had 12 points. She is now just nine points away from becoming the 14th UMass player to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau. Senior Amber Sneed (Cincinnati, Ohio) rounded out the double-figure scorers for UMass with 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting, the first time five Minutewomen have scored more than 10 points since a March 2, 2002 win over Richmond in the semifinals of the A-10 Tournament. The same five players accomplished the feat in that game as well.
Massachusetts broke out of its shooting slump in style, connecting at a .516 (32-62) clip from the field. They were also .556 (5-9) from three-point range. Temple shot .400 (30-75) from the field and .550 (11-20) from the three-point line. This is the third consecutive Atlantic 10 game where a UMass opponent has shot 50 percent or better from behind the arc. UMass out-rebounded the Owls, 46-30, and were 20-for-29 (.690) from the free throw line. Temple was 9-for-10 (.900) from the line. Umass out-scored the Owls, 54-31 in the paint.
Massachusetts will have a quick one-day lay-off before returning to action on Saturday, Jan. 18 against St. Bonaventure. Tip-off at the Mullins Center is slated for 2:00 p.m.
Game Notes: Temple's Stacey Smalls' nine three-pointers set a school- and Mullins Center woman's record ... Smalls' 35 points set a new Mullins Center woman's record ... Temple's 11 three-pointers and 75 field goal attempts both set new Mullins Center woman's records ... The 89 points scored by the Minutewomen tied a Mullins Center woman's record (89 vs. West Virginia, 2/2/95) ...The 169 total points tonight established a new Mullins Center woman's record ... It marked the first time two UMass players scored at least 20 points since 2/27/96 when Octavia Thomas and Melissa Gurile each had 26 points against Rhode Island