Minutewomen Drop First Meeting With Butler, 75-61
Jan. 23, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - Redshirt-sophomore forward Millie Niggeling tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in her first collegiate start; however, UMass women's basketball fell to Butler, 75-61 at the Mullins Center on Wednesday evening. Senior center Jasmine Watson led all Minutewomen with 15 points on 7-for-12 shooting with a free throw and added eight rebounds. In a career-high 31 minutes, Niggeling paced UMass with a personal-best six assists and three steals.
Senior guard Dee Montgomery added nine points, including hitting a season-best 6-of-8 free throws. Redshirt-junior guard Carolann Cloutier chipped in eight points on 2-for-4 shooting with a pair of foul shots while pulling down four rebounds for the Minutewomen (3-16 overall, 1-3 Atlantic 10).
With Butler (12-7, 3-1) leading, 10-7, five minutes into the contest, the Minutewomen used an 11-4 run to push ahead, 18-14 with 12:04 left to play in the first half. Watson opened the scoring rush with a layup before Niggeling added a bucket to put the Minutewomen in front for the first time, 11-10 with 14:13 to play in the stanza.
After Watson connected on another attempt for a three-point advantage, the Minutewomen and Bulldogs exchanged baskets until sophomore forward Aisha Rodney and freshman forward Rashida Timbilla drained a layup each as UMass built their largest lead of the day, 22-16 with 10:25 remaining.
After Butler rallied back with a 7-0 run, neither team was able to push ahead by more than five points over the remainder of the first half. Montgomery knocked down a three-pointer from the left corner to extend a slim UMass advantage to 35-30 with 48 seconds remaining; however, Taylor Schippers answered for the Bulldogs on the ensuing possession to reach the halftime score, 35-33.
The Bulldogs connected from the floor following the break to spark a 19-5 run that gave Butler a 52-43 lead with 9:29 remaining to play. During the stretch, Butler knocked down seven of its 14 field goal attempts to secure the advantage.
The Minutewomen responded immediately as redshirt-junior forward Kiara Bomben hit one free throw before Niggeling connected on a three-point - her second of the half - to pull UMass within 52-47 of tying; however, the home side was unable to drop the deficit further during the remainder of the contest.
UMass went 20-for-66 from the field (30.3 percent) while hitting 8-of-23 from behind the arc (34.8 percent) and 13-of-19 foul shots (68.4 percent). Butler finished 23-for-59 (39.0 percent) on field goal attempts, knocking down 5-of-17 three-pointers (29.4 percent) while hitting 24-of-35 free throws (68.6 percent).
The Bulldogs led in points in the paint, 32-24 and off of turnovers, 19-5. The Minutewomen held a 20-9 margin in second-chance scoring while the UMass bench out-paced Butler's reserves, 22-13.
Daress McClung led the visiting squad with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Schippers also pulled down 10 boards and chipped in 19 points.
UMass travels to Dayton to continue Atlantic 10 competition, facing the Flyers at UD Arena on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m.