AMHERST, Mass. - UMass women's basketball opens the 2012-13 campaign by hosting Kent State at the Mullins Center on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 2 p.m. The Minutewomen and Golden Flashes will be meeting for the first time in nearly 15 years and only the third instance in the history of the programs.
Scouting Kent State Women's Basketball
Kent State University is coming off of a 6-21 overall record and 5-11 finish in the Mid-American Conference, good for a fifth-place finish in 2011-12. The Golden Flashes will be under new leadership in 2012-13 as Danielle O'Banion completes her first season as the head coach in Kent, Ohio. O'Banion is a 2001 graduate of Boston College with coaching stops at Episcopal High School (Va.), Harvard, Minnesota and Memphis prior to accepting the top spot at Kent State.
The Golden Flashes return their leading scorer from a season ago in now-senior guard Trisha Krewson, who averaged 11.2 points per game while contributing five boards per contest in 2011-12. Krewson maintained her success against MAC opponents, producing 10.9 points during conference games while grabbing 4.3 rebounds as a junior.
Also returning for Kent State are current-seniors Tamzin Barroilhet and Diamon Beckford. Last season Barroilhet and Beckford each averaged 9.9 points per game to tie for the second-most on the 2011-12 squad, while Beckford tallied a team-best 5.3 rebounds in each contest and Barroilhet added four boards per game.
Last Time Against The Golden Flashes
It has been nearly 15 years since UMass and Kent State last squarded off, with the Minutewomen recording a win, 67-65 during the previous meeting on Nov. 28, 1997, in Kent, Ohio. The series between the squads is tied at 1-1 as the Golden Flashes notched a 53-51 victory over UMass on Dec. 11, 1996, in the only other meetings between the programs.
In the most recent game in the series, UMass was led to victory by a trio of double-digit scorers. Tez Kraft, who would go on to win All-Atlantic 10 Third Team honors following the season, paced the Minutewomen with 23 points on 11-for-15 shooting from the field as UMass built a 33-24 lead by halftime and held on the late for the two-point margin of victory. Yolanda Rayside recorded a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds while Karen Van Huisen rounded out the trio with 11 points.
UMass was bouyed by strong shooting throughout the contest, as the Minutewomen hit for nearly 52 percent from the floor (28-for-54) and knocked down four of their eight three-pointers. Rebounding also heavily favored the visitors, as UMass recorded a 37-22 overall edge, including a 13-6 advantage on the offensive glass.
Dawn Zerman went for 20 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and an 8-for-8 performance from the free throw line to lead Kent State in scoring while Carrie Templin followed closely behind with 18 points.
Last Time: UMass Ends 2011-12 Campaign With Close Loss At Xavier
UMass concluded its 2011-12 campaign with a hard-fought loss at Xavier, 70-61 on Sunday, Feb. 26. The Minutewomen were able to cut an 18-point deficit to just four, but could not complete the comeback and concluded the year with an 8-21 overall record and 3-11 mark in A-10 play.
Megan Zullo narrowly missed a triple-double with 12 points, a team-high eight rebounds and eight assists to go along with three steals. Jasmine Watson contributed a game-best 21 points on 9-for-14 shooting, while Shakia Robinson totaled 13 points and six rebounds. Emily Mital finished with a career-high six assists.
With the score tied at four at the 16:57 mark in the opening half, Xavier went on a 15-2 run to build a 13-point advantage and went up by as many as 17 in the frame. Zullo hit a three with 41 seconds to go before the intermission to bring the score to 43-29 at the break.
After the Musketeers took their largest lead of the contest, 18, with 17:45 to play in the second half, the Minutewomen put together a spirited 15-2 run to pull back within striking distance. Robinson began the stretch with a layup at the 16:37 mark, and split on a pair of free throws with 9:54 on the clock to bring UMass to within five, 51-46. Xavier briefly expanded its advantage back to double figures before seven straight points by the Minutewomen closed the gap to four, 58-54, with 4:44 remaining. UMass could draw no closer, though, as the Musketeers went back up by 10 on a trey from Tyeasha Moss with 1:26 left.
Upcoming Promotion: Family Night
When UMass women's basketball faces Siena at the Mullins Center on Friday, Dec. 28, at 7 p.m. the Minutewomen will host Family Night. All fans of UMass women's basketball can purchase a ticket to the game for the kid's rate of just $3 is accompanied by a child.
Bomben, Montgomery and Watson Named 2012-13 Team Captains
The UMass women's basketball program and head coach Sharon Dawley named Kiara Bomben, Dee Montgomery and Jasmine Watson as the team's captains for the upcoming season. The trio will be looked upon to provide guidance and leadership for the Minutewomen squad on and off the court during the 2012-13 campaign.
Watson enters her senior season looking to become the 18th member of the Minutewomen's 1,000-points club, starting the year just 20 points shy of the 1,000-mark. Montgomery is also set to use her experience to guide the Minutewomen as a senior, beginning the campaign with 72 appearances and 22 starts. Bomben will be seeing her first minutes at UMass as a redshirt-junior after spending the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons at Florida Gulf Coast University.
With the loss of point guard Carolann Cloutier to injury for the final three games of the 2011-12 season, freshman Emily Mital appeared in the starting lineup to fill the void with the second, third and fourth starts of the then-freshman's career.
In her four times as a starter, Mital has made the most of her opportunities, averaging 37.5 minutes per-game. In the span of contests, Mital has not played fewer than 36 minutes in any single contest while seeing action throughout the entirety of the Minutewomen's meeting with George Washington on Feb. 19.
As a starter, Mital is averaging 6.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per-game white setting a single-game career high with 11 points vs. Rhode Island on Feb. 22, 2012.
Jasmine Watson (980 points) tallied her 800th career point vs. Harvard on Jan. 3. 2012 and reached her 900th on Feb. 4, 2012 at La Salle.
Watson is currently 18th on the all-time scoring list behind Beth Wilbor (1985-89; 1,014 points) for 17th. Among all UMass Minutewomen above Watson on the list, the senior center has the fewest career appearances (81) while Julie Ready (1977-81; 85) is the only other player with less than 93.
Watson is 20 points away from becoming the 18th 1,000 career point scorer in program history. She is ninth all-time for scoring through a player's junior year. The eight players ahead of Watson on that list all finished their careers with 1,400 or more points.
At Rhode Island on Jan. 11, 2012, Watson became the fifth player in UMass history to record 100 career blocks and enters her senior season with 123. Kate Mills (2004-08) holds the program record with 194 while Watson is only 16 stuffs from tying Jennifer Butler (1999-2003; 139) for fourth all-time.
With 48 blocks on the 2011-12 season, Watson has broken into the UMass single season top-10 in the category for the first time in her career, tying for sixth on the list with Melissa Gurile (1994-95).
Watson grabbed her 500th career rebound on Jan. 18, 2012, vs. Dayton. She is currently 15th all-time with 557 and surpassed her previous single-season high of 176 (2009-10) with 208 as a junior in 2011-12.
At La Salle on Feb. 4, 2012, Megan Zullo broke into the UMass top-10 for career assists, finishing her career ninth on the list with 305 in only 87 games played. Zullo also owns a spot on the UMass top-10 for made three-pointers (189), only three behind all-time leader, Katie Nelson, who hit 191 from 2001-06.
Emilie Teuscher (99), finished her Minutewomen career ninth on the program's list for career threes, notching two made shots from behind the arc at Xavier to close out the 2011-12 season. Teuscher is one of only 11 UMass players to make 90 or more three-pointers and owns the sixth-best shooting percentage for threes at 36.9 percent (99-for-268).
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.
To secure the decision, four Minutewomen earned double-figures, including 14 points each from Emilie Teuscher and Megan Zullo. Now-senior Jasmine Watson contributed a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards while current-redshirt-junior Carolann Cloutier added 10 points and four assists.
All That Jas
Senior Jasmine Watson, UMass' top returning scorer, was named to the Preseason All-Atlantic 10 Second Team - the third consecutive year Watson has earned a spot on the all-conference listing released prior to the start of the season.
Watson played in and started all 29 UMass contests as a junior and paced the Minutewomen with 12.3 points and 7.3 rebounds during the 2011-12 campaign. Watson recorded a team-best 48 blocks, hit 49.0 percent of her field goal attempts (141-of-288) and averaged 28.7 minutes played per game.
Watson scored double-digits in points in 21 games in 2011-12, including reaching double-double status in four contests. The South Bend, Ind., native also led UMass in rebounding on 15 occasions.
Through three seasons at UMass, Watson has totaled 980 career points (12.1 ppg), 557 rebounds (6.9 rpg) and 123 blocks (1.4 bpg). 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 per game.
From Near And Far
UMass' 15-player roster is comprised of individuals from 11 different states and provinces, including four international student-athletes.
The Minutewomen have six players that could see their first collegiate minutes in a UMass jersey this season, with five true-freshman and redshirt-junior transfer Kiara Bomben. Also joining the team is redshirt-freshman transfer Amber Dillon, who played for the University of Maine in 2011-12 and will be eligible to see time for the Minutewomen beginning in 2013-14.
Bomben transferred to UMass prior to the 2011-12 season and was required to sit out the campaign as per NCAA policy. The Australia native spent her first two seasons with Florida Gulf Coast before transferring and will be looked upon as a leader on an off the floor in 2012-13 as Bomben was named a captain with seniors Dee Montgomery and Jasmine Watson.
Henry started at point guard for Trenton Catholic (N.J.) during the squad's run to the NJSIAA Non-Public 8 Championship in 2010-11 while Harris averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds for North Farmington (Mich.) as a senior in 2011-12. Jordan was twice named an all-state recipient at Port Huron (Mich.) and won the Nike National Championship with the U-15 Motor City Suns. Stewart is a local product, hailing from Amherst, and was named a Franklin-Hampshire County All-Star and Daily Hampshire Gazette First Team honor at Amherst-Pelham Regional. Timbilla played one year for prep school Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.) after attending John McCrae Secondary in Ontario, where she average more than 20 points and 14 rebounds per game in 2010-11.
Women's Basketball Radio Show On WMUA
Throughout the 2012-13 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. If you miss the airing, you will be able to catch a recorded version on UMassAthletics.com the following day.
Octavia Thomas Selected To UMass Hall Of Fame
The UMass Athletic Department has announced the five members of the 2012 Class that will be inducted into the George "Trigger" Burke Athletic Hall of Fame. The legends will be honored on Sat., Jan. 26, in the Student Union Ballroom at 6 PM. To attend the ceremony, please contact Jason Germain at 413-577-0267. The cost to attend is $50 per person. Former women's basketball star Octavia Thomas will be inducted along with Cari Nickerson Lovejoy (Women's Lacrosse 1977-80), Khari Mitchell-Samuel (Football 1995-98), Tim Soudan (Men's Lacrosse 1987-90) and Phil Vandersea (1961-64).
The No. 2 scorer in program history, Thomas was a major force in the program's resurgence in the mid-1990's. During her career from 1993-1996, Thomas helped turn a program that had won nine total games in the previous three seasons into one that made the WNIT and the NCAA tournaments during her junior and senior campaigns.