Minutewomen To Make Short Trip To Regional Rival Hartford
Nov. 21, 2013
Scouting The Hartford Hawks
Fifteenth-year head coach Jennifer Rizzotti has challenged the Hawks against a difficult opening slate through three games, with the squad holding a 1-2 record in those contests. The Hawks started the campaign with an 89-34 loss to 2013 NCAA National Champion Connecticut before rebounding for a hard-fought 59-53 decision at Loyola University (Md.) on Nov. 14. In its most recent game, Hartford suffered a 79-53 setback at Providence.
Despite the tough start, Deanna Mayza has secured a team-high 12.7 points while contributing 2.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. Morgan Lumb (11.0) and Cherelle Moore (10.0) have also averaged double-figures in scoring so far, with Moore leading the squad in rebounds per game at 6.0 over each of her two appearances this year.
As a team, Hartford is producing 48.7 points while giving up 73.7 on average as the Hawks have only shot 29.8 percent from the floor (45-of-151), including going 14-for-57 from behind the three-point arc (24.6 conversion percentage).
In the most recent meeting between the programs, UMass women's hoops used a strong second half scoring performance to pull within one basket of tying Hartford after trailing by 11 at halftime before eventually falling to the Hawks, 71-65 at the Mullins Center on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Recent graduate Jasmine Watson tallied a game-high 22 points and eight rebounds, shooting 9-for-15 from the floor to go with 4-of-5 from the free throw line.
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UMass followed with its inaugural contest in the series against American University in Washington, D.C. The Maroon and White could potentially face a fourth first-time foe in Wisconsin-Green Bay when the Minutewomen compete in the four-team University of Maine Invitational from Nov. 29-30. UMass faces Maine to open play at the tournament, with their second game featuring either Green Bay or William & Mary.
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Taking Down A Giant - UMass Upsets Rutgers, 64-63
Sophomore forward Rashida Timbilla led the charge with her first double-double of the year and the seventh of her career on a career-high-tying 17 points to go with 12 rebounds. Three additional Minutewomen joined Timbilla in scoring double-figures as freshman center Kymber Hill, junior guard Emily Mital and junior forward Kim Pierre-Louis each chipped in 10 points.
Leading by five at halftime, 33-28 after redshirt-sophomore guard Amber Dillon drained a jumper at the buzzer, the Minutewomen extended their lead to as much as 11 on multiple occasions in the final stanza before they needed to survive a late Rutgers push to pull the upset. The Scarlet Knights were within four of tying, 64-61, with seven seconds to play when Briyona Canty swished a three-pointer to cut the lead to one.
Following the UMass inbounding play, Timbilla was fouled with three seconds to play and missed the front end of a one-and-one chance at the charity stripe to give possession back to Rutgers. However, the UMass defense pressured the Scarlet Knights into a half-court heave that bounced off the right side of the backboard glass as time expired to earn the win.
The Minutewomen earned the victory in what was the first meeting since the 2000 season in a previously regularly-held matchup. It goes down as the program's third win in 28 contests with the Scarlet Knights and the first in the series since UMass defeated Rutgers, 78-67 on Jan. 12, 1995.
Double It Up
Getting To The Line
An added facet to her game, Henry found her way to the free throw line more times in the opening two games as a sophomore than she did in 506 minutes played over 28 contests as a freshman. During 2012-13, Henry finished 9-of-14 (.643) on free throws.
No First-Game Jitters For Alyx Stiff
Chris Wielgus Joins Staff As Director Of Operations
An elite coach at Fordham (1991-93) and Dartmouth (1976-84; 1993-2013), Wielgus (pronounced well-GUS) recorded a dozen Ivy League Championships, one Patriot League Title, seven NCAA Tournament appearances and a pair of berths in the WNIT. Over 28 seasons leading the Big Green, Wielgus became the most successful head coach in the history of the program, amassing 393 victories and 20 winning seasons during her tenure.
Dawley and Wielgus previously worked together on the Dartmouth staff for 10 campaigns from 1993-2003. Dawley was an assistant coach under Wielgus from 1993-97 before being promoted to associate head coach in anticipation of the 1997-98 season. Together, the duo helped lead Dartmouth to a trio of NCAA Tournament appearances and 153 victories before Dawley was named the head coach at Vermont in 2003.
Tatiyiana McMorris Named Graduate Assistant
At Marquette, the Bronx, N.Y., native played in 130 career games and made 66 starts. She ranks fourth all-time at the school in three-point field goal percentage (.371), tied for fourth in appearances, tied for sixth in made three-pointers (152) and eight for total three-point attempts (410). During her tenure, Marquette won 79 games, including the 2008 WNIT Championship, while making a national postseason appearance during each campaign.
In addition to her collegiate experience, McMorris was an assistant coach at Sussex Hamilton High School in Sussex, Wis., in 2011-12, and led the 13u Ring City AAU team, based in New Jersey during its 2012 season.
Richmond Coliseum To Host Atlantic 10 Championship
The championship will open with a play-in game on Wednesday, followed by four first-round games on Thursday. The four quarterfinal games will tip-off Friday followed by the semifinal round on Saturday which will be televised live nationally on CBS Sports Network. The finals will air live on ESPNU beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday.
When the championship tips off in Richmond, it will mark just the third time in its 32-year history that it will take place at a neutral site. Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Mass., played host in 2011, while Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md., served as host in 2010. The Atlantic 10 is one of only eight conferences (out of 31 league) where the women's basketball championship will be played at a neutral site, separate from the men's championship.
A Youthful Approach
The sophomores earned valuable minutes during the 2012-13 season, a campaign in which the squad also featured a youthful cast. During last year, underclassmen played 62.0 percent of the total minutes (3,463-of-5,800), earned 1,004 of the 1,636 points scored (61.4 percent) and grabbed 736-of-1,096 rebounds (67.2 percent).
Watson Signs To Play With ACS Sepsi
During four seasons representing UMass women's basketball, Watson accumulated 1,291 points, 731 rebounds and 175 blocks in 109 appearances, including 94 starts. The South Bend, Ind., native's scoring average of 11.8 per game stands 14th all-time at Massachusetts while her 6.7 rebounds per contest place Watson 10th in UMass women's basketball history.
Tamara Tatham Chosen For Team Canada
Taking place in Xalapa, Mexico, the tournament featured national programs from the Americas. Canada opened against Jamaica with a 75-37 win on Sunday, Sept. 22, before beating Chile, 93-51 on Sept. 23. The Canadians drubbed Venezuela, 89-45 the following day and close preliminary play with a 53-40 victory over Cuba on Sept. 25.
To advance to the gold medal game, Team Canada defeated Puerto Rico, 73-48, which simultaneously qualified the program for the 2014 FIBA World Championsip. The Cuban National Team got the best of the Canadian side in the tournament finale, 79-71. The Canadian National Team earned bronze medals during each of the previous four years competing at the FIBA Americas Championship.
Tatham finished with 1,186 career points at UMass, averaging 10.3 per game played. The Toronto, Ontario, native also pulled down 754 rebounds and dished out 226 assists over 115 appearances and 112 starts for the Minutewomen.
Basketball Champions Center Construction Begins
The facility is scheduled to be completed by Fall 2014 and will give the basketball programs a dedicated practice and training facility. At $28.5 million, it will be a 53,000 square foot complex that will be the new home for program daily operations.
The ground floor will consist of the primary player development areas of the facility. In addition to the two full-size practice courts, the lower level will house the player's lounge and locker rooms, the sports medicine and weight rooms, theater-style film room, dining area, laundry facilities and equipment storage
A Legacy Hall dedicated to the tradition and history of both programs will run the length of the East corridor and lead to a tunnel connecting the Champions Center to the Mullins Center.
The upper level will consist of office suites and conference rooms for both programs, and an entry foyer with a VIP lounge and balcony overlooking both practice courts.
A live Internet web stream similar to the one at the Football Performance Center at McGuirk Stadium will go online in the coming months to track the progress as well. The facility will also be used for campus events such as intramural basketball championships.
Both basketball and football projects are slated to be online and ready for use in Summer/Fall 2014 and represent what has been a major facility enhancement effort for athletics over the last decade.
Clearing The Boards
Timbilla's ability to secure boards following a missed UMass shot attempt led her to finish with 3.8 offensive rebounds per game in 2012-13, the third-highest total in the Atlantic 10 behind Charlotte's Amanda Dowe (5.1 per game) and Jennifer Hailey (4.5). Not to be counted out on the other side of the court, Timbilla finished tied for 12th in defensive rebounds with 4.5 per game.
Among all first-year players in UMass women's basketball history, Timbilla's 241 rebounds ranks as the second-highest total for a freshmen in the 45-year history of the program.
Four Join Massachusetts Women's Basketball For 2013-14 Season
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 is Tarnachowicz, a transfer from Panola College in Carthage, Texas. While at Panola College, the Gdynia, Poland, native helped the squad to a Region XIV Conference Tournament appearance while hitting 44.2 percent of her field goal attempts.
Dillon Ready To Make An Impact
At the University of Maine, Dillon competed as a freshman during the 2011-12 campaign. She appeared in 27 games on the year, including seven starts for the Black Bears. Dillon finished the season with 2.7 points per contest over an average of 13.4 minutes played during each game.
At Brookline High School, Dillon was a 1,000-point scorer and three-time all-star selection. She averaged 18 points, five assists and three steals per game as a senior team captain in 2010-11 and won a bronze medal while playing in Europe at the Junior Olympics.
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