Minutewomen Fall To No. 25 Michigan
Dec. 29, 2002
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The 25th-ranked University of Michigan (9-2) women's basketball team used an 8-0 run in the game's final 1:04 to hand the University of Massachusetts (8-3) a 64-61 loss in the State Farm Classic consolation game tonight at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
The Minutewomen held a 61-56 lead with 1:23 left, but that would be their final points. Michigan's Tabitha Pool drained a three-pointer with 1:04 left cutting the UMass lead to two points. After a UMass turnover, the Wolverines then re-gained the lead with a three-pointer by Niki Reams. Reams then made two free throws to give Michigan a three-point edge with 22 seconds left in regulation. On the other end of the floor, another UMass turnover gave the ball back to Michigan. A UMass foul sent UM's Lauren Andrews to the free throw line for a one-and-one opportunity. She obliged by missing the front end, but the Minutewomen were unable to get off a shot before the clock expired 4.4 seconds later.
Massachusetts led by 14 points (32-18) at the half, but a 12-4 Wolverine run spanning the first 4:51 of the second half cut the UMass lead to six points at 36-30. Michigan continued to chip away for the next several minutes and drew even on a trifecta by Pool at the 6:46 mark. After Michigan took a two-point lead on its next possession, senior Ebony Pegues (Columbus, Ohio) drained a three-pointer regaining the lead for Massachusetts.
UMass controlled play for much of the first half, but were unable to put the Wolverines away. Michigan shot just .229 (8-35) in the first half, while the Minutewomen were .424 (14-33) from the field. UMass sophomore Katie Nelson (Ellicott City, Md.) had 12 points in the first half on 4-of-9 shooting from three-point range, but was held scoreless in the second half.
UMass senior Jen Butler (Brooklyn, N.Y.) finished the game with 18 points and 12 rebounds, but played just seven minutes in the first half as she was in foul trouble. Senior Nekole Smith (Ann Arbor, Mich.) had 12 points and five rebounds as well, while blocking two shots.
Pool led the Wolverines with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Reams finished with 16 points, while Stephanie Gandy had 11.
UMass shot .400 (22-55) from the field for the game. Michigan shot .556 (15-27) in the second half to improve to .317 (23-62) for the game. Both teams pulled down 38 rebounds, but UMass committed 20 turnovers.
Massachusetts returns to the Mullins Center to host Memphis in its final non-conference game on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2003. Tip-off is slated for 2:00 p.m.