Balanced Effort Key In Minutewomen's 56-53 Win Over GW
Feb. 19, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - The UMass women's basketball team's 50% shooting in the first half helped propel the squad to a 56-53 victory over George Washington at the Mullins Center on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Minutewomen move to 7-10 on the season, 2-10 in Atlantic 10 games, while the Colonials fall to 11-15 overall and 4-8 in the conference.
Scoring in double figures for a second game in a row, senior Megan Zullo led the charge for UMass with 18 points on 7-for-11 shooting, including four treys. She also shared the ball well with five assists and picked up four steals. Junior Jasmine Watson added 13 points and rounded out her game with seven rebounds, a career-high five assists and two blocks. Freshman Emily Mital pulled down a season-best eight boards and had eight points in what was her second start on the year. Redshirt freshman Millie Niggeling chipped in five rebounds off the bench, as well.
UMass out-scored George Washington, 11-6 in the opening four minutes and change before Colonials managed seven straight to lead for the first time, 13-11 at the 13:34 mark. The two squads remained separated by no more than four points until a Niggeling three sparked a 7-0 run by the Minutewomen to give the squad its largest advantage of the half, nine, 30-21 with 3:52 on the clock. GW cut into the deficit with a three-point play with 1:36 to go in the period, but could only pull to within eight, 35-27 at the intermission after Zullo's fourth trey of the half helped UMass expand its advantage back out to nine.
The Colonials came out of the break with the first four points of the second half to close the gap to 35-31 and later took the lead at the 8:52 mark as Tiana Myers hit a pair of free throws to cap off an 11-2 GW run. Watson hit a layup with 8:13 on the clock to tie things up at 44, beginning a stretch where the margin between the teams was two or below.
With the Colonials holding a 51-50 advantage, Zullo drained a jumper with 5:07 to play, while Mital drove the lane for a layup and was fouled with 4:09 on the clock. Mital missed the free throw, but the Minutewomen still held a three-point lead, 54-51.
After nearly four minutes without a point being scored, Brooke Wilson brought George Washington back to within one with her jumper at 1:16. On UMass' next possession, though, Watson came up with an answering layup. She also blocked a shot with nine seconds to go at the other end to help preserve the win.
The Minutewomen finished the contest shooting 45.1% (23-for-51) overall, 38.9% (7-for-18) from long range and made 3-of-10 (30.0%) free throws, while the Colonials connected with 20-for-53 (37.7%) overall, 3-for-14 (21.4%) from three and 10-of-15 (66.7%) at the free throw line.
Tara Booker paced GW with a double-double on 20 points and 10 rebounds. Myers totaled 13 points and eight boards, while Chakecia Miller had seven points, five steals and three assists.
UMass will be back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 22, hosting Rhode Island in the 2011-12 home finale, Senior Day for the Minutewomen. The contest is slated for 7 p.m. at the Mullins Center.
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