Women's Basketball

Women's Basketball Begins Preseason Practice Regiment

Sharon Dawley begins her fourth season as the leader of the Minutewomen in 2013-14.

Sharon Dawley begins her fourth season as the leader of the Minutewomen in 2013-14.

Oct. 7, 2013

Video: Women's Basketball Begins Practice Practices

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AMHERST, Mass. - UMass women's basketball started its official practice schedule ahead of the 2013-14 season with organized team activities recently. Four newcomers join the program for the upcoming campaign while the Minutewomen return four of their five starters from a season ago.

Freshmen Kymber Hill, Alyx Stiff and Meredith Tarver are building toward their first appearances with the Minutewomen during their initial preseason training regiments.

Hill is coming off of a four-year career with the Althoff Catholic Crusaders, where she helped the program accumulate three conference titles. Stiff, a 5-foot-9 guard, averaged 15 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals as a senior at Quest Preparatory Academy while being named a top-20 underclassman and Next Level Elite 100 Phenom during her scholastic career. Tarver was an all-region and North Fulton All-Metro Team honoree at Northview High School while helping the Georgia Pistols AAU program to a division championship.

Joining the trio of freshmen newcomers in their first season is junior Paula Tarnachowicz, a transfer from Panola College in Carthage, Texas. While at Panola College, the Gdnyia, Poland, native helped the squad to a Region XIV Conference Tournament appearance while hitting 44.2 percent of her field goal attempts.

Kiara Bomben is the lone senior among the 15 student-athletes on the young squad. Bomben averaged 5.5 points per game as a redshirt-junior last season while pulling down 3.0 rebounds in each contest. The 2012-13 campaign marked Bomben's first competing on the floor for the squad after helping Florida Gulf Coast to 52 victories over two seasons in the lineup (2009-11).

Kim Pierre-Louis and Emily Mital round out the junior class with Tarnachowicz. As a sophomore, Pierre-Louis played in 19 games as a forward for the Minutewomen, totaling 4.4 points per contest and 2.7 rebounds in each appearance, while the Ottawa, Ontario, native knocked down 44.4 percent of her field goal attempts on the year. Mital led the Minutewomen in three-point field goals made with 48 while hitting 81.0 percent of her free throw line. Mital finished third among all UMass women's basketball players with 7.3 points per game while dishing out 43 assists and earning 20 steals.

The sophomore class, the largest on the squad with six student-athletes, looks to expand upon experience after four members played in at least 18 contests last season. Amber Dillon is the lone member of the group who did not see the floor during 2012-13 as the Brookline, Mass., native sat out last season as per NCAA transfer regulations.

Rashida Timbilla, a starter in 26 of her 29 appearances as a freshman, finished last season netting 8.6 points per game and 8.3 rebounds, the most on the squad and the highest total among all underclassmen in the then-16-team Atlantic 10 Conference. Timbilla hit 47.3 percent of her jumpers (104-for-220) and led the team in minutes played with 29.4 per game while providing 47 steals and 21 blocked shots.

Jasmine Harris joined Mital as a scoring threat from the perimeter one year ago as the Farmington Hills, Mich., native knocked down 28 three-point field goals to help her earn 5.6 points in each contest. Classmate Adriana Jordan added a spark off the bench in 18 appearances with 16 made field goals in 41 attempts (.390 field goal percentage).

Nola Henry shared the point guard responsibilities with the now-graduated Dee Montgomery, making 16 starts in 28 games played. A distributor on the floor, Henry dished out 61 assists as a freshman, tied for the second-most on the 2012-13 season's squad with Timbilla. Victoria Stewart rounds out the group, as the Amherst, Mass., native prepares to expand upon six appearances as a freshman last year.

The Minutewomen begin their 2013-14 schedule on Nov. 8 with a 7 p.m. contest at the Mullins Center against Western Michigan.



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