UMass Opens Four-Game Roadtrip At Ohio University
Nov. 28, 2012
Scouting Ohio Women's Basketball
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
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.
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Watson Named Atlantic 10 Player of the Week
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
UMass Routs Kent State, 83-53 In Season-Opener
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
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Octavia Thomas Selected To UMass Hall Of Fame
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
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.