Friday Women's Basketball Heads To UNH
The Minutewomen will play their third of four games in a seven day span on Friday night at 7 p.m.
Junior Cerie Mosgrove had 14 points in UMass' win over UNH last season.
Nov. 19, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. -
Continuing its stretch of four games in seven days to begin the 2009-10 slate, the UMass women's basketball team will travel to New Hampshire this Friday, Nov. 20, to take on the UNH Wildcats in a 7 p.m. contest. Both squads are coming off setbacks and enter the game with 1-1 records after each notching season opening victories at home.
The Minutewomen Briefly
The 2009-10 Minutewomen are a balanced squad with two seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and three freshman. Sophomore Kristina Danella is the team's top returning scorer. She averaged 9.3 points per-game as a freshman in 2008-09 and is one of two returning starters along with senior Diatiema Hill (5.3 ppg, 2.9 apg in '08-'09). UMass was tabbed 11th in the A-10 preseason poll.
About The New Hampshire Wildcats
New Hampshire opened its season at home on Nov. 13 against another Atlantic 10 team, St. Joseph's, and came away with a 64-56 victory.
Three Wildcats reached double figures in the win over the Hawks, led by redshirt sophomore Denise Beliveau with 21 points and nine rebounds, while senior Candance Williams chipped in 15 points and sophomore Lauren Wells added 12.
UNH followed up with a road loss at RV/#21 Maryland, 63-43. Senior Amy Simpson had a team-best 11 points in that contest.
The Wildcats were tabbed to finish fourth in the America East preseason poll.
UNH (8-23, 6-10) is coming off a tough 2008-09 season but ended the year by winning its of its final eight games in conference play.
Seniors Candance Williams (16.1 ppg) and Amy Simpson (11.5 ppg) are the top returning scorers for UNH. The squad also welcomes five freshmen guards. Williams ranked in the top three for scoring and rebounding (8.1) in 2008-09 and was named to the America East All-Conference Second Team.
Denise Beliveau, who sat out last season due to injury, returns to the Wildcats lineup for 2009-10. In her rookie campaign in 2007-08, she averaged 10 points and 6.2 rebounds per-game, which topped the America East freshmen class. She was named to the America East All-Rookie team and became the third player in UNH history to win the Rookie of the Year award.
UMass leads the all-time series against New Hampshire, 20-15, since first playing the Wildcats in 1971. The Minutewomen have won three of the past four meetings, including the last two straight.
Last Time Against The Wildcats
Four Minutewomen scored in double figures, helping lead a balanced effort for the UMass women's basketball team in its 67-51 victory over the Wildcats on Nov. 19 in the Mullins Center. Eleven of the 12 active players on the UMass roster recorded points in the contest.
Sophomore Cerie Mosgrove and senior Stefanie Gerardot had a team-high 14 points apiece in the win for the Minutewomen, while sophomores Stephanie Lawrence and Teya Wright chipped in with 10 each. Mosgrove's total marked a new career high, aided by 4-for-10 shooting from beyond the arc, and Lawrence matched her career best performance on 4-for-6 shooting.
Diatiema Hill finished the night as the team's top rebounder with seven and dished four assists to go along with five points. Wright, who went a perfect 4-for-4 at the free throw line, contributed six rebounds and three steals.
Further evidence of the all-out team effort for UMass was the squad's 20 assists on the night, led by seven from senior Sakera Young. Young added five rebounds, as well.
Mosgrove drained a three-pointer 11 seconds into the game and the Minutewomen never looked back, beginning the night with a 7-0 advantage. UMass led by as many as 17 before the Wildcats made a brief gasp at a comeback in the second half, closing the gap to three with 13:35 to play following a 15-2 UNH run.
The Minutewomen responded by rattling off the next 11-straight points to stretch the margin back out to 14 before taking their largest lead of the night, 19, with 7:35 to play.
UMass shot 43.5% from three-point range (10-for-23) to New Hampshire's 26.3% (5-for-19) and was 24-65 (36.9%) from the field.
The Minutewomen also held a commanding advantage in points off turnovers, 27-to-7, and controlled play inside, outscoring the Wildcats in the paint, 28-20.
Candace Williams was the game's high scorer, pouring in 16 for UNH, while Abigail LaRosa registered 14 points and Amy Simpson had 12. Jill McDonald led all rebounders with nine on the night.
DeMarco At UNH
One game after the Minutewomen faced head coach Marnie Dacko's fomer team, St. John's where she was once an assistant coach, UMass assistant coach Cecelia DeMarco will be coaching against her former program as the Minutewomen take on UNH.
From 1977 to 1986, prior being promoted to Associate Director of Athletics in 1987-88, DeMarco was the frontwoman for the University of New Hampshire women's basketball program. DeMarco led the UNH Wildcats to seven winning campaigns and two conference championships, making nine consecutive postseason appearances and compiling a career record of 135-86.
After guiding New Hampshire to a 24-7 mark in 1983, DeMarco was named Converse District Coach of the Year. She was inducted into the University of New Hampshire Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.
Leading The Way
Sophomore Kristina Danella has led the Minutewomen in scoring in both games thus far with 21 points against BU and 16 vs. St. John's. She was the top point-producer eight times in 2008-09 as a freshman.
Danella grabbed a squad-best seven boards against the Red Storm, the sixth time in her career she has been the leading rebounder for the Minutewomen.
Trailing only Kim Benton, Danella is second among active Minutewomen players in career scoring with 316 points. In career rebounds, she is second behind Diatiema Hill with 152.
One To Watch
After posting three blocks in her collegiate debut, freshman Jasmine Watson found her scoring touch in her second game with the Minutewomen, pouring in 14 points in 24 minutes against St. John's on Nov. 18. Watson shot 5-for-10 from the field against the Red Storm and was a perfect 4-for-4 at the free throw line.
UMass' 79-73 overtime victory against Boston University was the first overtime game for the Minutewomen since Jan. 9, 2007, at Rhode Island (71-69 Loss) and the first at the Mullins Center since Jan. 16, 2003, an 89-80 win over Temple.
UMass' starting five (Kristina Danella, Nicole Jones, Cerie Mosgrove, Kim Benton and Diatiema Hill) played a huge role in the win over Boston University on Nov. 15, combining for 73 of the team's 79 points and contributing 29 of 44 rebounds.
Four of the five (Danella, Jones, Benton and Hill) scored in double figures, while Mosgrove was just shy with seven points. UMass had four scorers in double figures four times in 2008-09 (New Hampshire, NJIT, Temple and La Salle) and posted a 4-0 record in those contests.
Reaching New Heights
Senior Kim Benton and sophomore Nicole Jones both posted career highs in UMass' season opener against Boston University.
Benton tied her career best with 18 points, originally set on Feb. 11, 2007, against Rhode Island and matched her career best in minutes played (39), first achieved on Dec. 17, 2006.
In her first collegiate start, Jones flirted with a double-double as she posted new highs in points (13) and rebounds (9). The center had four steals and three blocks as well in her 31 minutes on the floor.
Three of UMass' four newcomers saw action in the season opener against Boston University on Nov. 15, Megan Zullo, Shakia Robinson and Jasmine Watson all played their first games in a Minutewoman uniform. Robinson contributed six rebounds and Watson had three blocks, in 16 and 15 minutes on the floor, respectively. The fourth newcomer, Dee Montgomery, saw her first collegiate action against St. John's on Nov. 18.
Sharp Shooters Beyond The Arc
It was a record-breaking year beyond the arc for women's basketball in 2008-09 as the squad shattered the program's all-time mark for three-point field goals with 195 (previous mark was 117 in 2002-03). For the first time in school history, three Minutewomen registered 40 or more three-pointers in a season. The 2009-10 returnees accounted for 141 of those 195 treys, including Kristina Danella and Cerie Mosgrove whose final 2008-09 totals rank tied for first (58) and fourth (51), respectively, on the UMass single season list.
Three current Minutewomen, Kim Benton (fourth, 106), Cerie Mosgrove (tied-10th, 66) and Kristina Danella (15th-60) are among the all-time leaders for career field goals.
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