Women's Basketball

Late Rally Results In UMass Loss To Holy Cross, 63-59

Sophomore guard Emily Mital produced 12 of her 14 points during the second half of competition with Holy Cross.

Sophomore guard Emily Mital produced 12 of her 14 points during the second half of competition with Holy Cross.

Nov. 25, 2012

Box Score |  Photo Gallery 

AMHERST, Mass. - In a contest that came down to the final minute of play, UMass women's basketball dropped a 63-59 decision to visiting-Holy Cross on Sunday afternoon. Sophomore guard Emily Mital had a team-high 14 points, including 12 in the second half. Senior center Jasmine Watson contributed 11 points and seven rebound while redshirt-junior Kiara Bomben added 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

The Minutewomen (1-5 overall) opened the contest with a lockdown defensive effort to keep Holy Cross (2-3) off the scoreboard until 14:34 remained in the first half. The Crusaders opened 0-for-9 from the floor while UMass forced Holy Cross to commit a pair of turnovers during the span.

Bomben jump-started the UMass offense during the beginning minutes of play, hitting on 3-of-3 field goal attempts, including a three-pointer, to tally seven points as the Minutewomen worked ahead, 12-6 with 10:49 to play in the opening stanza. Watson also spearheaded the efforts on both ends of the court during the first half, adding 11 points and four rebounds on a 3-for-4 performance from the floor and 5-for-7 half at the free throw line.

Holy Cross rallied with a 10-6 run over five minutes of play to pull even with UMass at 16-16 on a Lisa Mifsud layup with 5:55 left in the first. However, Watson answered with six points, including a layup and four free throws, over the remaining time of the opening half to help the Minutewomen enter the break ahead by four, 27-23.

After the Crusaders tied the contest at 32-32 on a three-pointer by Christine Ganser, the teams exchanged baskets until the Minutewomen used a 12-3 run to pull ahead, 56-50 with four minutes to play in regulation. Down 47-44 entering the run, senior guard Dee Montgomery connected on a fastbreak layup and Mital added a bucket to push UMass into the lead, 48-47.

The Minutewomen continued the offensive spurt with Timbilla connecting on the third consecutive layup for the squad while sophomore forward Aisha Rodney added a jumper and Mital and Timbilla tallied back-to-back baskets for the six-point advantage. Overall, Mital took control of the offense during the second half with 12 points in the stanza on 5-for-11 shooting, including a pair of three-pointers.

However, the outcome was decided during the final minute of play as Holy Cross fought back to take a 60-58 lead on an Alex Smith three-pointer with 48 seconds remaining to play. During the ensuing inbounds play, the Crusaders forced a turnover and hit one of two free throws after drawing a whistle.

Trailing 61-58 with 21 seconds remaining, Montgomery earned a pair of foul shots and was able to convert the second to pull UMass within two of tying; however, Mifsud drained a pair of attempts from the charity stripe with 13 seconds remaining to seal the Crusaders victory.

Smith and Ganser paced Holy Cross, recording 20 and 16 points, respectively, while Brisje Malone also reached double-digits in scoring with 10.

UMass shot 46.2 percent from the field (24-for-52) and was 7-for-11 from the free throw line (63.6 percent). Holy Cross finished 23-of-56 on field goal attempts (41.1 percent) while only converting 11 of 21 attempts from the charity stripe (52.4 percent). The Crusaders led in rebounds, 36-32 due to a 13-7 edge on the offensive glass.

Points in the paint were even at 28-28 while UMass earned a slight lead in scoring off of turnovers, 18-16. Each bench contributed eight points to its respective team's offensive efforts.

The Minutewomen hit the road for their next four contests, beginning with a game at Ohio University on Thursday, Nov. 29 before UMass heads to Miami (Ohio) on Saturday, Dec. 1.



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