UMass Drops Last-Second Decision To Bowling Green, 64-61
Dec. 19, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - Senior center Jasmine Watson poured in 21 points on a 9-for-15 evening from the field; however, UMass women's basketball fell at home in the final seconds to Bowling Green, 64-61. In her first collegiate start, freshman point guard Nola Henry tallied 11 assists against only four turnovers while chipping in eight points and four rebounds over 33 minutes on the floor at the Mullins Center.
Sophomore guard Emily Mital and redshirt-sophomore Millie Niggeling each totaled eight points, with Niggeling contributing six rebounds and four assists. Freshman guard Rashida Timbilla added eight rebounds and seven points on a 3-for-5 performance from the floor and a 1-for-2 day at the free throw line, adding a pair of steals to the team effort.
Henry opened scoring with a driving layup to the left of the basket on the first possession of the contest. After Bowling Green rallied with a 7-2 run to take a three-point lead with 16:36 remaining, UMass answered with layups from Timbilla, Watson and sophomore forward Aisha Rodney to pull in front, 10-7 at the 12:42 mark.
The squads played back-and-forth until Bowling Green used an 8-0 run to pull ahead, 27-19, with a pair of Chrissy Steffen free throws capping the spurt with 2:02 remaining. The Minutewomen closed the half with stout defense and productive play near the Bowling Green basket to cut the deficit in half, using buckets from Mital and Watson to close the gap to 27-23 entering the break.
After the Falcons hit five of their first seven attempts of the final stanza to pull ahead, 39-30 with 14:25 to play, UMass answered with an 11-0 run of its own to take the lead, 41-39 at the 11:07 mark. Redshirt-junior Kiara Bomben sparked the offense with a layup before Henry added her second bucket of the game to pull UMass within 39-34. Watson and Timbilla followed with baskets in the paint to drop the deficit to one before Henry knocked down a three-pointer for the two-point lead.
The Minutewomen extended their advantage to as much as seven during the second half, using a converted free throw by Timbilla with 8:01 to play to go in front, 52-45. However, Bowling Green fought back into the contest with a 12-5 run over the following five minutes of game action, tying it at 57-57 with 2:57 remaining on a Danielle Havel free throw. The back-and-forth play shown throughout much of the first half continued into the final minute of action, with Rogers giving the Falcons the lead for good, 62-61 on a pair of free throws with 28 seconds left on the clock.
The Minutewomen earned a quality attempt on the other end of the court with two seconds remaining as Niggeling's jumper from the paint rattled around the rim before falling to the left of the basket. Rogers was able to pull down the defensive rebound following the close miss and force UMass to foul, hitting the ensuing free throw attempts to reach the final score.
UMass earned an advantage in points in the paint, 38-28 and points off of turnovers, 18-16. Bowling Green led in second-chance scoring, 19-6, while the reserves for each team played almost evenly, with the Falcons totaling a 13-12 advantage in bench points.
The Minutewomen played without the help of senior point guard Dee Montgomery, who was sidelined for the game due to injury and is listed as day-to-day.
Bowling Green was led by 18 points a piece from Rogers and Steffens, with Rogers earning the double-double by pulling down 12 rebounds.
UMass takes to the road without leaving the state for its next contest as the Minutewomen face Northeastern at Solomon Court in Boston on Sat., Dec. 22 at 2 p.m.
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