Regular Season Ends For UMass With 87-68 Loss At Saint Louis
March 2, 2014
ST. LOUIS - Jasmine Harris scored 20 points and Alyx Stiff set a single-game career-high with 10 points, but UMass women's basketball dropped an 87-68 game at Saint Louis' Chaifetz Arena on Sunday afternoon. With the loss, the Minutewomen head to Richmond, Va., for the Atlantic 10 Championship slated to compete in the play-in game against George Mason on Wednesday, March 5 at 7 p.m.
Kim Pierre-Louis joined Harris and Stiff in double-figures with 12 points, including 10 in the second half. Pierre-Louis also had a team-high seven rebounds while Stiff was 4-for-8 from the floor and 2-of-2 on free throw attempts. Kymber Hill tied her career-high with three blocks and she ripped down three rebounds while playing in the post.
Harris has recorded double-figures in scoring during 10 of the last 12 contests this season and is contributing 11.6 points per game during Atlantic 10 competition and 13.8 over the last dozen games.
Massachusetts minimized its turnovers, only committing nine, while forcing 19 from Saint Louis, but the Billikens won the rebounding battle, 53-36 due to Denisha Womack's career game.
Womack earned a double-double on 22 points and 21 boards to pace Saint Louis. Her rebounding total tied the Billikens' program record and Atlantic 10 season-high in the category. Sadie Stipanovich followed with 17 points while Erin Nelson and Jamesia Price has 15 each.
The Minutewomen (4-26 overall, 1-15 Atlantic 10) only hit five of their first 20 field goal attempts, but a suffocating defense forced Saint Louis to miss 14 of their first 16 shots from the floor, including all three tries from outside. The game remained close due to the Billikens free throw percentage - they made eight of their first nine (88.9 percent) - and Harris' accuracy for UMass from beyond the arc.
Four made attempts at the charity stripe - two each from Womack and Price - put Saint Louis in front, 10-9 with 12 minutes, 43 seconds to play in the first half. Harris responded for the Minutewomen with her second made trey 46 seconds later to put UMass back in front, 12-10.
However, the Billikens found their shooting touch and knocked down seven of their next 10 attempts to move in front, 29-21 with 5:15 left in the frame. They built a lead as large as 15 points during the first, but the Minutewomen cut the deficit to nine, 42-33 at halftime as Harris scored seven consecutive points in the span of 61 seconds.
The Farmington Hills, Mich., native started the streak with 1:57 to play in the frame, hitting a jumper while drawing a foul. After she made the ensuing free throw, Harris drained back-to-back two-pointers to cut the deficit to 41-33 with 56 seconds remaining. Price made the front end of two chances at the foul line to push the home squad's lead back to nine entering the break.
Saint Louis (12-17, 7-9) added seven makes in its first nine shots of the second half while the Minutewomen only dropped in 3-of-12 from the floor as the Billikens built their lead to 59-39 with 13:40 to play. The Minutewomen were unable to put together an offensive charge down the stretch after pulling with 15 points, 67-52 on a pair of free throws from Stiff with 7:48 remaining to play.
Despite their slow start, Saint Louis finished the game with 29 makes in 58 field goal attempts (50.0 percent) and went 6-of-17 on three-pointers (35.3 percent). The Billikens maintained their strong free throw shooting throughout the game to end the day 23-of-28 (82.1 percent) at the foul line.
Massachusetts hit 28-of-77 field goals (36.4 percent), including a 4-for-15 performance from beyond the arc (26.7 percent). UMass made eight of its 17 free throws (47.1 percent).
Saint Louis led points in the paint, 36-34 and bench scoring, 23-21. The Minutewomen earned the edge in points off turnovers, 17-6.