Women's Basketball

Women's Basketball Stifles Rhode Island To Earn 69-56 Victory

Jasmine Harris totaled 20 points to spur on the UMass offense against Rhode Island.

Jasmine Harris totaled 20 points to spur on the UMass offense against Rhode Island.

Feb. 23, 2014

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AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts women's basketball team earned a 69-56 victory over Rhode Island at home in the Mullins Center on Sunday afternoon through a stout defensive effort and sophomore guard Jasmine Harris' second consecutive 20-point game. Harris scored exactly 20 to lead both teams while Rashida Timbilla tallied 19 points and Nola Henry added 10 to go with nine rebounds and five assists.

Timbilla also pulled down eight boards and dished out three assists while Kim Pierre-Louis grabbed 13 boards, including seven from the offensive glass, and chipped in eight points.

Tayra Melendez led Rhode Island with 19 points while Samantha Tabakman tallied 13 before fouling out in the final minutes of the second half.

After leading by only one point at the half, the Minutewomen broke open the game during the second stanza as they outscored Rhode Island, 40-28 during the frame.

Harris gave the Minutewomen the lead for good with nine minutes, 30 seconds left to play in the game. After Melendez hit a jumper to put Rhode Island up, 47-46, with 9:54 left, but Harris responded with a three-pointer on the next possession. Timbilla added a free throw before Emily Mital hit a layup to mark a 6-0 UMass run.

The Minutewomen pushed their lead as large as 15 points during the last minute of the game on a Mital triple, 69-54. Sydney Lewis put in a layup for Rhode Island with 29 seconds left to reach the final score, 69-56.

After the Rams scored eight of the opening 10 points, the Minutewomen rallied on the strength of accurate shooting from behind the three-point line. Harris knocked down a trey to make it 8-5 Rams with 16 minutes, 53 seconds remaining in the first half as UMass hit its first three attempts from distance.

Harris added another trey to knot the contest at 10-10 with 14:41 remaining in the first while Kiara Bomben nailed one to pull the Minutewomen within 14-13 of Rhode Island only 45 seconds later.

When the accuracy from outside cooled off, the Minutewomen used scoring in the paint to earn a 29-28 lead at halftime as Timbilla led the charge near the hoop with eight points. Pierre-Louis chipped in four more at the basket to go with seven rebounds during the first, including three from the offensive glass.

Henry gave the Minutewomen their one-point lead at the break on a pair of made free throws with 61 seconds left to play in the half. The UMass defense locked in to deny the Rams on five shots during the final minute.

The Maroon and White stretched their lead to 34-30 coming out of halftime as Harris drained a three and hit a layup in the span of five seconds separated by a Bomben steal of Teneka Whittaker. UMass continued to connect from around the floor to push the advantage to 44-36 with 14:06 to play before Rhode Island strung together a nine-point run to keep the game close.

UMass shot 38.6 percent from the floor in the game (22-for-57) including a 6-of-14 finish from beyond the arc (42.9 percent). The Minutewomen finished 19-of-27 on free throws (70.4 percent), with 15 of those makes coming on 21 trips to the line in the second half.

Massachusetts held Rhode Island to 33.8 percent on field goal attempts (22-of-65) with only one made three-pointer in six attempted (16.7 percent). The Rams hit 11 of their 17 free throws (64.7 percent).

The Minutewomen host their final home game of the 2013-14 slate when Saint Joseph's for Senior Night on Thursday, Feb. 27, in the Mullins Center at 7 p.m. UMass will host a short pregame ceremony to honor Bomben, a redshirt-senior, along with team manager Steve Baruffi.



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