Women's Basketball

In-State Foe Holy Cross Next For Women's Basketball

Nov. 25, 2013

 Massachusetts Women's Basketball Game Notes and Information
 Game 6 Massachusetts (2-3) at Holy Cross (3-0)
 Date | Time Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 | 7:00 p.m.
 Location Hart Recreation Center (3,600) | Worcester, Mass.
 Live Statistics Presto Sports
 Radio Broadcast WMUA 91.1 FM (Cody Chrusciel and Chris Doherty)
 Live Video Patriot League Network
 Series History Holy Cross leads, 10-9. Last meeting: Holy Cross 63, Massachusetts 59; Nov. 25, 2012
 Game Notes Massachusetts Get Acrobat Reader | Holy Cross Get Acrobat Reader
 Team Information Massachusetts Get Acrobat Reader | Holy Cross Get Acrobat Reader
 Social Media @UMassAthletics   | @UMassWBB  
 Attend The Game Holy Cross Ticket Central

The Last Meeting
Holy Cross63
November 25, 2012
Amherst, Mass. (Mullins Center)
Late Rally Results In UMass Loss To Holy Cross, 63-59
In a contest that came down to the final minute of play, UMass women's basketball dropped a 63-59 decision to visiting-Holy Cross on Sunday afternoon. Sophomore guard Emily Mital had a team-high 14 points, paced by a 12-point second half. Senior center Jasmine Watson contributed 11 points and seven rebound while redshirt-junior Kiara Bomben added 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and two blocks.

Scouting Holy Cross Women's Basketball
UMass women's hoops faces in-state rival Holy Cross during a midweek game in Worcester, Mass., on Tuesday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. The Crusaders opened the year with three consecutive high-scoring victories, beginning with an 84-59 win over Dartmouth. Holy Cross followed with a 92-69 drubbing of UMass-Lowell and a 75-55 blowout of Bryant, 75-55 as the squad averages 83.7 points scored per game to only 61.0 allowed to foes.

Alex Smith and Raquel Scott spearhead the offense with 15.7 and 15.5 points per game, respectively. Smith and Scott have also been active on the glass with Scott pulling in 6.5 boards and Smith adding 5.0 rebounds per contest. Three more Crusaders score in double-figures on average through three games, including Brisje Malone (14.7), Emily Parker (12.7) and Lisa Mifsud (10.7).

The team's success is due in part to their strong shooting from the floor and free throw line. Holy Cross has hit 92-of-191 field goal attempts (48.2 percent) and has scored 47 more points on 64 total attempts from the charity stripe (73.4 percent). The Crusaders are also outrebounding opponents, 44.0-to-35.0 on average and have dished out 69 assists to only 42 turnovers committed.

Holy Cross leads the all-time series between the teams, 10-9 as the Crusaders claimed victory in the most recent meeting. Last time the squads faced off, Massachusetts fell at home in the Mullins Center to Holy Cross, 63-59 on Nov. 25, 2012.

Hi, My Name Is...
During the opening three games of the 2013-14 season, UMass women's basketball met a trio of teams for the first time in the 46-year history of the varsity program. A duo of Mid-American Conference squads, Western Michigan and Central Michigan, traveled to the Mullins Center as part of an agreement between the University of Massachusetts athletic department and the MAC, which the Minutemen football team is a part of.

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.

All Home Contests Available On A-10 Digital Network
UMass women's basketball will have each of its 13 home games broadcast online through the Atlantic 10 Digital Network. A link will be provided in each game preview to direct fans or other interest parties to the subscription page, where the viewer can purchase the plan he or she believes to be appropriate.

WMUA 91.1 FM To Broadcast Women's Basketball
Each Massachusetts women's basketball contest during the 2013-14 campaign will be broadcast live on WMUA 91.1 FM. Fans can listen in through their FM radio station or catch the game via the online live streaming app, which is free of charge and linked in each game preview. Either Cody Chrusciel or Chris Doherty will be providing play-by-play breakdown for those listening in while John Ryan or Andrew Cyr will serve as the color commentator.

Minutewomen Make It Two In A Row With Win At Hartford
Coming off of a thrilling upset win over Rutgers, UMass women's basketball made it back-to-back victories when the squad took a 63-59 game from Hartford on the road at Chase Family Arena on Saturday, Nov. 23.

Kim Pierre-Louis sparked the offense with a career-high 19 points, 17 of which were scored during the pivotal second half, and personal-best nine rebounds. Emily Mital and Kiara Bomben scored 12 and 10 points, respectively to boost the offense. Rashida Timbilla added nine boards, seven points, three assists, a block and one steal. Jasmine Harris chipped in eight points, including a pair of three-pointers, and had three rebounds.

The Hawks led by as much as eight points, 51-43 with nine minutes, 37 seconds left in the game before the Minutewomen offense rallied to pull ahead down the stretch.

Pierre-Louis started an 11-point run for UMass moments after the squad went down by eight as she fought her way to the hoop, drew a foul, connected on a layup and drained the ensuing free throw. Harris then stretched the defense with back-to-back three-pointers to give the Minutewomen their first lead of the half, 52-51 with 7:18 to play.

Two trips down the floor later, Pierre-Louis added another layup to her tally for the game to cap the streak and extend UMass' advantage to 54-51.

After Alyssa Englert broke Hartford's scoreless drought with a free throw, Mital provided a clutch three-pointer from the right side to increase the lead back to four, 57-53. Hartford had forced the Minutewomen into an inbounds play from the baseline as one second remained on the shot clock. The ball was fired out to Mital beyond the arc and the junior caught and released in one motion before her shot swished through the net with 4:28 left.

The advantage would dwindle to just two points, 61-59 with exactly two minutes to play in the game after Amber Bepko nailed a jumper for the Hawks. However, the UMass defense pressured Hartford into a pair of missed shots and one turnover in the home squad's final possessions to hold on. Pierre-Louis provided the last points of the game on a set of free throws with two seconds remaining to reach the final score.

Taking Down A Giant - UMass Upsets Rutgers, 64-63
To earn its first win of the season, UMass women's basketball stunned Rutgers, 64-63 at the Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass., on Wednesday, Nov. 20. The Scarlet Knights entered the contest undefeated at 3-0 and were receiving votes in the by the Associated Press and USA Today coaches top-25 polls.

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
After a shaky start to her sophomore season, Rashida Timbilla has emerged as a scoring threat and defensive leader for the Minutewomen during the previous three contests, highlighted by her double-double against Rutgers. During the contests against Western Michigan and Central Michigan, Timbilla averaged 2.5 points per game on a 22.2 field goal percent (2-of-9) without a block and only contributed 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. However, in the recent games against American, Rutgers and Hartford, the 6-foot-1 forward has pour in 11.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.3 blocks per game.

Getting To The Line
Five games into the 2013-14 season, sophomore Nola Henry is averaging 8.2 points per game due in part to her ability to challenge a defender, draw a foul and make her free throws. Henry is already 18-of-25 (.720) from the charity stripe this year, including a career-best 9-for-10 performance against Central Michigan on Nov. 10.

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 and scored just 2.5 points per contest.

No First-Game Jitters For Alyx Stiff
In her first college game, freshman guard Alyx Stiff provided a veteran touch with nine points, four rebounds, three steals and only one turnover in 29 minutes on the floor. Coming off the bench for the first time with 13 minutes, 27 seconds remaining in the opening half, her first field goal attempt as a Minutewoman was a made three-pointer with 10:46 to play in the stanza. The youngest player on the team at just 18-years, and 4-months old, Stiff went on to finish with five points in the opening frame and four more during the second half.

Taking Possession
Using an up-tempo style of play catering to its smaller lineup, UMass women's basketball harassed Western Michigan into 23 turnovers in the season-opener, equaling the highest total caused during the 2012-13 campaign. Last year, the Minutewomen set their high mark for turnovers created with 23 against Dartmouth on Jan. 6, 2013. Against the Broncos, UMass used 12 steals to boost its caused turnovers total, including three each by sophomore Jasmine Harris and Nola Henry and freshman Alyx Stiff.

Chris Wielgus Joins Staff As Director Of Operations
The University of Massachusetts women's basketball program and head coach Sharon Dawley announced the addition of Chris Wielgus to the Minutewomen staff as the Director of Operations on Wednesday, Oct. 2. Wielgus brings more than three decades of experience to the UMass program; including 30 seasons as a head coach at the NCAA Division I level. At UMass, Wielgus' main responsibility will be overseeing the day-to-day functionality of the program.

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
The University of Massachusetts women's basketball program and head coach Sharon Dawley announced Tatiyiana McMorris as a graduate assistant on Thursday, Oct. 3. McMorris, who competed at Marquette with the Golden Eagles from 2007-11, will help in all aspects of the team, with an emphasis on the program's video necessities and the film-sharing system.

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 Atlantic 10 Conference announced its women's basketball championship will move to the Richmond Coliseum on Thursday, Sept. 19, effective for the 2014 event. Slated to host 13 teams, the championship will take place from March 5-9, 2014.

The tournament 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
With only one senior on the roster in Kiara Bomben, the 2013-14 UMass women's basketball squad will feature a youthful lineup during the upcoming season. Nine of the 13 players will be in their first or second year of competing at the collegiate level while the sophomore class, comprised of six individuals, is the largest overall. UMass also has three freshmen and a trio of juniors to round out the group.

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
Former University of Massachusetts women's basketball student-athlete Jasmine Watson (2008-12) will begin her professional playing career in Romania with ACS Sepsi. Watson is joining a program set to compete in the 2013-14 EuroCup after finishing its most recent season in fourth place among teams playing as part of the Liga Nationala, the top division in Romania.

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
The Canadian Women's Basketball National Team and head coach Lisa Thomaidis chose former UMass women's basketball standout Tamara Tatham (2003-07) as one of the 12 athletes tabbed to represent the country at the FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico. Tatham competed for Team Canada at the international tournament from Sept. 22-28 as the squad finished 5-1 overall and earned a silver medal.

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 UMass Athletic Department began its latest construction project during the beginning days of August when building the Basketball Champions Center began. The fencing surrounding the location of construction was put in place while existing light fixtures illuminating the surrounding athletic fields have been removed.

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
Rashida Timbilla showed the ability to out-maneuver her marking opponents to grab rebounds consistently on offense and defense as a freshman in 2012-13. Over the course of the 29-game campaign, Timbilla ripped down a team-high 241 rebounds, including 110 off of the offensive glass. Her season total marked the seventh-most in the Atlantic 10, making her the only underclassman in the top-15 and the lone freshman among the 20 best in the conference.

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
Four newcomers will make their Minutewomen debuts during the 2013-14 season, including freshmen Kymber Hill, Alyx Stiff and Meredith Tarver, along with junior college transfer Paula Tarnachowicz.

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
After sitting out the 2012-13 season as per NCAA transfer regulations, guard Amber Dillon will be eligible to compete for UMass women's basketball as a redshirt-sophomore during the 2013-14 season. The 5-foot-2 native of Jamaica Plain, Mass., projects as a point guard in tandem with sophomore Nola Henry.

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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