Comeback Attempt By Women's Hoops Thwarted At Rhode Island
Feb. 5, 2014
KINGSTON, R.I. - UMass women's basketball cut an eight-point halftime deficit to within one basket but was unable to complete the comeback at Rhode Island, falling to the Rams, 73-64 at the Ryan Center on Wednesday. Jasmine Harris and Emily Mital tied for the team high in points with 13 apiece while Rashida Timbilla grabbed as many rebounds, including 12 from the defensive glass.
Mital went 4-for-6 from the floor, including a trio of three-pointers that gave her 100 made in her UMass career. With her first trey of the game - sank with 12 minutes, 12 seconds left in the first half - Mital moved into sole possession of 10th all-time in program history with 98 made three-point attempts. Her third of the day pushed the Frisco, Texas, native by Emilie Teuscher for ninth on the list.
Kim Pierre-Louis and Amber Dillon joined Harris and Mital in scoring double-figures. Pierre-Louis finished with 11 points and Dillon chipped in 10 as the duo combined to go 11-of-13 from the foul line. Harris also had seven rebounds and a pair of assists while Mital ripped down three boards and nabbed a two steals.
Kallie Banker led Rhode Island (7-16 overall, 2-8 Atlantic 10) with 19 points as she finished 7-of-10 from the floor and 3-of-6 at the free throw line. Kerry Wallack added a double-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds while Teneka Whittaker tallied 12 points.
Balanced scoring from Harris, Pierre-Louis and Timbilla paced the offense during the start of competition as UMass worked ahead, 9-4 with 15:29 left in the first half. The Rams fought back to tie it at 13-13 less than three minutes later though as Banker knocked down a three for Rhode Island after Mital hit one for the Minutewomen.
Five consecutive points by Kiara Bomben on a triple and two foul shots pushed the lead to 18-13. After Dillon cut the hoop and slipped between a pair of Rhody defenders to drain a layup for the Maroon and White, the home squad responded with a 10-2 run to move in front, 23-20 at the 7:46 mark.
Harris and Mital used their range to give the Minutewomen the lead back, 26-23 as the duo hit one attempt each from beyond the arc, but UMass was unable to maintain its shooting touch through the final minutes of the frame and faced a 40-32 deficit at the half as a result.
UMass (3-20, 0-9) locked in defensively following the break to slow the pace of play while the Minutewomen chipped away at their deficit, dropping it at low as three points during the stanza.
To close to within one hoop, UMass cut it 43-34 in favor of Rhode Island to 47-44 over a span of 5:38 of game action ending with 9:27 remaining on the clock. Dillon used two of her six made free throws to start the scoring spree while Harris capped it with a shot from beyond the arc.
Rhode Island responded as Briana Thomas and Samantha Tabakman keyed in from the floor to stretch the lead back to seven points and the Minutewomen were unable to pull within four during the remainder of play.
UMass made one final push during the last minutes of competition. Dillon converted a layup to make it 67-59 before the defense forced Banker into a turnover on the endline. With possession under the Rhode Island hoop, the Minutewomen inbounded the ball to Mital on the right wing and she provided her 100th career three-pointer to drop the deficit to 67-62 with 2:17 left.
The Minutewomen continued to pressure the Rams, but the home squad made six of its last eight free throws to stifle the comeback attempt.
Massachusetts shot 35.8 percent from the floor (19-of-53) to Rhode Island's 42.4 percent finish (25-for-59). The Minutewomen connected on 7-of-14 three-pointer field goals (50.0 percent) and held the Rams to a 2-for-5 line in the category (40.0 percent).
UMass added 19 points on free throws in 23 chances (82.6 percent). The Rams went 21-for-30 at the charity stripe (68.4).
Rebounding favored Rhody, 43-33, including a 12-6 advantage on the offensive glass. URI also recorded 22 points in the paint to 16 for UMass while the Minutewomen reserves outpaced their Rhode Island counterparts, 23-14.
The Minutewomen return home to the Mullins Center to host St. Bonaventure as part of National Girls and Women In Sports Day at Noon on Saturday, Feb. 8.