CINCINNATI, Ohio -
Playing its final game of the regular season, the UMass women's basketball team will be looking to secure a berth into the Atlantic 10 Tournament when the squad takes the court at Xavier on Sunday in a contest that will air nationally on CBS Sports Network. With a victory vs. the Musketeers (7-19, 4-9 A-10), the Minutewomen (8-20, 3-10 A-10) can clinch a spot in the postseason and stretch their current winning streak to three.
Last Time: Minutewomen Roll Past Rhody On Senior Day, 68-57
With 23 assists on 24 field goals and four players in double figures, the UMass women's basketball team rolled to a 68-57 victory over Rhode Island on Senior Day at the Mullins Center on Wednesday evening. The Minutewomen led for all but 55 seconds of the contest to move to 8-20 on the season (3-10 A-10), surpassing the team's 2010-11 overall win total.
For the first time since Dec. 28 vs. Elon, four UMass players scored in double figures, with two more finishing just shy.
The Minutewomen shot a season-best 54.5% (24-for-44) from the field and tied a season high with nine threes on 17 attempts (52.9%).
Junior Jasmine Watson led the way with 15 points, aided by 7-for-10 shooting, her ninth time as the team's high scorer this season and 20th time in double figures. She moved up to 19th on the program's all-time scoring list.
Senior Megan Zullo added 13 points, her sixth time in double figures this season and third time in three straight games.
Junior Shakia Robinson had 11 points, her 19th time in double figures this year and 33rd of her career.
Freshman Emily Mital chipped in with a career-high 11 points, including a 6-for-6 performance at the free throw line, her second time in double figures this season. The 6-for-6 showing at the charity stripe was the best by any member of the Minutewomen this season.
Redshirt freshman Millie Niggeling was a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc to match her career high of nine points, coming in 11 minutes of play.
Senior Emilie Teuscher had eight points, including two treys to move up into a tie for sixth on the UMass single season list. She is now four shy of fourth.
Five Minutewomen totaled three or more assists, paced by Zullo's six and Niggeling's four. It was Zullo's 21st game of her career with five or more helpers. She is now three shy of her 300th of her UMass career.
The squad shared the responsibility of cleaning up the glass as Watson, Teuscher, and Zullo all had a team-high four rebounds apiece, while Robinson and Mital each had three boards.
Zullo The Key Ingredient When Minutewomen Win
Sixth-year senior Megan Zullo has been a major factor in UMass' victories this season. In wins, she is averaging 14.3 points per-game and 4.25 assists per-game, while shooting 54.7% (29-for-53) from three-point range.
In the squad's losses, however, she is averaging 7.6 ppg and 2.8 apg, while shooting 33.3% (34-for-102) from long range.
Zullo has scored in double figures in seven of the Minutewomen's eight wins on the season, dishing five or more assists in four of those eight contests.
With the loss of point guard Carolann Cloutier to injury for the remainder of the season, freshman Emily Mital has appeared in the starting lineup the past two games, her second and third starts of her career.
In her three times as a member of the starting five, she has made the most of her opportunities, averaging 38.0 minutes per-game.
As a starter, Mital is averaging 7.0 points per-game, 6.0 rebounds per-game and 2.0 assists per-game and set a career high with 11 points vs. Rhode Island.
Twice The Production For #2
Senior Emilie Teuscher has upped her scoring and rebounding output from last season, going from 5.2 points per-game as a junior to an 8.5 average this season. On the boards she averaged 2.6 last year and is now up to 3.5 per-game this season. Teuscher had a career-high 157 points in 30 games last year and already has 239 in 28 games in 2011-12. She totaled 79 rebounds last season and has surpassed that total with 98 thus far this year.
Aiding to her point production, Teuscher has been hot from beyond the arc. In three consecutive games (Boston College, Providence and Maine), she tied her then-career high for made threes with four in each of those contests. At Saint Louis on Feb. 15, Teuscher set a new career best with six made threes, matching the second highest single game total in program history. She has already surpassed her career high in made threes set last season (36), now with 54, entering the single season top-10 for the first time in her career, currently tied for sixth.
In the month of December (eight games), Teuscher shot 25-for-42 (59.5%) from three-point range, while the team was 52-for-129 (40.3%). At the Marriott Cavalier Classic, she connected on 6-of-7 from deep.
Minutewomen Continue Reputation As Strong 3-Point Shooting Team
Despite losing the nation's top three-point shooter from last season, Cerie Mosgrove, to graduation, UMass has continued to maintain its reputation as one of the nation's top three-point shooting teams.
Senior Megan Zullo ranks fourth in the Atlantic 10 in three-point percentage at 40.6% (63-for-155) and is 15th nationally. Senior Emilie Teuscher is currently third in the conference at 42.2% (54-for-128).
In threes per-game, Zullo is second in the A-10 with a 2.3 average, while Teuscher is tied for fifth (1.9).
In the UMass record book, Teuscher now ranks sixth in career three-point percentage at .370, having made 97-for-262 in her four years with the Minutewomen. She has also entered the single season list for three-point percentage, currently fifth with her 42.2% shooting this season.
Zullo's name blankets the UMass three-point lists and is the only player in the top-five for career threes with under 100 games played, currently second with 187 in 86 games as a Minutewoman.
Zullo has made a total of 234 career treys combined in her time at N.C. State and UMass in 120 games.
UMass finished 2010-11 ranked seventh in the nation at 38.1% from beyond the arc, sinking a school-record 213-of-559.
Seven of the top nine marks in the UMass record book for single season three-point field goals made have been set in the past four seasons, including three by Zullo (70 in 2010-11, 63 in 2011-12 and 54 in 2009-10).
Two Earn All-Tournament Honors At UVA Cavalier Classic
Following the team's runner-up performance at the University of Virginia Cavalier Classic, senior Megan Zullo and junior Jasmine Watson represented UMass on the All-Tournament Team.
Watson was UMass' leading rebound in both contests with nine against Elon and 12 against Virginia. She averaged 11.5 points and 10.5 rebounds over the two games and shot 50% (8-for-16) from the field and 70% (7-for-10) at the free throw line.
Zullo averaged 12.5 points and 5.0 assists per-game in the tournament while shooting 50% (7-for-14) from three-point range. She led the Minutewomen with 19 points vs. Elon and dished eight assists.
Junior Jasmine Watson (944 points), tallied her 800th career point vs. Harvard on Jan. 3. and reached her 900th on Feb. 4 at La Salle.
She is currently 19th on the all-time scoring list behind Karen Fitzgerald (1983-85, 86-87, 977 points) for 20th. Watson is just one of two players in the top-20 with fewer than 85 career games played, joining Fitzgerald (81 games).
Watson is 41 points away from becoming the 18th 1,000 career point scorer in program history. She is ninth all-time in program history for scoring through junior year. The eight players ahead of Watson on that list all finished their careers with 1,400+ points.
At Rhode Island on Jan. 11, Watson became the fifth player in UMass history to record 100 career blocks and is currently at 121. Kate Mills (2004-08) holds the program record with 194.
With 46 blocks on the season, Watson has broken into the UMass single season top-10 for the first time in her career, currently tied for seventh on the list and is two shy of a tie for sixth.
Watson logged her 500th career rebound on Jan. 18 vs. Dayton. She is currently 15th all-time with 552 and has surpassed her previous single season high of 176 from her freshman year, now with 208.
Junior Shakia Robinson registered her 300th career rebound vs. Richmond on Jan. 14 and her 600th career point on Feb. 4 at La Salle. On Feb. 15 at Saint Louis, Robinson set new career high for a points in a season as she now has 339 and scored 309 points last season in 29 games.
At La Salle on Feb. 4, senior Megan Zullo broke into the UMass top-10 for career assists. She is currently 10th with 297 and needs two to pass Sakera Young (2005-09, 298) for ninth. Zullo is also currently four away from tying Katie Nelson for the UMass career three point record, now with 187. Zullo (795) is five points away from her 800th at UMass, as well.
vSenior Emilie Teuscher (97), is currently tied for ninth on the program's list for career threes, needing three to become the ninth player in program history to record her 100th trey and four to pull into a tie for eighth on the list.
UMass brings back five of its top-six returning scorers or 65% of the team's point production from a year ago. Those five were also five of the top-six rebounders, accounting for 594 of the team's 1091 boards in 2010-11 or 54%.
Minutewomen A-10 Tidbits
As a team, the Minutewomen rank fifth in the A-10 in three-point percentage at 34.3% (147-for-428) and fifth in three-pointers per-game (5.3). UMass is fourth in assists as well with a 15.1 per-game average.
Junior Jasmine Watson is currently seventh in the A-10 in rebounding average (7.4) and third in blocked shots (1.6 bpg).
Redshirt sophomore Carolann Cloutier (2nd, 4.7 apg) and senior Megan Zullo (8th, 3.3 apg) both rank in the top-10 in the conference for assists per-game. Zullo is second in the A-10 with a 2.1 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Two of the five (Robinson, 12.1 ppg and Watson, 12.0 ppg) are averaging double figures in scoring this season, while Zullo (9.6 ppg) and Teuscher (8.5 ppg) are just shy of double digits.
UMass' starters have accounted for 1312 of the team's 1608 points or 81.6% of the team's scoring through 28 games.
Zullo is currently seventh in the conference with an average of 34.3 minutes per-game, while Teuscher is 9th (32.8).
Program Earns 500th Win At Siena
The UMass women's basketball team picked up the 500th win in program history, a 58-53 victory at Siena on Dec. 21.
UMass is now 503-614 all-time since the program began in 1968-69.
Zullo Back For More
Guard Megan Zullo returns for the Minutewomen in 2011-12 after being granted a sixth year by the NCAA. Zullo was awarded the additional year of eligibility due to the injuries she sustained as a freshman at North Carolina State and as a junior.
Zullo played all 30 games last season and averaged 10.5 points per-game, good for fourth on the squad and was third in the Atlantic 10 win an average of 4.5 assists per-game. Her total of 135 helpers was the ninth-best single season total of all time in program history, while her tally of 70 three-pointers is second-most on the single season list. She set UMass records for minutes played in a season in 2010-11 with 1,136 and minutes average (37.9).
Through two seasons and counting with the Minutewomen after coming from N.C. State, Zullo has totaled 795 career points, 297 assists and is 187-for-490 (.382) beyond the arc. She is currently ranked second on the UMass career list in three-point field goals made (187), fourth in three-point percentage and fifth in assist average (3.5) and fourth in minutes average (32.6).
Zullo recorded a remarkable 13 assists on 21 UMass baskets (19 possible assist opportunities since two field goals in the contest were her own), setting a new women's Mullins Center record for a single game on Nov. 12, 2010 vs. George Mason, last year's season opener.
The total is second all-time in program history for a single game, trailing only her aunt, the late Christel Zullo, who dished 15 assists against Temple on Feb. 14, 1986.
This past fall, Zullo was named to the College Sports Madness Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference second team.
All That Jas
Junior Jasmine Watson, UMass' top returning scorer, was named to the preseason Atlantic 10 third team for a second straight year.
After missing the first eight games of 2010-11, Watson came back from injury to lead the team in scoring and rebounding with averages of 14.4 and 7.6, respectively, while also contributing 1.7 blocks per-game.
She posted seven double-doubles on the year and was the team's top scorer in seven games. In conference play, Watson averaged 14.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per contest, good for 12th and sixth in the league, respectively.
Through two seasons and counting at UMass, Watson has totaled 959 career points (12.0 ppg), 552 rebounds (6.9 rpg) and 121 blocks. At Rhode Island last January, Watson scored a career-best 27 points.
Watson, the 2009-10 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, is currently fifth on the program's all-time list for career blocks and ranks third in blocked shots average.
From Near And Far
UMass' 12-player roster is comprised of individuals from 11 different states and provinces, including three international players.
Megan Zullo and Millie Niggeling are the first Minutewomen in program history from their respective home states of North Carolina and Iowa.
Among the high school accomplishments of the freshman group, Rodney was a four-time all-state selection at Grosse Pointe South High School in Michigan and Mital was an all-state honoree as a senior and as a junior out of Frisco Liberty High School in Texas.
Cloutier, a transfer from Old Dominion, played with Team Canada at the World University games before college. Niggeling was a four-time all-state selection at Bishop Heelan and helped the team to two Iowa state titles.
UMass Women's Basketball Radio Show On WMUA
Throughout the 2011-12 season, catch up on what's going on with the Minutewomen as WMUA broadcasters Ryan X. Murray and Pat O'Neil talk with head coach Sharon Dawley and other special guests from the UMass women's basketball team on the UMass Women's Basketball Coach's Show, Mondays from 5 to 5:30 p.m. on WMUA 91.1 FM and www.wmua.org.
Minutewomen In The Pros Update
Four former UMass women's basketball standouts who have continued their playing careers overseas are enjoying fantastic years in 2011-12 season. Three of the four, Kate Mills, Cerie Mosgrove and Tamara Tatham, lead their respective teams in scoring, while Pam Rosanio is tied for second in scoring for her club.
Mills, who played for the Minutewomen from 2004-08, is in her first season with Moguerza Real Canoe N.C. of the Liga Femenina 2, Group B in Spain. Mills has appeared in 18 games for Real Canoe, helping the squad to a 15-4 record with 13.4 points per game, 5.8 rebounds per-game and a field goal percentage of 62.4%.
In her first season of professional basketball, 2011 graduate Mosgrove is nearly doubling her teammates' scoring and rebounding averages at 25.4 points and 12.8 rebounds per-game for T71 Dudelange of the Luxembourg-Diekirch League. Mosgrove, averaging 34.9 minutes pergame, has helped her team to a 9-10 record thus far and is shooting 52.2% overall, 38.3% from three and 91.5% at the free throw line.
Tatham, who played at UMass from 2003-2007, is the leading scorer and rebounder for the SV Halle Lions of the Germany-DBBL. Averaging 20 ppg and 10.6 rpg in her second season with the club. She is also chipping in 3.3 steals per-game and is shooting 59.8% from the floor
The Halle Lions are currently 10-8 on the year. Tatham earned player of the week for round 18 on Eurobasket.com. She had 30 points and 11 boards and her double-double contributed to the team's victory against #10 BG 89 Avides, 74-69 (2/18).
Rosanio, a 2008 UMass graduate, is third in scoring for the Solna Vikings, who currently hold a 17-6 record in the Sweden Damligan league. Rosanio is averaging 12.9 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.1 steals
Tatham Sisters Help Canada To Bronze At FIBA Americas
UMass women's basketball alums Tamara and Alisha Tatham recently helped Team Canada to a bronze medal at the FIBA Americas Tournamen this fall. Canada will now move on to the World Olympic Qualifier in June for a chance to secure a position in the 2012 Olympics.
Canada defeated Cuba, 59-46, in the bronze medal game, aided by six rebounds from Tamara Tatham. She also contributed five points, while Alisha Tatham played five minutes and recorded one blocked shot.
Alisha Tatham has been a member of the Canadian National Team for eight years and has played in 64 international contests. Tamara Tatham has been with Team Canada for six years, appearing in 59 games.
A 2007 graduate, Tamara Tatham plays professionally with the Halle Lions in Halle, Germany. The 6-1 forward finished her career with the Minutewomen 10th all-time in scoring (1,186 points) and ranks in the top-10 for career steals (4th, 190), rebounds (5th, 755), blocks (8th, 115) and free throws (8th, 282), as well.
Tamara's younger sister, Alisha, graduated from UMass in 2008 and appeared in 116 career games with the Minutewomen. She totaled 524 points with 281 rebounds and 147 assists. She currently plays for Point Chaud Sprimont in Belgium.