Jan. 1, 2014
Most Recent Meeting: Massachusetts 70, Virginia Commonwealth University 61 (WNIT First Round)
Massachusetts and Virginia Commonwealth University have met one time previously when the Minutewomen defeated the Rams, 70-61 in the WNIT First Round on March 23, 1995. The win was the first national postseason victory for UMass in the history of the program.
Scouting VCU Women's Basketball
VCU has won 12 of its 13 games entering Atlantic 10 play on the strength of Robyn Parks' 23.2 points per game, the highest scoring total in the conference. Parks has hit 114-of-213 field goal attempts (53.5 percent) and 65-of-81 free throws (80.2 percent) while also pacing the Rams with 9.9 rebounds per game.
Parks is one of four VCU players scoring in double-digits. Isis Thorpe adds 13.7 in each contest while Keira Robinson provides 11.2 and Jessica Pellechio chips in 10.9 on average. Overall, the Rams are outscoring foes 81.5-to-67.6 while shooting 43.3 percent from the floor (380-of-877).
VCU's lone loss came at Ohio State in their second game of the season while the Rams have followed with 11 consecutive victories, including an 81-68 win in their most recent contest, a home meeting with Old Dominion on Dec. 30. Parks led the way for VCU in the game with 27 points on a 12-for-21 day from the floor and 2-of-3 finish at the foul line.
All Home Contests Available On A-10 Digital Network
UMass women's basketball will have each of its 13 home games broadcast online through the Atlantic 10 Digital Network. A link will be provided in each game preview to direct fans or other interest parties to the subscription page, where the viewer can purchase the plan he or she believes to be appropriate.
WMUA 91.1 FM To Broadcast Women's Basketball
Each Massachusetts women's basketball contest during the 2013-14 campaign will be broadcast live on WMUA 91.1 FM. Fans can listen in through their FM radio station or catch the game via the online live streaming app, which is free of charge and linked in each game preview. Either Cody Chrusciel or Chris Doherty will be providing play-by-play breakdown for those listening in while John Ryan or Andrew Cyr will serve as the color commentator.
Surpassing The 25-Point Plateau
Rashida Timbilla recorded her ninth career double-double and the second of her sophomore season with 25 points and 13 rebounds against William & Mary on Saturday, Nov. 30. With her scoring total, Timbilla became the first Minutewoman to record 25 or more points in a game since recent graduate Jasmine Watson earned 25 against Charlotte on March 4, 2011.
She Gets Buckets
Kim Pierre-Louis has provided a consistent shot in and around the paint as a junior in 2013-14, leading her to tie for the fourth-highest field goal percentage in the Atlantic 10. Pierre-Louis has drained 69 of her 138 field goal attempts (50.0 percent) to be one of only six players in the entire conference to qualify for the top-15 in field goal percentage with a mark at or above 50 percent.
For her career, Pierre-Louis has never shot less than 44.4 percent for a season and has made 110 of her 223 attempts as a Minutewoman (49.3 percent). She was 20-of-43 as a freshman (46.5 percent) and 32-for-72 over her sophomore campaign (44.4 percent).
Dialed In From Distance
Emily Mital is providing a consistent presence from beyond the arc as a junior in 2013-14 as she is hitting 43.2 percent of her attempts from long distance (32-of-74) - the fifth-highest percentage in the Atlantic 10 Conference. She also ranks seventh in the A-10 for made three-point field goals per game (2.3), which is only 0.9 behind first-place Erin Shields of Saint Joseph's.
Mital has improved her three-point conversion rate over each of her three seasons at UMass. She connected on 20.5 percent as a freshman (8-of-39) and was 48-for-151 as a sophomore (31.8 percent).
Taking Care Of The Rock
Despite drawing double-teams in every appearance, Rashida Timbilla has taken care of the ball through 11 appearances as a sophomore to earn a 1.6 assist-to-turnover ratio, the sixth-highest in the Atlantic 10 to this point in the 2013-14 season. Timbilla has turned it over 23 times, but has dished out 36 assists to counter the turnovers.
Timbilla is the only forward in the assist-to-turnover ratio top-10 and also the only one with a positive margin among all A-10 women's basketball student-athletes. She has led or tied for the team-high among Minutewomen in assists in seven contests this season and is averaging a team-high 3.3 per game.
Getting To The Line
Fourteen games into the 2013-14 season, sophomore Nola Henry is averaging 8.2 points per appearance due in part to her ability to challenge a defender, draw a foul and make her free throws. Henry is already 50-of-66 from the charity stripe this year (75.8 percent), including a career-best 9-for-10 performance against Central Michigan on Nov. 10.
An added facet to her game, Henry found her way to the free throw line more times in the opening two games as a sophomore than she did in 506 minutes played over 28 contests as a freshman. During 2012-13, Henry finished 9-of-14 (.643) on free throws and scored just 2.5 points per contest.