Minutewomen Begin A-10 Tournament Versus George Mason
March 3, 2014
Last Meeting: George Mason 101, UMass 73; Feb. 12, 2014
Jasmine Harris added 14 points to go with six rebounds while Nola Henry finished 5-for-10 from the floor with three free throws for 13 points. Emily Mital scored 11 while Kiara Bomben rounded out the quintet with 10 points to go with six boards.
Mital drained a trio of three-pointers to bump her UMass career total for made treys to 103, moving her into eighth place past Stefanie Gerardot (2005-08), who amassed 102 as a Minutewoman.
Taylor Brown and Janaa Pickard each recorded 25 points to lead George Mason while Sandra Ngoie added 23. Talisha Watts also totaled double-digits as she scored 15. Pickard pulled down 11 rebounds to join Pierre-Louis in earning a double-double.
Harris opened the game 4-of-8 from the field with a free throw for 10 quick points to keep the score between the sides close. Foul trouble forced her to the bench 11 minutes, 15 seconds into the game and George Mason followed with a 13-2 run to push ahead, 37-25 with 4:08 to play in the stanza.
The Minutewomen employed their three-point game in an attempt cut into the deficit before the break with a trio of made shots from beyond the arc during the final four minutes. Mital chipped in two of those on back-to-back possessions, hitting with 3:54 left before adding a second make only 20 seconds later.
However, the Colonials responded with two triples of their own, one each from Brown and Ngoie, to protect their lead at 45-36 entering halftime.
The Minutewomen started the final frame with offense in the paint to cut it to as close as seven. Down by 11 following a George Mason bucket eight seconds in, Pierre-Louis brought UMass within nine before Amber Dillon used a driving layup at the right side of the hoop to drop the home side's lead to 47-40 with 17:58 remaining.
Following the buckets by Pierre-Louis and Dillon, the Colonials went on an 8-2 run to cushion their hold to 55-42 only two minutes later with three of those points coming on free throws - a category they finished 25-for-32 in (78.1 percent).
George Mason took advantage of five Minutewomen playing with at least three personal fouls to extend the lead to as much as 28 points in the frame. The Minutewomen were within eight with 14:02 remaining, but five quick points from the Colonials re-established their 13-point margin at the 13:15 margin and UMass would not pull closer the rest of the way.
Scouting George Mason Women's Basketball
Taylor Brown's 18.5 points per game paces the squad, while she is also contributing a team-high 4.3 assists to go with 4.8 rebounds in each contest. Janaa Pickard adds 13.1 points and a squad-best 8.1 rebounds. Sandra Ngoie rounds out a trio of double-digit scorers with 12.3 earned in each contest.
As a team, the Colonials are only being outscored be their foes, 74.8-to-68.9 while losing the rebounding battle, 43.6-to-41.0 as seven of their losses were by six or fewer points. This game marks their inaugural Atlantic 10 Tournament appearance as George Mason is in its first season competing as a member of the league.
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UMass In The Atlantic 10 Tournament
UMass last appeared in the conference championship following the 2010-11 regular season, where they were the No. 12 seed and fell to No. 5 Charlotte during the first round, 77-66 on March 4, 2011.
The deepest a Maroon and White squad has advanced in the tournament is the semifinal round, which was accomplished six times including last on March 1, 2002 when Massachusetts fell to No. 1 seed Temple, 67-61 in overtime. The Minutewomen also reached the semifinals during the 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2000 holdings of the event.
Since UMass has missed the tournament during the previous two seasons, no current Minutewoman has participated in the championship prior to the play-in game against George Mason.
Timbilla Joins Most Successful All-Time UMass Rebounders
Mital Stopping And Popping Her Way Into The Record Book
Her junior season success earned her the spot on UMass' all-time leaderboard for made three-pointers as she is 50-for-138 (36.2 percent) entering the Atlantic 10 Tournament Play-In Game against George Mason on Wednesday, March 5. As a sophomore in 2012-13, Mital hit 48 of her 151 tries from long distance (31.8 percent) after she finished 8-of-39 in the category as a freshman (20.5 percent).
She is also seventh all-time in three-point field goal attempts (328) while her 50 threes made this year puts her tied for 12th in the single-season rankings.
Upping Her Game
During the stretch, Harris - a perimeter shooter - has improved her field goal percentage to 36.4 from the floor (60-of-165) while adding to her scoring total with a 26-for-29 tally from the free throw line (89.7 percent). During the opening 18 games she hit just 30.8 percent of her attempts (41-for-133) from the floor and 75.6 percent of her foul shots (34-of-45).
She Gets Buckets
Pierre-Louis' accuracy also results in an appearance in the conference's top-15 scoring list, where she ranks 15th with 13.3 points per game despite only averaging only 20.7 minutes played per game.
For her career, Pierre-Louis has never shot less than 44.4 percent for a season and has made 214 of her 451 attempts as a Minutewoman (47.5 percent). She was 20-of-43 as a freshman (46.5 percent) and 32-for-72 over her sophomore campaign (48.8 percent).
Turning Them Aside
Through 56 career games played with the Minutewomen, Timbilla has 44 blocks, the 17th-most in program history.
Hitting The Easy Ones
Harris is 91-for-116 in her two seasons with the Minutewomen (78.4 percent) after she finished her freshman campaign in 2012-13 with 31 makes in 42 attempts (73.8 percent).
Meeting The 20-Point Benchmark
It marked the first time any Minutewomen have recorded as many points in two straight games since Jasmine Watson had 21 on Nov. 10, 2012, against Kent State before Emily Mital went for 22 at Central Connecticut three days later, a span of 53 contests between the two streaks.
The last time one player recorded back-to-back 20+ point performances was when Watson scored 22 against La Salle on Feb. 26, 2011 before earning 25 in the following game versus Charlotte on March 4, 2011. It was 84 games between one Minutewoman scoring 20 or more in consecutive contests.
She has since added a third 20-point game as she scored a team-high 20 at Saint Louis in the regular season finale on March 2, 2014, giving her three 20-point performances over the last four games.