Minutewomen Take Care Of Fordham, 64-51
Feb. 27, 2003
AMHERST, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts women's basketball team (13-13, 5-10) used a 17-2 run midway through the game to defeat Fordham (14-14, 5-10), 64-51, this evening in Atlantic 10 action at the Mullins Center. Senior Jen Butler (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored a game-high 21 points. She also pulled down 19 rebounds to become the conference's all-time leader with 708 boards in A-10 play.
The Minutewomen trailed 25-14 at the 5:55 mark of the first half, but went on a 17-2 run extending into the second half. Massachusetts tied the game just before intermission on a lay-up by senior Nekole Smith (Ann Arbor, Mich.). UMass then took the lead for good when Butler converted on an old-fashioned three-point play on its first second half possession.
After UMass built a six-point lead, 33-27, at the 15:59 mark of the second half, Fordham scored two quick baskets to pull within two. The Minutewomen responded with a 7-0 run of its own. The knock-out punch proved to be a three-pointer by senior Ebony Pegues (Columbus, Ohio) followed by a Butler basket stretching the lead from six to 11 (48-37) and forcing the Lady Rams to use a timeout at the 7:51 mark. Fordham never got any closer than six points the rest of the way.
In addition to her 22nd double-double of the season, Butler had five steals, two assists, one blocked shot and did not commit a turnover. Smith chipped in 14 points and six boards, while Pegues had eight points off the bench. Sophomore Monique Govan (Chicago, Ill.) and junior Judit Zsedenyi (Budapest, Hungary) each had seven points and four rebounds in the victory.
UMass outscored the Lady Rams, 40-15 in the paint and held the edge in rebounding, 43-40. After committing eight turnovers in the first half, UMass had just one in the second to finish with nine. The Minutewomen were 24-39 (.615) from the free throw line, while Fordham made just seven trips all night (5-7).
Mobolaji Akiode led the way for Fordham with 16 points. Monica Mack and Beth Ann Dickinson each had 11 in the loss. All of Dickinson's scoring came in the first half.
The win snapped a season-long five-game losing streak for the Minutewomen and courtesy of Rhode Island's loss to Saint Joseph's tonight, moves them into a three-way tie with the Fordham and URI for third-place in the A-10 East.
Massachusetts will close out the regular season by hosting Duquesne on Sunday, March 2 at 12:00 p.m. in the Atlantic 10 Television game of the week. At 11:45 a.m., the Minutewomen will honor their seven seniors.
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