Women's Basketball Knocks Off Villanova, 55-50
Dec. 11, 2002
AMHERST, Mass. - Senior Jen Butler (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored a game-high 16 points as the University of Massachusetts knocked off previously undefeated Villanova, 55-50, this evening at the Curry Hicks Cage. This is the fifth consecutive win for the Minutewomen and best start to a season since the 1968-69 squad began the year 9-0. It was the first UMass basketball game played at the Cage since Feb. 18, 1995.
Massachusetts, which trailed by as many as seven points late in the first half, used an 11-0 run spanning the final 1:52 of the first half and 2:39 into the second to take a four-point lead. The Minutewomen led by as many as seven points at the 6:01 mark of the second half. The Wildcats, who came into the contest averaging 65.8 points, used the three pointer to claw back into the game. A Courtney Mix trifecta at the 2:04 mark cut the Minutewomen's lead to three. After a defensive stand by the Wildcats, a UMass foul sent Trish Juhline to the line for a one-and-one. A .692 percent free throw shooter coming into the game, Juhline missed the front end. On the other end of the floor, UMass junior Cleo Foster (Toronto, Ontario) drained the second of her two free throws, her only point of the game, to secure the Minutewomen's seventh win of the season.
This is the longest winning streak by Massachusetts since the 1997-98 squad ran off nine consecutive straight victories from Feb. 4 through March 1. It was Feb. 10 before the 2001-02 team won its seventh game of the year.
In addition to her 16 points, Butler pulled down 12 rebounds. Fellow classmate Ebony Pegues (Columbus, Ohio) scored 15 points and dished out five assists, while senior Nekole Smith (Ann Arbor, Mich.) chipped in with 14 points and five rebounds. In addition, she was four-for-four from the charity stripe. Once again, senior Amber Sneed (Cincinnati, Ohio) had a solid night off the bench, contributing six points and four boards in 17 minutes.
The Minutewomen out-rebounded the Wildcats, 42-23 and shot .417 (20-48) from the field. Villanova was .345 (20-58) from the field, including .258 (8-31) from behind the arc. UMass made 17 trips to the charity stripe, converting on 12 of them (.706), while Villanova was just 2-for-4. UMass out-scored Villanova in the paint, 33-9.
Katie Davis paced the Wildcats with 16 points. Juhline and Courtney Mix added 13 and 10 points, respectively. Mix also grabbed 10 boards.
Massachusetts returns to the Mullins Center on Saturday, Dec. 14, for a 2:00 p.m. tip-off against Northeastern.