Sharp-Shooting Minutewomen Down Elon, 76-56, Run Winning Streak To Four
Dec. 28, 2011
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Behind 9-of-14 (64.3%) shooting from beyond the arc, the UMass women's basketball team downed Elon, 76-56, in the opening round of the Marriott Cavalier Classic on Wednesday evening at John Paul Jones Arena. Following their fourth straight win, the Minutewomen improve their record to 5-8 and advance to take on host Virginia in the tournament's championship game on Thursday night at 7 p.m. With the loss, Elon falls to 5-6.
Senior Megan Zullo led the UMass charge from long range, scoring all of her season-high 19 points in the first half thanks to 5-of-6 three-point shooting. Zullo was one of four Minutewomen who scored in double figures as junior Shakia Robinson chipped in 16 points while senior Emilie Teuscher and junior Jasmine Watson contributed 15 points apiece. Watson finished one rebound shy of a double-double, Teuscher knocked down all three three-pointers she attempted, and Zullo dished out a game-high eight assists. Redshirt sophomore Carolann Cloutier turned in a solid outing with seven points, seven assists, and five boards.
The contest marked the fourth consecutive game four Minutewomen scored in double figures as UMass notched its largest margin of victory this season.
After the lead changed hands five times in the first five minutes of the contest, UMass used a 21-2 run to open up a 33-13 advantage at the 8:26 mark with four of Zullo's five treys coming during that stretch. Elon tallied three of the game's next four buckets to cut its deficit to 14 before both teams were held scoreless over the next 4:54. After Elon broke the scoring drought with a Sam Coffer layup, a pair of late layups by Robinson gave the Minutewomen a 39-23 lead at the half.
The Minutewomen held a double-digit advantage the entire second half, taking their largest lead of the game, 23, on a layup by Teuscher with 7:01 remaining.
The Minutewomen shot nearly identically well in the first half (51.7%) and the second half (51.6%) as they converted 31-of-60 attempts (51.7%) overall. The Phoenix converted 22-of-62 shots (35.5%). UMass also forced a season-high 21 turnovers and won the rebounding battle, 38-33. The Minutewomen went 5-of-5 (100%) from the charity stripe while Elon finished 5-of-8 (62.5%). The Phoenix hit just 7-of-27 (25.9%) three-point attempts.
Pacing Elon, junior Ali Ford notched 16 points behind the strength of four three-pointers. Junior Kelsey Evans tallied 11 points and eight rebounds for the Phoenix while senior Aiesha Harper dished out six assists.
The UMass victory combined with Virginia's 84-41 win over Wagner on Wednesday night sets up the first-ever meeting between the Minutemen and Cavaliers on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.