Women's Basketball Game Vs. Dayton Moved To Wednesday At 7:00
Jan. 3, 2006
UMass Opens Up New Year And Conference Slate Against Dayton Wednesday Night At The Mullins Center
It's a new year as well as a new season as the Massachusetts (3-8) women's basketball team hosts Dayton (8-3) in the Atlantic 10 Conference opener Wednesday night at the Mullins Center.
UMass will be looking for a fresh start in conference play after struggling in non-conference action so far this season.
The Minutewomen are coming off a second-place finish at the Atlanta Marriott Northwest/Georgia Tech Holiday Invitational. They beat Brown 70-60 in the opener, but then dropped a 57-43 decision to host-school Georgia Tech (11-1) in the championship game.
UMass led the Yellow Jackets by as many as nine points in the first half, but Georgia Tech closed out the game on a 16-3 run for the win.
After scoring 70-plus points in two straight games, UMass struggled offensively. It shot just 12-for-38 (.316) from the field and committed 22 turnovers.
The Yellow Jackets also shot poorly (20-for-61; .328), but has 23 offensive rebounds that turned into 20 second-chance points. Georgia Tech held a 41-25 edge on he glass and had just five second-half turnovers while outscoring the Minutewomen 38-20 in the second stanza.
Tuesday night's game marks the first home game for UMass in 33 days. UMass last played a home game on Dec. 1 against Hofstra.
Scouting The Flyers
Dayton enters league play as one of the Atlantic 10 Conference's most-improved teams. After going 12-16 last year, the Flyers are already off to an 8-3 start. It is the earliest that they have ever been to eight wins.
The Flyers are third in the A-10 averaging 64.2 ppg this season while allowing 62.7 (seventh). Dayton is third in the league in field goal percentage (.438), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.370) and 13th in free throw percentage (.613). The Flyers are fifth in the league in rebounding margin (+1.9) and 11th in turnover margin (-1.73).
Dayton's Cara Wright leads the team with 14.1 ppg and 10.8 rpg. She has been the A-10 Player of the Week for the last four weeks. Jennifer Strong is second on the squad pouring in 10.2 ppg.
This will be the ninth all-time meeting between Massachusetts and Dayton with the Minutewomen holding an 8-3 advantage. UMass has won the last two games including last year's record-setting 52-30 win at the UD Arena. The 30 points marked the fewest amount of points that a UMass team has held an opponent to since beating UConn 41-28 on Jan. 30, 1975.
UMass is 4-2 against the Flyers at home, all of those games coming at the Mullins Center.
Rosanio averaged 14.0 ppg and 2.5 rpg in the two games while Mills averaged 12.5 ppg and 5.0 rpg. Rosanio was 12-for-15 (.800) from the free throw line while Mills shot 10-for-14 (.714) from the field.
Finally Breaking The Drought
After failing to break the 50-point plateau for two consecutive games and four times in eight contests this year, UMass broke out for a season-high 76 points in the Dec. 10 loss at Syracuse.
The 76 points were the most since the Minutewomen beat Toledo 76-56 on Dec. 6, 2004 at the Mullins Center.
The Minutewomen followed that up with a 70-point effort against Brown on Dec. 30 in the Atlanta Marriott Holiday Invitational.
The New Center
Sophomore Whitney McDonald has started the last four games at center for the Minutewomen and turned in a pair of career outings.
The Ossining, N.Y., native has averaged 6.3 ppg and 3.8 rpg in those four contests.
In her first career start Dec. 8 at Boston College, McDonald had a career-high eight points.
She then topped that performance with a career-high 10 points and seven rebounds Dec. 10 at Syracuse. McDonald had all 10 points in the first half on 5-for-6 shooting.
The New Sixth Man
Since being taken out of the starting line-up last month, Kate Mills has been playing some solid basketball.
Mills started the Minutewomen's first four games of the year and averaged 9.3 ppg and 3.0 rpg. She shot 41 percent from the field and 67 percent from the free throw line in those games.
In the last seven games, Mills has come off the bench to average 13.3 ppg and 5.9 rpg. She has shot 60 percent from the field and 69 percent from the free throw line while also adding 14 assists, four blocks and six steals.
Mills posted her first career double-double in UMass' win over Siena Nov. 29. The sophomore from Elkton, Md., had career-highs of 15 points and 10 rebounds. She did this in only 23 minutes as she spent much of the game in foul trouble.
She followed that up in the very next game with a career-high 22 points and eight boards in the Minutewomen's loss to Hofstra on Dec. 1. Mills scored 16 points in the second half on 6-for-9 shooting to help lead UMass back from a 16-point deficit. Down by a point, Mills saw her game-winning shot roll off the front of the rim with 2.9 seconds left.
Mills came back with 20 points on a career-best 10-for-13 shooting at Syracuse Dec. 10. That marked her second 20-game performance in the last five games.
A pair of UMass sophomores rank among the league leaders in field goal percentage.
Kate Mills is third in the league shooting 53 percent from the field. She is 55-for-104 from the field.
Pam Rosanio is 12th in the conference converting at a 41-percent rate from the field.
Rosanio also ranks ninth in the league in free throw shooting at 74 percent. She is 40-for-54 from the charity stripe.
Picking Right Up Where She Left Off
UMass sophomore swing player Pam Rosanio picked right up where she left off from last season.
The Southampton, Pa., native is averaging a team-high 13.9 ppg this season and reached double-figures in all but three games this year.
Rosanio currently ranks 12th in the league in scoring.
After pouring in a game-high 18 points against Delaware, Rosanio just missed her first career double-double against Holy Cross. She had a team-high 15 points and tied her career-high with nine rebounds against the Crusaders.
Her season high is 19 points which she scored Nov. 29 against Siena and Dec. 10 at Syracuse.
Rosanio, the Dinn Brothers/UMass Athlete of the Week on Nov. 21, has played in a team-high 35.5 minutes per game.
Rosanio led the team in scoring as a freshman last year (10.9 ppg) and was selected by the A-10 coaches and media to the Preseason All-Conference second team.
Back To Back Double-Doubles
UMass went the first four games of the season without a double-double, but saw a different player post a double-double in two straight games.
Kate Mills posted her first career double-double Nov. 29 against Siena with a then-career-high 15 points and a career-high 10 boards.
Tamara Tatham notched her fourth career double-double Dec. 1 against Hofstra with 13 points and a career-high tying 11 rebounds.
Younger Sister Getting In The Act As Well
While Tamara Tatham has had a solid two-plus seasons in Amherst, her younger sister Alisha is beginning to make her presence felt.
Alisha scored a career-high 11 points on Sunday against Holy Cross. She was 5-for-6 from the free throw line and made two clutch shots in the final few minutes of the Minutewomen's win.
The Brampton, Ontario native is currently fifth on the team averaging 4.4 ppg.
Alisha has spent the last couple of years playing on the Canadian Junior National team and was a starting captain this past summer.
Filling The Void
The Brampton, Ontario, native has pulled down a team-high 8.3 rpg in UMass' 11 games. This includes a career-high 12 boards Dec. 4 at New Hampshire.
Tatham is fifth in the A-10 on the glass.
Pam Rosanio has also improved her production on the boards. Rosanio was averaging just 3.1 rpg heading into this season, but is third on the team with 4.5 rpg.
Rosanio tied her career-high against Holy Cross Nov. 20 with nine rebounds and just missed her first career double-double as she also scored 15 points.
Kate Mills is second on the team with 5.5 rpg.
Dishing It Out
UMass had a season-high 23 assists on 34 field goals Dec. 10 at Syracuse.
That was the most assists by the Minutewomen since breaking the school record with 28 against Toledo on Dec. 6, 2004, at the Mullins Center.
Nelson is tied for 13th in the league dishing out 3.00 assists per game while her 1.14 assist to turnover ratio is tied for 11th.
Nelson Breaks Three-Point Field Goals Attempted Record
Redshirt senior point guard Katie Nelson is closing in on several records.
Nelson currently ranks second all-time with 169 three-point field goals made. That is 10 trifectas behind Beth Kuzmeski who is the all-time leader.
With five three-pointers attempted against Siena Nov. 29, Nelson broke the all-time school record. She now has now taken 553 trifectas. Kuzmeski has the second-most with 518.
In addition, Nelson has a career .306 three-point field goal percentage. That is currently 10th-best in UMass history.
Nelson also ranks seventh in school history with 305 career assists, while her 1.4 assist to turnover ratio ranks first all-time at UMass.
Nelson, whose father is the head men's basketball coach at Johns Hopkins University (Md.), is currently 24th all-time at UMass with 754 career points.
Junior Tamara Tatham has had two very solid seasons thus far as a Minutewoman and is now 29th on the all-time chart in scoring.
Tatham has 621 points and her 9.1 ppg average in her career is 20th-best on the all-time scoring average chart.
In addition, Tatham is 14th in school history with 41 blocked shots.
Tatham spent this past summer training with the Canadian National Development team and participated in the World University Games in Izmir, Turkey.
Love That Home Cookin'
UMass has now won 24 of its last 40 home games (.600). This includes 11 of the last 15 (.733) non-conference tilts on its home floor.
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