Women's Hoops Downs La Salle, 66-51
Feb. 2, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. - Senior Jen Butler (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as the University of Massachusetts (12-8, 4-5) downed La Salle (11-9, 3-6), 66-51, in an Atlantic 10 women's basketball game before a season-high 931 fans this afternoon at the Mullins Center. The win snapped a three-game losing streak the Minutewomen had been on.
Massachusetts used a 14-2 run over 6:55 of the second half to put the game away. Leading by nine points at the 16:33 mark of the second half, a lay-up by Butler followed by two free throws by senior Siiri Liivandi (Rapla, Estonia), one charity toss by freshman Cindy Gonzalez (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and a lay-up by senior Ebony Pegues (Columbus, Ohio) on the next four Minutewoman possessions gave them a 16-point lead (47-31) at the 13:30 mark. After La Salle's Bonnie Randa ended the scoring drought, UMass continued the onslaught. Junior Judit Zsedenyi (Budapest, Hungary) drained a three-pointer on the ensuing possession and then senior Nekole Smith (Ann Arbor, Mich.) hit a shot in the paint to give UMass a 52-33 lead. Another pair of free throws by Butler pushed the mark over 20 until La Salle's Jill Marano stoped the bleeding with a lay-up at the 8:13 mark.
The two teams exchanged baskets for the next three and a half minutes until two consecutive Butler baskets gavethe Minutewomen a 23-point lead (62-39) at the 4:40 mark, their largest advantage of the day. All 12 active Minutewomen saw playing time this afternoon and nine scored at least one basket.
Butler finished with a game-high 17 points and 15 rebounds for her 16th double-double of the season. She also added two blocks, an assist and a steal. Pegues finished with 12 points and seven assists, while Smith added 11 points, six rebounds and two blocks. Gonzalez scored a career-high seven points, including 2-for-2 from three-points range, while dishing out three assists and not committing a turnover. Liivandi had her best game since returning to the lineup last month with eight points and six boards.
Massachusetts, the conference's top rebounding team, had a 54-28 edge on the boards this afternoon.It shot .397 (27-68) from the field and outscored the Explorers, 46-28, in the paint. The Minutewomen recorded 20 assists on their 27 field goals.
La Salle was paced by Ekaterina Markova and Jill Marano with 12 points apiece Monica Garrido Sanz pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, but played the majority of the game in foul trouble trying to contain Butler.
The Minutewomen will have a week off before returning to action on Sunday, Feb. 9 at St. Bonaventure. Tip-off is slated for 12:00 p.m.