UMass Falls To Binghamton In Blue Sky Classic Opener, 56-51
Dec. 29, 2013
HANOVER, N.H. - UMass women's basketball fell to Binghamton in the first game of the Blue Sky Classic, hosted at Dartmouth College's Leede Arena, 56-51,on Sunday evening. Freshman center Kymber Hill led the Minutewomen with 12 points on a 6-for-10 performance from the floor and added a pair of blocks.
Kim Pierre-Louis provided eight points - all in the second half - while Jasmine Harris scored eight and pulled down four rebounds. Kiara Bomben also notched eight points and grabbed six boards while Nola Henry paced both sides with nine rebounds.
Sherae Swinson led Binghamton with 19 points as she finished 6-of-14 from the field and 7-for-8 at the foul line. Morgan Murphy earned 13 points while Swinson and Murphy each pulled down six rebounds to tie for the team lead in the category.
The Minutewomen (3-10 overall) controlled the pace early, scoring the first five points of the game on a Harris layup and Henry three-pointer. After missing two games due to injury, Rashida Timbilla checked in to the contest with 12 minutes, three seconds left in the opening half and set up Harris with a jumper to give UMass an 18-10 lead only 17 seconds later.
Timbilla added her second assist in as many possessions when Hill connected on a layup for the 20-10 advantage at the 10:38 mark to give the Minutewomen their first double-digit lead of the contest. The Ottawa, Ontario, native followed with a layup in front of the hoop during the next trip down the floor to push the advantage to 12 points, the largest UMass lead of the evening.
However, the Bearcats cut into their deficit with a 9-0 run stretching the final 2:33 of the first half to move within 29-28 of UMass at the break.
Binghamton (2-10) carried its moment over into the second half and took the lead, 30-29 on a bucket by Vaneeshia Paulk eight seconds into the frame.
The Bearcats went on to hit five of their opening eight field goal attempts during the stanza to go in front, 40-33 with 14:32 to play. On the strength of its made field goals, Binghamton built its lead as large as 11 points with 10:28 left and shot 10-for-23 from the floor and 8-for-10 on foul shots during the deciding half.
The Minutewomen battled back with an 8-0 run to keep the contest close. Pierre-Louis earned a pair of buckets during the stretch while Hill and Timbilla drained one basket a piece as UMass moved within 46-43 of the Bearcats with 7:43 to play. However, Swinson responded with a pair of free throws followed by a jumper in the paint to extend Binghamton's lead to 50-43 at the 5:27 mark.
Massachusetts made one last push to tie during the final minutes of competition. Bomben connected on a jump shot before Pierre-Louis added her final bucket of the game to make it 53-47 Binghamton with 2:23 left. Harris added a layup with 98 seconds to play to draw UMass within four points, but the Minutewomen were unable to pull closer down the stretch.
UMass went 22-for-56 from the floor (39.3 percent), including a 3-of-12 finish from beyond the arc (25.0 percent). The Minutewomen also hit four of their five free throw attempts (80.0 percent).
The Bearcats hit 22-of-57 field goals (38.6 percent) but were held to just 1-for-7 on three-pointers (14.3 percent). Binghamton ended 11-for-14 from the charity stripe (78.6 percent).
Points in the paint were nearly even as the Minutewomen held a 32-30 lead in the category. Binghamton earned a 15-11 advantage in scoring off of turnovers while the Bearcats bench earned 19 points to 12 for the UMass reserves.
UMass closes participation in the Blue Sky Classic with a contest against host-Dartmouth at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 30.