Furious UMass Comeback Falls Short Against Siena, 57-51
Dec. 28, 2012
AMHERST, Mass. - Senior center Jasmine Watson produced 15 points and seven rebounds against Siena on Friday evening; however, UMass women's basketball was unable to overcome a slow start in their 57-51 loss to the Saints. Freshman guard Rashida Timbilla produced a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds while sophomore guard Emily Mital added 14 points, including four three-pointers as the Minutewomen were within one basket of tying the contest during the final 18 seconds.
Watson surpassed Keyburn McCusker (1987-91; 1,135 points) and Tez Kraft (1994-99; 1,144) to move into 12th place on the UMass all-time scoring list during competition at the Mullins Center. Redshirt-sophomore forward Millie Niggeling chipped in five points, five rebounds and three assists while senior point guard Dee Montgomery returned from injury to add three rebounds, two points and an assist without committing a turnover in 19 minutes.
Cold shooting from the floor plagued both squads during the first half, with Siena eventually drawing a 27-13 lead at halftime, balanced by a 16-6 run during the middle of the stanza. After Watson tallied her first points on a layup to put UMass ahead, 4-2 with 15:03 remaining, the Saints controlled action with their scoring outburst, leading to the 14-point advantage at the half.
However, the Minutewomen responded exiting the break to cut the deficit to single-digits, 30-21 with an 8-3 run. Niggeling opened scoring in the final stanza with a layup before adding a three-pointer to bring UMass within 27-18. After Ida Krogh knocked down a triple for Siena, Mital answered on the other end of the floor to make it a 30-21 game with 15:39 to play.
With its lead down to nine, Siena went on a 11-4 spurt to go ahead, 41-25; however, the Minutewomen responded down the stretch to pull within two of tying with less than a minute remaining. Watson led the charge with nine points during the span, finishing the stretch 4-of-5 from the field with a free throw. The South Bend, Ind., native produced six of her final nine to help the Minutewomen pull within single-digits once again, 41-32 at the 7:36 mark. Following Krogh's layup to extend the Siena advantage to 45-35, Watson, Mital and Timbilla connected on consecutive shots to drop the margin to 45-41 with 3:15 to play.
After the teams exchanged points into the final minute of play, Montgomery completed an acrobatic layup at the left side of the basket with 18 seconds left to mark the first instance of UMass pulling to within one bucket of knotting the score. The Minutewomen were forced to foul Siena on the ensuing inbounds play, with Ciara Stewart knocking down both attempts to stretch the Saints' lead back to four.
Redshirt-junior forward Kiara Bomben matched Stewarts' free throws with 11 seconds leading to mark the last offensive push. Krogh and Tehresa Coles each keyed in on a pair of foul shots over the final eight seconds to reach the final score, 57-51.
UMass finished the contest hitting 20-of-62 field goals overall (32.3 percent) and 5-of-14 from behind the arc (35.7 percent) while limiting Siena to a 27.9 shooting percentage (17-for-61) with seven mad three-pointers in 23 attempts (30.4 percent). The Saints connected on 16-of-21 free throws (76.2 percent) while the Minutewomen hit 6-of-11 (54.5 percent).
Points in the paint favored UMass, 28-14, while Siena tallied a slim lead in scoring off of turnovers, 13-12. The Minutewomen notched an 8-6 lead in second chance points and the Saints' bench players led the UMass reserves, 13-9.
Krogh tallied 17 points to pace Siena while Coles added 12 and Lily Grenci pulled down 14 rebounds.
The Minutewomen continue their 2012-13 campaign at Harvard's Lavietes Pavilion with a Wed., Jan. 2 contest at 7 p.m. in Cambridge, Mass.