Second-Half Comeback Falls Shy Against Duquesne, 53-44
Feb. 24, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - UMass women's basketball cut a 12-point halftime deficit to three following the break; however, the Minutewomen were unable to complete the comeback against Duquesne, falling 53-44 at the Mullins Center on Sunday afternoon. Senior center Jasmine Watson finished with 10 points to lead the squad, also pacing UMass with seven rebounds, five assists and a pair of blocks.
Redshirt-junior guard Carolann Cloutier added seven points on 3-for-3 shooting from the floor while chipping in a trio of steals and classmate Kiara Bomben added five points and six rebounds in the forward's return to the floor following a lower-leg injury.
The squads exchanged slim leads over the opening 15:21 of play, with neither side able to build an advantage larger than five during the span. Freshman guard Jasmine Harris, in the second start of her freshman year, knocked down a trey for UMass' first points of the day, giving the home side a 3-2 lead 59 seconds into competition. While Duquesne was finding success on the boards, the Minutewomen kept even with strong shooting from the floor, hitting six of their initial 10 attempts, as the lead changed hands 10 times in the contest.
After falling behind by four, 13-9, senior guard Dee Montgomery made an athletic move to left of the basket, driving through a group of Duquesne defenders to reach the hoop. Montgomery floated in a short, one-handed jumper from the paint as the senior was fouled to drop the deficit to two, knocking down the foul shot to pull UMass within 13-12. Following Montgomery's play, Bomben connected on a three-pointer during the ensuing possession to place UMass in front by two with 11:59 remaining.
Duquesne (20-6, 9-3) fought back with a 15-2 run to go ahead, 27-17 at the 2:58 mark of play in the half, eventually earning a 33-21 advantage entering the break. Despite trailing by 12 at the intermission, the Minutewomen defense lead UMass' attempt to erase the margin during the final stanza, as Duquesne was only able to hit six field goals after halftime.
The Minutewomen scored the first four points of the second on jumpers by freshman forward Rashida Timbilla and Watson to pull within eight, 33-25 with 16:36 remaining. UMass continued to chip away at the Dukes lead, as sophomore guard Emily Mital answered with a three-pointer at 14:13 to knock the deficit down to 35-28 after Wumi Agunbiade netted a pair of foul shots for Duquesne.
Agunbiade drained a jumper on the other end of the floor before Cloutier and redshirt-sophomore Millie Niggeling followed up Mital's trey with three-pointers of their own. Cloutier connected with 11:20 left in the contest while Niggeling swished one from the top of the arc 1:52 later to pull UMass as close as it would come to tying, 37-34.
The Minutewomen were within four, 46-42 with 3:15 remaining after Watson fought into the paint and netted a turnaround layup; however, Duquesne sealed the contest with five made free throws down the stretch.
UMass went 18-for-46 from the floor (39.1 percent), including 5-for-17 from beyond the arc (29.4 percent). Duquesne finished 21-for-60 overall (35.0 percent) and 4-of-19 on three-point attempts (21.1 percent). The Minutewomen were 3-of-8 at the charity stripe (37.5 percent) while the Dukes finished 7-of-14 (50.0 percent).
UMass earned more points in the paint, 20-16 while Duquesne led in scoring off of turnovers, 19-9. The Minutewomen tallied a 16-15 margin in second chance points while the Dukes bench supplied 21 points against 17 chipped in by the UMass reserves.
Jocelyn Floyd led Duquesne with 18 points, with 16 scored in the first half. Floyd also produced a team-high nine rebounds.
UMass faces its final road contest at Saint Joseph's Michael J. Hagan Arena as the Minutewomen travel to Philadelphia, Pa., for a Wednesday, Feb. 27, contest.