Women's Basketball Wins Sixth Straight
Dec. 14, 2002
AMHERST, Mass. - Senior Jennifer Butler (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored a career-high 30 points, while pulling down 20 rebounds as the University of Massachusetts (8-1) women's basketball team won its sixth consecutive game, a 77-61 triumph over Northeastern (2-6) this afternoon at the Mullins Center. Butler's 30 points were a new UMass Mullins Center record, as she broke her own mark of 28 set on Jan. 9, 2001 against Rhode Island. The 77 points scored today by the Minutewomen are a new season-high.
This is the sixth consecutive win for the Minutewomen and best start to a season since the 1968-69 squad began the year 9-0. It marks 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. 15 before the 2001-02 team won its eighth game of the year.
Massachusetts had runs of 10-0 and 7-0 in the first half, but could not put the pesky Huskies away. The Minutewomen held a 45-34 advantage at the break. It was the most points by the Minutewomen in a half this season.
In the second half, the Minutewomen saw their 15-point lead cut to six at the 7:23 mark of the second half, but an 11-1 run over the next 4:21 ended the Huskies' come-back attempt.
Senior Nekole Smith (Ann Arbor, Mich.) chipped in with a season-high 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field. Classmate Ebony Pegues (Columbus, Ohio) had 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while sophomore Katie Nelson (Ellicott City, Md.) had eight points, four assists and 0 turnovers. Nelson also established a new career-high with two blocked shots. Sophomore Monique Govan (Chicago, Ill.) dished out a season-high four assists in just five minutes.
The Minutewomen out-rebounded the Huskies, 50-32, and shot .449 (31-69) from the field. UMass had 23 assists for 31 field goals.
UMass turned a 9-8 game into a 19-8 lead with a 10-0 run spanning 3:38 of the first half. Butler had a double-double at halftime (17-11), her seventh of the season and 48th for her career. Smith and Pegues also reached double-figures by intermission with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Katarina Andersson led the Huskies with 12 points and six rebounds. Amherst product Francesca Vanin poured in nine points, while grabbing a team-high seven rebounds.
Massachusetts will enjoy a two-week break before returning to action on Dec. 28-29, at the State Farm Classic in Gainesville, Fla. The Minutewomen will take on host-school Florida in the first round, Dec. 28, at 7:30 p.m. Michigan and Virginia will play in the other game.