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.
Scouting Central Connecticut Women's Basketball
Central Connecticut finished the 2011-12 season with a 13-16 overall record and 7-11 mark in Northeast Conference play, good for a tie for ninth place in the NEC on the season. The Blue Devils are led by program alumni Beryl Piper (CCSU `87), who is 71-106 as the head coach including Central Connecticut's 2012-13 season-opening win over Rhode Island.
The Blue Devils started the current campaign with a 57-49 overtime victory at Rhode Island on Nov. 9. Co-captain Jaclyn Babe led the squad with 17 points on 8-for-23 shooting while earning six steals and five rebounds. Jessica Babe also reached double-figures with 11 points on 2-for-10 shooting from the field courtesy of a 7-for-7 performance from the free throw line.
The Blue Devils trailed Rhode Island, 26-20 at halftime but used a 25-19 advantage in the second stanza to force overtime. During the extra period, Central Connecticut controlled play to secure a 12-4 scoring advantage and return from The Ryan Center victorious. Jessica Babe paced the Blue Devils during the extra period, recording seven of the 12 CCSU points, including going 5-for-5 on free throw attempts.
Last Time Against The Blue Devils
UMass women's basketball junior Jasmine Watson logged her 10th career double-double, pacing the squad with 15 points and 14 rebounds to go along with five blocks, but it was not enough to help the Minutewomen past Central Connecticut as the squad fell, 58-55 in overtime at the Mullins Center. Following the setback, the Minutewomen fell to 1-1 on the season, while the Blue Devils improved to 2-0 on the year.
Two more UMass players finished just shy of double-doubles as then-junior Shakia Robinson totaled 12 points and nine rebounds and then redshirt-sophomore Carolann Cloutier added eight points, nine boards, five assists and two steals. The now-graduated Megan Zullo and current redshirt-sophomore Millie Niggeling logged six points apiece, as well.
From Robinson's jumper on UMass' opening possession, the Minutewomen held an early lead in the first half until a three-pointer by Danielle Davis' sparked a 12-0 run by Central Connecticut over a three-minute, 23 second stretch to put the Blue Devils up by six, 22-16, with 5:25 on the clock. UMass responded, though, closing the half with a 17-5 stretch. Niggeling kick-started the run with six straight points for the Minutewomen, while Robinson had three field goals in that span, as well. UMass hit three shots in the final 1:15 of the period, all fast break buckets, including a three by Zullo that brought UMass' advantage to 33-26. Davis split on a trip to the line with two seconds remaining to make the halftime score 33-37.
Nearing the end of the second half, Cloutier hit a jumper with 33 seconds on the clock, but Kristen Daamen answered at the other end with a layup with 14 ticks left to level the score at 55 and force overtime. Daamen's layup at the 3:52 mark was the only field goal for either side in the extra period and all CCSU needed to secure the win. Jessica Babe made one of two at the charity stripe in the closing seconds to finish out the scoring.
Watson Named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week
UMass women's basketball senior center Jasmine Watson was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Week, as announced by the league on Monday afternoon. To secure the honor, Watson produced her 1,000th collegiate point while leading UMass' to a 83-53 drubbing of Kent State on Saturday during the season-opener for the Minutewomen.
Watson finished the contest against the Golden Flashes with a team-high 21 points on 8-for-11 shooting from the floor and a 5-for-8 day at the free throw line. Watson also tallied eight rebounds while adding four blocks and four steals to the winning effort.
Watson Tallies 1,000 Career Point
Senior center Jasmine Watson opened her final campaign with the Minutewomen with a 21-point effort in UMass' 83-53 victory over Kent State, eclipsing the 1,000-point plateau with her final field goal attempt of the contest.
Using her 10th collegiate game of 20 or more points, Watson became just the 18th member to the illustrious club and now stands 14 points from overtaking Beth Wilbor (1985-89) for 17th in career scoring.
Timbilla Nets Double-Double In First Collegiate Game
Freshman forward Rashida Timbilla netted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds during her first game as a college women's basketball player, becoming the first Minutewoman to achieve a double-double during her first collegiate contest.
Timbilla provided clutch outputs in both categories, hitting on 5-of-7 field goals (.714 pct.) to go with a free throw while tally five of her 10 boards on the offensive end of the court.
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. With the success and experience at the end of her freshman campaign, the Frisco, Texas, native secured a starting spot as a sophomore as UMass opened the 2012-13 campaign against Kent State on Nov. 10.
In her five games as a starter, Mital has made the most of her opportunities, averaging 8.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per-game while shooting 15-for-26 (41.7 pct) from the field, including 6-for-13 (46.2 pct) from behind the arc.
Mital has twice set a single-game career-high in points scored during the span of starts. The sophomore guard produced 11 points against Rhode Island on Feb. 22, 2012 as a freshman before resetting her personal best with 16 against Kent State during UMass' 2012-13 season-opener on Nov. 10.
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.
One game into her fourth season at UMass, Watson has totaled 1,001 career points (12.2 ppg), 565 rebounds (6.9 rpg) and 127 blocks (1.5 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.