Women's Basketball

Minutewomen Suffer 71-65 Setback To Hartford

Senior center Jasmine Watson tallied a season-high 22 points against the Hartford defense, adding eight rebounds and three blocks.

Senior center Jasmine Watson tallied a season-high 22 points against the Hartford defense, adding eight rebounds and three blocks.

Nov. 21, 2012

Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

AMHERST, Mass. - UMass women's basketball used a strong second half scoring performance to pull within one basket of tying Hartford after trailing by 11 at halftime, eventually falling to the Hawks, 71-65 at the Mullins Center on Wednesday evening. Senior center Jasmine Watson tallied a game-high 22 points and eight rebounds, shooting 9-for-15 from the field and a 4-for-5 day from the free throw line.

Sophomore guard Emily Mital scored 15 points, including four three-point field goals and freshman guard Rashida Timbilla added eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals.

With five lead changes, the first half featured short scoring runs for both teams over the opening 14:15 of play, with neither squad able to build a lead larger than six points during the span.

The Minutewomen earned their largest advantage of the opening stanza at 15-11 with 11:45 remaining. After Alyssa Englert knotted the game at 11-11 with a three-pointer, freshman guard Jasmine Harris matched Englert on the other end of the court to push the Minutewomen in front, 14-11.

UMass (1-4 overall) forced a Shanise Bultron turnover on the ensuing Hartford possession and sophomore forward Aisha Rodney knocked down 1-of-2 free throws after being fouled for the 15-11 advantage. However, Hartford (5-0) rallied with 6-0 run to stake the Hawks to a 20-15 lead at the 9:20 mark and outpaced the Minutewomen, 26-11 over the remainder of the stanza to earn the 37-26 halftime score.

UMass used a strong shooting performance to pull with two points of tying Hartford during the second half, hitting 11 of their first 19 field goals of the stanza. Watson, Mital spearheaded the attack, recording nine and eight points, respectively, during the span.

With the Minutewomen trailing, 56-46 and 9:41 remaining, UMass used a 9-2 run to pull within one basket of Hartford. Watson made it 56-48 on a layup before Mital drained a three-pointer at the 7:45 mark to cut the deficit to five. Timbilla followed with four of the next five points, including a jumper and a pair of made free throws, to cut the Hawks lead to 57-55.

UMass was unable to even the contest over the final seven minutes of play, dropping the Hartford lead to four on Mital's four three-point field goal with 33 seconds remaining. The Minutewomen forced the Hawks to the line during the final half-minute, with Hartford connecting on 4-of-6 from the charity stripe to earn the victory.

The Minutewomen shot 43.9 percent from the field (25-of-57) overall and hit 5-of-13 three-point attempts. Hartford finished 22-for-53 (41.5 pct.) on field goal attempts, only hitting 2-of-12 from behind the arc (16.7 pct.).

UMass led in points in the paint, 34-20 and fast break points, 9-3. Hartford earned scoring advantages of off turnovers, 26-23 and second-chance points, 15-10 while the Hawks outscored the Minutewomen bench, 25-8.

Katie Roth led Hartford with 17 points while Smith and Alex Hall also reached double-digits, with 11 and 10, respectively.

The Minutewomen wrap up their two-game homestand with a contest against Holy Cross (1-3) on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available through the UMass Ticket Office at 866-UMASS-TIX.



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