Richmond Eliminates Minutewomen, 54-47, In First Round
March 5, 2010
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - Despite taking a one-point lead into the locker room at halftime, the UMass women's basketball team was unable to overcome a 6-0 run by Richmond to start the second half and fell to the Spiders, 54-47 in the teams' Atlantic 10 Tournament first round matchup on Friday afternoon. With the setback, the Minutewomen will end the 2009-10 season with a record of 11-19, while Richmond (19-11) will move on to face top-seeded Xavier tomorrow afternoon.
Senior Diatiema Hill was the top point producer for UMass with 10 and added five assists, five rebounds and two steals. Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year Jasmine Watson followed with nine points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Junior Cerie Mosgrove contributed eight points and was 2-for-2 from three-point range, while sophomore Kristina Danella collected six rebounds and had two blocks. In her final game in a UMass uniform, senior Kim Benton chipped in six points, four assists and two steals.
The first six field goals of the game for the Minutewomen were either threes or part of three-point plays, including three straight treys that put UMass out in front, 18-9, its largest lead of the contest. Junior Stefanie Lawrence capped off that stretch with a three at 7:01 that brought the advantage to nine.
Richmond trimmed its deficit to 20-19 with 2:39 remaining in the period and took the lead on the next possession on a jumper by Brittani Shells at the 1:57 mark, part of a 14-2 Spiders' run over a 5:03 span. The Minutewomen then ended the half with buckets from Hill and sophomore Nicole Jones to take a 24-23 advantage into the intermission.
A free throw by Crystal Goring tied the score at 24 with 19:07 to play, erasing the UMass lead for a final time. With the Minutewomen hitting a scoreless drought for over seven minutes, Richmond began what turned into a 9-1 run. Abby Oliver's layup at 7:32 pushed the margin to double figures at 46-36.
UMass had one final chance at a comeback, scoring eight straight points to pull back to within two with 4:43 remaining. Kim Benton's second-chance three from the corner brought the score to 46-44 and prompted a timeout by the Spiders.
Three clutch offensive rebounds by Goring helped seal the win for Richmond, including two on the same possession with less than three minutes on the clock.
Oliver finished with a game-best 16 points to pace the Spiders, while Rachael Bilney chipped 10 points. Shells and Danielle Bell had nine points apiece and posted rebound totals of eight and six, respectively.
The Minutewomen finished shooting 14-for-45 (31.1%) overall, 7-for-15 (46.7%) from three and 12-for-14 (85.7%) at the free throw line. Richmond was 17-for-60 (28.3%) overall, 6-for-21 (28.6%) from beyond the arc and 14-for-17 (82.4%) at the charity stripe. The Spiders controlled the glass, out-rebounding UMass, 44-30, including 20-8 in offensive boards.