Women's Basketball Clinches Postseason Berth With 58-52 Win Over Rhode Island
Feb. 22, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - With the help of freshman Kristina Danella's first career double-double, the UMass women's basketball team clinched a berth into the Atlantic 10 tournament with a 58-52 victory over Rhode Island on Sunday in the Mullins Center. With the win, the Minutewomen move to 11-16 on the season, 4-8 in the A-10, while the Rams are now 9-18 overall and 2-10 in conference play. It also marked the first time since the 1999-2000 campaign that UMass has taken both games of the season series against its conference rival.
Senior Stefanie Gerardot logged a team-best 13 points to pace the Minutewomen, including an 8-for-9 performance at the free throw line, and grabbed six rebounds. Danella followed with 11 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, while sophomore Cerie Mosgrove had nine points on 3-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc. Senior Sakera Young registered eight points, four assists and three steals and redshirt sophomore Diatiema Hill dished four assists and notched two steals.
The first half was evenly played and featured four ties and six lead changes. UMass began with the largest advantage of the period, 5-0, from the opening tip, but the squad could pull away no further and would eventually go to the locker room up by one, 22-21, thanks to a trey by Mosgrove at the 1:58 mark. Rhode Island shot 9-for-35 (25.7%) and 3-for-14 from three (21.4%) in the first with 22 rebounds. The Minutewomen shot 6-for-24 (25.0%) in the period and 4-for-13 (30.8%) from beyond the arc, while grabbing 22 boards.
To begin the second, the Rams opened up on an 8-2 run to build their largest advantage of the afternoon, five, at 29-24. However, UMass responded with eight straight points to pull ahead, 32-29, and did not trail again in the contest. Down the stretch, the Minutewomen hit several big threes, including back-to-back shots by Danella that extended the UMass lead to six at 38-32 with 12:11 left in the contest. Later a pair of free throws by Andrea Buck closed the gap to a three-point deficit with 52 seconds remaining, but Danella hit an answering trey to seal the victory with 26 left on the clock.
The Minutewomen finished the game shooting 17-for-52 (32.7%) from the floor, 10-for-30 (33.3%) from three and 14-for-19 (73.7%) at the free throw line. It marked the sixth time this season the team has posted 10 or more threes in a game. Rhode Island went 18-for-64 (28.1%) overall, 6-for-21 (28.6%) from three and 10-for-12 (83.3%) at the charity stripe.
Lindsay Harris was the lone player for the Rams to reach double figures with a game-high 15 points to go along with six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Megan Shoniker tallied nine points and Sierra Cooper recorded a team-best eight rebounds.
The Minutewomen will be back in action this Wednesday when the squad will play its final road contest of the regular season, against Saint Joseph's in Philadelphia, Pa., at 8 p.m.
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