Minutewomen Down BU, 79-73, In OT Thriller
Nov. 15, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - Three clutch free throws by sophomore Kristina Danella helped send the season opener into overtime where the UMass women's basketball team went on to defeat Boston University by the score of 79-73 on Sunday afternoon in the Mullins Center. The Minutewomen, who never led during regulation, outscored the Terriers (0-2), 12-6 in the extra period to begin the year at 1-0.
Four players scored in double figures for the Minutewomen with Danella leading the balanced attack with 21 points on 5-10 shooting from the field and a 10-14 performance at the free throw line. She posted her fifth 20-point game of her career, while also contributing eight rebounds. Senior Kim Benton followed with 18 points, aided by 4-8 shooting from beyond the arc, tying her career high set during her sophomore campaign.
Sophomore Nicole Jones had a career day, as well, contributing 13 points and a team-best nine rebounds, both career highs for the center who made her first collegiate start. She also added three blocks and four steals.
Senior Diatiema Hill was one off her personal best with 14 points and finished with six boards and four assists. In her UMass debut, freshman Shakia Robinson brought down six rebounds in 16 minutes on the floor.
Boston University opened up with the first points of the day on a three by Chantell Alford. Though Benton would tie things up for the Minutewomen with an answering trey, the Terriers followed up with a 7-0 run to build a 10-3 advantage.
Hill brought UMass back to within a one-possession deficit at 10-8 as she scored five straight points for the Minutewomen, capped off by a jumper at 14:34. However, BU used a trio of three pointers to stretch its lead 11. The 9-0 run gave the Terriers their biggest lead of the opening half and went BU into the intermission with a 38-30 edge.
After beginning the second half with four free throws but no field goals, UMass pulled to within three at 42-39 as Benton hit her fourth three-pointer of the afternoon. She then assisted on a layup by Hill to prompt a timeout by the Terriers.
On BU's next possession, the momentum shifted again as Kat Briggs came up with a four point-play to push the margin back to seven at 46-39.
After coming within three of the Terriers on several occasions, the Minutewomen finally closed the gap to one with under two minutes remaining on a pair of free throws by Benton. Then with 17 seconds remaining in the period and BU holding a 67-64 lead, Danella was fouled on a three-point attempt from the top of the arc.
After Danella drained all three of her shots from the charity stripe, Briggs and Caroline Stewart missed a pair of layups at the opposite end of the floor in the closing seconds to send the game to overtime.
Hill's bucket seven seconds into the extra period gave UMass its first lead of the day at 69-67. After the Terriers managed to tie the score at 70, Jones answered with a basket to put the Minutewomen back on top by two, an advantage the squad would not relinquish in the remainder of the contest. Danella put the game out of reach for BU, making 5-of-6 free throw attempts in the closing 53 seconds.
Caitlynn Moran finished with 20 points for the Terriers, followed by Alex Young with 14 points. Aly Hinton logged a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while also adding five assists.
The team stat lines for the day were nearly identical as UMass shot 38.3% (23-60) from the field and BU 38.2% (26-68), while each squad totaled 44 rebounds. The biggest difference came at the free throw line where the Minutewomen finished 28-37 (75.7%) and the Terriers were just 11-for-19 (57.9%).
UMass will be back in action this Wednesday, November 18, when the squad will play host to St. John's in the opening game of a men's-women's doubleheader at 5:30 p.m. in the Mullins Center.
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