Women's Basketball Upends Richmond, 85-73
March 2, 2002
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- The University of Massachusetts women's basketball team defeated Richmond, 85-73, this evening in an Atlantic 10 tournament quarterfinal game. The Minutewomen will now face Temple in the semifinals tomorrow at 5:00 p.m.
The first half was closely contested until the Minutewomen went on a 14-2 run over 5:02 to build a 14-point lead at the 2:56 mark. Junior center Jennifer Butler (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored 12 points in the first half. Butler finished the game with 15 points and 10 rebounds, but could only play nine minutes in the second half as she was in foul trouble for much of the game. With the 10 boards this evening, she moves into first place all-time with 897 career rebounds. Freshman guard Katie Nelson (Ellicott City, Md.) and junior forward Nekole Smith (Ann Arbor, Mich.) each had six points at the break as the Minutewomen took a 17-point lead into the locker room.
The Minutewomen continued to keep the Spiders out of rythym in the second half and never let them get any closer than 11 points, despite playing with five players in foul trouble. Every time Richmond made a run, the Minutewomen would have an answer. UMass was clutch from the free throw line in the half as they made 19 of 26 and shot 75 percent for the game. Smith had 10 points in the half, including a stretch where she scored eight in a row for the Minutewomen.
Junior forward Amber Sneed (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished with 14 points, 12 coming in the second half. She also had a career-high 16 rebounds. Nelson had 12 points and five assists, while junior guard Ebony Pegues (Columbus, Ohio) poured in 13 points and dished out four assists. As a team, the Minutewomen shot 46 percent for the game and held the Spiders to 39 percent.
The Minutewomen's 85 points were the most they have scored in a game since they defeated West Virginia, 89-64 on Feb. 2, 1995. It also marked the first time since Nov. 14, 1998, that five players scored in double-figures.
Massachusetts improves to 12-17 this season, while Richmond closes out its inaugural A-10 campaign at 14-16.
The Minutewomen will face Temple in an Atlantic 10 semifinal game tomorrow afternoon at 5:00 p.m. The game will be televised live by the Atlantic 10 Television Network. It will be carried in Massachusetts by the New England Sports Network (NESN). St. Joseph's and Xavier will meet in the other semifinal game at 3:00 p.m., also live on NESN. The two winners will meet in Monday's championship game at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN2.