Women's Basketball

UMass Opens Four-Game Roadtrip At Ohio University

Nov. 28, 2012

 Women's Basketball Game Notes: UMass (1-5 overall) at Ohio University (1-3)
 Date/Time Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 | 11:30 a.m.
 Location The Convocation Center (13,080) | Athens, Ohio
 Live Statistics GameTracker
 Live Video Ohio Game Central
 Radio Broadcast WMUA 91.1 FM
 Game Notes Massachusetts Get Acrobat Reader
 Series History UMass leads, 1-0 (Last: Uass 60, Ohio 44; Dec. 28, 1984)
 Record Books Massachusetts Get Acrobat Reader
 Social Media @UMassWBB   | @UMassAthletics   | Sam The Minuteman

Scouting Ohio Women's Basketball
The Ohio Bobcats enter their contest with UMass at 1-3 overall on the season, including a 63-56 season-opening victory vs. Cleveland State and losses to Minnesota, UNLV and Duquesne. The Bobcats are coached by Semeka Randall, who owns a 45-83 record partway through her fifth season leading the team.

Previously, there has only been one meeting between the teams, with UMass claiming victory over Ohio, 60-44 on Dec. 28, 1984 during play in the Syracuse Invitational hosted in Syracuse, N.Y. The upcoming meeting will mark the first between the teams in nearly 30 years and the only one to occur at either home facility to date.

Junior guard Shavon Robinson paces the Ohio offense through four contests, averaging 12.5 points per game on 15-for-33 shooting from the field (45.5 percent) and an 18-for-23 line from the charity stripe (78.3 percent). Mariah Byard is less than a point per game from joining Robinson in averaging double-digit scoring, adding 9.5 points in each contest. Byard has accumulated her points despite trouble hitting her shots as a sophomore, with the guard only converting 25.0 percent of her field goals overall (10-of-40) and 29.0 percent of her three-point attempts (9-for-31).

On the glass, freshman Alex'ie Baldwin has made an immediate impact, grabbing an average of six rebounds per game while chipping in 5.3 points on average. Senior guard Symone Lyles follows with 5.5 boards per game to go with 5.0 points in each contest.

Overall, the Bobcats are being outscored, 65.8-to-52.2 while opponents have a better field goal rate (44.8-32.5) and three-point conversion percentage (37.1-29.0) while foes are outrebounding Ohio, 42.0-33.5 on average.

Last Time Out: Late Holy Cross Rally Sends UMass To 63-59 Loss
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, including 12 in the 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.

The Minutewomen (1-5 overall) opened the contest with a lockdown defensive effort to keep Holy Cross (2-3) off the scoreboard until 14:34 remained in the first half. The Crusaders opened 0-for-9 from the floor while UMass forced Holy Cross to commit a pair of turnovers during the span.

Bomben jump-started the UMass offense during the beginning minutes of play, hitting on 3-of-3 field goal attempts, including a three-pointer, to tally seven points as the Minutewomen worked ahead, 12-6 with 10:49 to play in the opening stanza. Watson also spearheaded the efforts on both ends of the court during the first half, adding 11 points and four rebounds on a 3-for-4 performance from the floor and 5-for-7 half at the free throw line.

Holy Cross rallied with a 10-6 run over five minutes of play to pull even with UMass at 16-16 on a Lisa Mifsud layup with 5:55 left in the first. However, Watson answered with six points, including a layup and four free throws, over the remaining time of the opening half to help the Minutewomen enter the break ahead by four, 27-23.

After the Crusaders tied the contest at 32-32 on a three-pointer by Christine Ganser, the teams exchanged baskets until the Minutewomen used a 12-3 run to pull ahead, 56-50 with four minutes to play in regulation. Down 47-44 entering the run, senior guard Dee Montgomery connected on a fastbreak layup and Mital added a bucket to push UMass into the lead, 48-47.

The Minutewomen continued the offensive spurt with Timbilla connecting on the third consecutive layup for the squad while sophomore forward Aisha Rodney added a jumper and Mital and Timbilla tallied back-to-back baskets for the six-point advantage. Overall, Mital took control of the offense during the second half with 12 points in the stanza on 5-for-11 shooting, including a pair of three-pointers.

However, the outcome was decided during the final minute of play as Holy Cross fought back to take a 60-58 lead on an Alex Smith three-pointer with 48 seconds remaining to play. During the ensuing inbounds play, the Crusaders forced a turnover and hit one of two free throws after drawing a whistle.

Trailing 61-58 with 21 seconds remaining, Montgomery earned a pair of foul shots and was able to convert the second to pull UMass within two of tying; however, Mifsud drained a pair of attempts from the charity stripe with 13 seconds remaining to seal the Crusaders victory.

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.

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 an 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
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
UMass 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.

Mital's Emergence
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 UMass' shooting guard during four of the first five games of the 2012-13 campaign, missing on contest due to injury.

In her nine games as a starter, Mital has made the most of her opportunities, averaging 11.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists per-game while shooting 36-for-85 (42.4 pct) from the field, including 20-for-42 (47.6 pct) from behind the arc.

On three occasions, Mital has reset her 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 notching another personal best with 16 against Kent State during UMass' 2012-13 season-opener on Nov. 10. Mital followed with a 22-point outburst at Central Connecticut on Nov. 13, shooting 8-for-13 from the floor, including 6-for-10 from behind the arc, to add her first 20-point performance with the Minutewomen. Mital's six three-pointers ties the sophomore for fifth-most in a single contest in program history, only one shy of equaling the program mark of seven most recently achieved by Megan Zullo against Duquesne on Jan. 25, 2012.

Coming From Near And Far
UMass' 15-player roster is comprised of individuals from 11 different states and provinces, including four international student-athletes. Millie Niggeling is the first women's basketball student-athlete in program history from Iowa, while Canada is represented by three Minutewomen; Kim Pierre-Louis (Ontario), Carolann Cloutier (Quebec) and Rashida Timbilla (Ontario) and Kiara Bomben originally hails from Australia.

Jasmine Harris, Adriana Jordan and Aisha Rodney represent Michigan while two players are from within the Massachusetts borders in Amber Dillon and Victoria Stewart. UMass also has one student-athlete each from Indiana (Jasmine Watson), New Jersey (Nola Henry), Ohio (Ronni Grandison), Tennessee (Dee Montgomery) and Texas (Emily Mital).

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.

Six games into her fourth season at UMass, Watson has totaled 1,075 career points (12.4 ppg), 606 rebounds (6.9 rpg) and 135 blocks (1.6 bpg). Watson, the 2009-10 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, is currently fifth on the program's all-time list for career stuffs and ranks third in blocked shots per game.

New Minutewomen Faces
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.

The five 2012-13 true-freshman are Nola Henry, Jasmine Harris, Adriana Jordan, Victoria Stewart and Rashida Timbilla.

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.

UMass Routs Kent State, 83-53 In Season-Opener
Senior Jasmine Watson's 21 points led four scorers in double figures as the UMass women's basketball team rolled to a 83-53 win in the season-opener at the Mullins Center on Sunday afternoon. Watson logged her 1,000th point in the contest to become the 18th player in program history to achieve the milestone.

Watson, who went 8-for-11 from the floor in her 10th career 20-point game, also chipped in with eight rebounds, four blocks, four steals and three assists in 31 minutes on the floor. Sophomore Emily Mital followed with a career-best 16 points and was aided by a 4-for-6 afternoon from beyond the arc.

In their debuts as Minutewomen, redshirt junior Kiara Bomben and freshman Rashida Timbilla both reached double figures with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Timbilla also hauled in 10 boards to complete her double-double, including five on the offensive glass. Bomben snagged four steals and senior Dee Montgomery dished a career-best 11 assists, her second with 10 or more helpers.

All 14 UMass players who dressed for the contest saw action with 11 draining buckets in the Minutewomen's highest scoring output since Nov. 28, 2010 at East Carolina. Redshirt sophomore Millie Niggeling paced the UMass bench with seven points, shooting a perfect 3-for-3 on the day.

The Minutewomen maintained the double-digit cushion following the intermission as Kent State could draw no closer than 13 the rest of the way. UMass led by 32 with 2:05 remaining, it's largest advantage of the day

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.

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.



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