Women's Basketball Falls To Syracuse, 62-54
Nov. 25, 2003
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The University of Massachusetts women's basketball team (0-3) had a nine-point halftime lead, but could not hold on and lost to Syracuse University (2-0), 62-54, this evening at the Manley Field House. Syracuse put up 35 three-point field goals tonight tying a school record and converted on 15 of them. They only shot 16 two-point field goals.
Syracuse has a tradition where all the fans remain standing and cheer until the home team scores its first basket, but the Minutewomen made them wait 4:07 tonight. UMass jumped out to an early 6-0 lead led by senior Judit Zsedenyi's (Budapest, Hungary) four points. SU clawed back and took a brief lead at 11-10, but freshman Tamara Tatham (Brampton, Ontario) came back down and put UMass right back on top and sparked a 12-2 run over the next 3:30.
The teams traded baskets for the rest of the half and Massachusetts went into the locker room with a nine point lead at 35-26. Zsedenyi had 11 points in the half, while Tatham had nine. On the other side, Julie McBride had 11 points. Massachusetts shot a season-best .615 (16-26) in the first half, while holding Syracuse to .364 (8-22) from the field. The Orangewomen attempted 22 field goals in the first half, 15 of which were from behind the three-point line.
Both teams came out sluggish in the first half. There were more fouls called (six) than points (three) for the two teams combined at the first media timeout at the 15:58 mark. After the timeout however, SU came out on fire. The Orange hit three straight three-pointers, two by McBride, to take a 37-36 lead. Freshman Joyce Massey (Detroit, Mich.) ended the 9-0 run with a jumper at the 12:41 mark to put UMass back on top. It was also its first field goal of the half. The Orange responded right back with more bombs from three-point land. Three more in a row in a 52-second span gave it a six-point lead and forced UMass to use a timeout at the 9:19 mark. Massey ended the run with a jumper at the 7:56 mark.
UMass cut the deficit to two with a pair of free throws, but two more consecutive trifectas put Syracuse up eight, 52-44, with 4:20 left. Junior Monique Govan (Chicago, Ill.) ended the run with a three-pointer of her own with 4:02 left to bring the Minutewomen within five at 52-47. Another Orange basket put them up seven until Massey's three at the 3:31 mark brought the lead back to four. SU kept the three's coming however and UMass was soon down 10. The Orange made their free throws down the stretch and sealed the game.
Tatham was the team's leading scorer with 14 points. She also had five rebounds and a steal. Massey had 12 points and three rebounds, while junior Brooke Campbell (Baltimore, Md.) pulled down 12 boards. UMass shot just .259 (7-27) from the field in the second half, while Syracuse was 10-20 (.500) from three-point range in the second stanza. UMass also shot just 5-14 (.357) from the free throw line. McBride finished with 30 points for SU, her second straight 30-point game.
The Minutewomen will participate in the Coca-Cola Classic this weekend at the Arena At Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Conn. In the first round, Massachusetts will take on host-school Fairfield at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 29. Then on Sunday, UMass will face either Brown or Delaware at 1:00 p.m. or 3:30 p.m in the consolation or championship game.