Minutewomen Play Wagner On The Road Saturday At 2 P.M.
UMass visits Staten Island looking for its first road win.
Sakera Young had eight points and a team-high six rebounds vs. Villanova on Tuesday.
Dec. 14, 2007
AMHERST, Mass. -
The UMass women's basketball team (4-6) hits the road this weekend, traveling to Staten Island to take on Wagner (2-5) of the Northeast Conference on Saturday at Spiro Sports Center in a 2 p.m. tip-off. The Minutewomen are coming off a 75-51 loss at Villanova on Tuesday. The Seahawks enter Saturday's game coming off a week layoff. They last played on Dec. 8, dropping a 62-53 decision to St. Francis (NY) in their conference-opener.
This will be UMass' only game against a Northeast Conference opponent this year and the Minutewomen are the only Atlantic 10 foe Wagner will face this season.
Atlantic 10 teams are currently 3-2 against Northeast Conference opponents this season.
BROADCAST INFO The game will be carried on WMUA 91.1 FM and on UMassAthletics.com with Zach Claudio and Chris Marovelli calling the action. Live stats will also be available via Gametracker at UMassAthletics.com.
SERIES HISTORY This will be the fifth time the Minutewomen and Seahawks have met. UMass holds a 3-1 edge and has won the last three meetings.
The last time the teams met was on Nov. 30, 2006, with UMass winning, 73-58, at the Mullins Center. Pam Rosanio led four UMass players in double-figures with 18 points and nine rebounds. Stefanie Gerardot and Kate Mills each netted 15 points and Tamara Tatham added 12 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. Olivia Nagle led the Seahawks with 12 points.
UMass Coach Marnie Dacko is 2-0 in her career versus Wagner, with last seasons win and a victory while coaching at Cornell.
Wagner's lone win in the series came in the first time the teams met, a 58-52 game on Dec. 28, 1992 at the Wagner Holiday Tournament.
The Seahawks are currently on a five-game losing skid after starting the season with back-to-back wins over Ivy League opponents Columbia and Princeton. The losses have been to American, St. Peters, Boston College, Central Michigan, and St. Francis (NY).
Saturday's game will be Wagner's sixth home game out of eight games this season. The Seahawks are 2-3 at home.
5-8 senior guard Chelsey Bunyer leads the team at 11.7 points per game. She is joined in the backcourt by 5-4 sophomore Andrea Reed at 11.1 ppg and a leads the team with 47 assists (6.7 per game). 6-3 senior forward Ali Ridge is the inside presence for the Seahawks, scoring 5.6 ppg and leading the team with 7.4 rebounds per game. 5-11 freshman Ashley Olsen has been the top three-point shooter for Wagner, making 33.3% (8-24) of her attempts from behind the arc.
Gela Mikalauskas is in her 14th season coaching the Seahawks. She is in her third season back at the helm after taking a 15-year hiatus after coaching 11 seasons at Wagner. Mikalauskas is the all-time winningest coach in school history with a 181-190 career record.
LAST TIME OUT The Minutewomen fell on the road to Villanova, 75-51, on Tuesday night. The Wildcats, made 15 three-pointers, including 10 in the first half, while shooting 41.7% (15-36) from behind the arc.
Kate Mills poured in 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting to lead UMass. Pam Rosanio added nine points and Sakera Young scored eight second half points to go along with a team-high six rebounds.
It was the second-straight game that a point guard has led UMass on the boards. Kim Benton hauled in five versus Maine.
UMass out-rebounded Villanova, 34-29.
The loss dropped UMass to 0-6 away from the Mullins Center.
UMASS DOWNS MAINE UMass defeated Maine, 74-55, on Dec. 8 at the Mullins Center. The Minutewomen improved to 4-0 at home with the win. They used a 9-0 run over the final 3:33 of the first half to break open a close game.
Pam Rosanio scored 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting and had six assists to lead UMass. Kate Mills added 16 points and Kim Benton hit three first half three-pointers on her way to 13 points. Benton also led the team in rebounds with five.
The Minutewomen had a season-high 24 assists on 27 field goals.
UMass scored 27 points off 26 Maine turnovers.
The Minutewomen dominated in the paint, outscoring the Black Bears, 34-18.
Tanna Ross led Maine with 20 points, including 6-for-8 shooting from three-point range.
MILLS CONTINUES TO CLIMB CAREER CHARTS With 34 points over the last two games, Kate Mills leapt from 13th to 10th on the UMass all-time scoring list (1,164 pts). She surpassed Kathy Coyner, Keyburn McCusker, and Tez Kraft.
Mills is just one point behind Nekole Smith (1,165) for ninth on the career-scoring list. Smith was a 6-2 forward out of Ann Arbor, Mich. that played 1998-03.
With six rebounds on Dec. 4 at St. John's, Kate Mills surpassed the 500-rebound mark for her career. She becomes the 13th player in UMass history to amass 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in a career.
Mills currently has 148 career blocks. With two more she will become just the second player in UMass history with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 150 blocks in a career. Melissa Gurile had 1,679 points, 830 rebounds, and 182 blocks in a career that spanned 1992 to 1996.
PLAYING TEAM BASKETBALL A good sign of team basketball is high assist numbers and UMass has certainly achieved that this year. The Minutewomen are third in the Atlantic 10 in assists with 16.4 per game.
In 10 games this season junior point guard Sakera Young and Pam Rosanio are tied for the team lead with 31 each, while Kate Mills and Alisha Tatham have 26 and 23, respectively.
The Minutewomen recorded an assist on 69 percent of their baskets last year.
So far this season they are on almost the same pace, with 164 assists on 247 field goals (66%).
SHARP SHOOTERS The Minutewomen boast the top field goal percentage in the Atlantic 10 thus far in 2007-08 with a .444 (247-556) mark.
Two of the top-12 field goal percentages in the A-10 are owned by Minutewomen. Kate Mills is sixth in the conference at .529 (74-140) and Pam Rosanio is 12th at .500 (53-106). Only one other team has two players in the top dozen (Dayton).
UMass shooters also have put up the conference's top-three shooting performances of the season thus far. Kate Mills' 9-for-11 shooting display in her 22-point game versus Jacksonville on Nov. 23 was the best percentage in a game this season (.818). Stefanie Gerardot shot 8-of-10 in UMass' home victory over Boston College on Nov. 14 on the way to her career-high 20 points. On Tuesday, Mills' 8-for-10 performance on the way to 18 points tied Gerardot's mark for second.
Pam Rosanio is tied with four players for the best performance from the free throw line in a game this season. She was a perfect 8-of-8 versus Jacksonville on Nov. 23 when she finished with 20 points.
UMass was one of the top shooting teams in the league last season. The Minutewomen finished second in the A-10 shooting 44 percent from the field and were just .005 points behind first-place Temple.
Kate Mills led the league in 2006-07, shooting .538 from the floor (193-of-359).
ROSANIO DOING IT ALL Now in her senior season, Pam Rosanio continues to be a leader in the backcourt. The Southampton, Pa. native has finished in the top-three on the team in scoring in her first three seasons. She was also named Second Team All-Conference two of those years.
Rosanio is second on the team in scoring at 15.1 points per game and tied for the lead in assists with 31. She is second in rebounding at 4.6 per game and minutes with 31.3 per game.
In the game at East Carolina, Rosanio logged her 3,000th minute played for UMass. She is the 15th player in school history to reach that plateau and now sits in 12th all-time with 3,181. The last UMass player to eclipse that mark was Tamara Tatham last season (3,509/7th).
Rosanio scored a career-high 25 points versus Vermont on Nov. 9 to become the 17th player in UMass history to reach 1,000.
"When it comes to Pam, I look at her hustle. She's always the first one down the floor and the first one on the break," said Coach Dacko. "She's worked hard at her game, trying to get other opportunities and finding ways to score off the perimeter using screens. Pam's worked on playing effective defense and being able to create some shots for other people. I think she's really going to have an outstanding year."
MILLS LEADING THE WAY So far in 2007-08, Kate Mills is picking up right where she left off last season, when she eclipsed 1,000 career-points in the season finale. This season she leads the team in scoring (16.1 ppg), rebounding (6.0 rpg), blocks (22), field goal percentage (.529), and minutes (33.6 per game).
She led UMass with 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting on Tuesday at Villanova.
Mills recorded her second-straight double-double and 11th of her career vs. Hartford (12/1).
Mills scored 22 points vs. Jacksonville on Friday while playing only 25 minutes due to foul trouble.
Mills tied her career-high with 28 points at Northeastern on Nov. 17 and was named Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week for that week, along with La Salle's Carlene Hightower.
"Kate has grown every year, grown into a leadership role, and grown into really making this her team," said Coach Dacko. "She has been our go-to player. Kate is probably the best perimeter shooter we have as well as the best percentage-wise. Our game is inside-outside, so Kate gets the ball every time down the floor and it's her decision to take it or dish it out. She is also a real stabilizing factor for us defensively."
GERARDOT STEPPING UP Stefanie Gerardot has taken her game to a new level here in her junior year. Coming into this season she averaged 3.5 ppg and 13.1 minutes per game over her career. This season she is scoring at a 8.5 ppg clip and playing an average of 25.4 minutes per game.
Has started in the last four games.
Gerardot scored 11 points in Dec. 4's St. John's game to give her double-figures in three-straight games.
The Fort Wayne, Ind. native scored a career-high 20 points on 8-for10 shooting, including 4-for-6 from behind the arc, to lead UMass to a 69-66 win over Boston College (11/14).
STARTING TO GET IT WRIGHT Freshman forward Teya Wright continues to get more minutes coming off the bench for UMass.
The Paterson, N.J. native recorded a career-high 10 rebounds in 18 minutes of action at Boston University on Nov. 28.
Against ECU, Wright grabbed seven boards and four steals.
She set career-highs in minutes (23), and points (11) on Nov. 17 at Northeastern.
"Teya is an outstanding athlete," Dacko said. "She is very gifted. She has a quick release when she's posting up and can get the ball into the bucket. She has a real nose for the basketball and fills the lane. Teya is strong in the post and is going to provide some defensive stability down low."
TATHAM ANSWERING THE CALL Senior Alisha Tatham has been asked to take on a larger role this season and thus far has responded well. After averaging 17.2 minutes and 4.0 points per game in her first three seasons, she is averaging 28.6 minutes and 7.2 points per game this season all while being a key figure on defense.
Tatham has tied her career-high with 14 points in back-to-back games vs. Boston College (11/14) and Northeastern (11/17).
"Alisha is one of the hardest workers I've ever coached in my life," said Dacko. "She brings a great deal of leadership and is a tremendous student-athlete. She is in incredible shape after traveling all over with Canada Basketball this summer. She is very passionate about basketball, her teammates, and her school."
THE BULLDOG: DANGEROUS FROM LONG-RANGE Kim Benton, aka The Bulldog, is one of UMass' top three-point specialists and is looking to build upon a successful freshman season. Benton nailed 50 three's last year, the third highest total in school history, and shot .350 from long range.
Benton leads the team again this season with 15 field goals from long-range.
She's not only a shooter however, as she has 22 assists on the season.
Benton has moved into the starting lineup in the last four games, scoring eight points vs. Hartford, three at St. John's, 13 vs. Maine, and three at Villanova.
"Kim understands the leadership role from the point guard position," Coach Dacko said. "She is a great shooter, but she's not someone who we want to just take outside shots. She has worked on finding other ways to score and helping her teammates score. Defensively, Kim has got to be able to really control the top of the perimeter for us to be successful."
SUCCESS OVERSEAS 2007 UMass alum Tamara Tatham is finding success in her first season playing professionally in Europe. She is a starter for Catz Lappeenranta of the Finnish Basketball Association.
In 15 games this season, Tatham is averaging 15.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg, and 3.8 steals per game while shooting 49.7 percent. She is currently her team's leading scorer and ranks ninth in the league.
The Catz are 14-1 and in first-place in the nine-team league.
Tatham averaged 12.8 ppg and 9.0 rpg last season for the Minutewomen.
WELCOME TO THE CLUB Pam Rosanio joined select company in Nov. 9's season-opening win versus Vermont. She became the 17th player in UMass history to reach the 1,000-point mark. She ended last season with 988 and poured in a career-high 25 in the 69-68 victory.
The last UMass player to reach the 1,000-point plateau was fellow-senior Kate Mills. She reached the mark just last season, in the finale versus St. Bonaventure. Now in their fourth season playing together, Mills (1,164) sits just ahead of Rosanio (1,139) in career points.
The pair continues to climb up UMass' all-time scoring list. Mills is currently 10th and Rosanio sits 12th in career points.
MILLS NAMED TO A-10 PRESEASON TEAM Prior to the start of the 2007-08 season, senior forward Kate Mills was named to the Atlantic 10 Preseason All-Conference Second Team as voted on by the league's coaches and media.
Mills, a Third-Team All-Conference selection at the conclusion of last season, was UMass' leading scorer averaging 16.1 points per game. She also led the club in field goal percentage (.538), free throw percentage (.819), and blocks (64). She finished second on the team in minutes (1004) and rebounds (6.9 per game). Her field goal percentage was also tops in the A-10, while her blocks total was good for second in the conference. In all, Mills finished in the top 15 in the conference in seven individual statistical categories. She recorded her 1000th career point, becoming the 16th player in school history to do so, on March 2 versus St. Bonaventure.
UMASS PICKED TO FINISH 7TH IN ATLANTIC 10 PRESEASON COACHES/MEDIA POLL The Minutewomen were picked to finish seventh in the A-10 Coaches/Media Poll among the 14-team conference earlier this season. George Washington, the 2006-07 A-10 champ, was unanimously picked to repeat.
Xavier and Charlotte tied in votes for second. They finished third and fourth, respectively, last season. Temple was predicted to drop from second to fourth place while Saint Joseph's slipped from fifth to sixth. Richmond was picked to move up from a three-way tie with UMass and La Salle in 2006-07 to fifth this season.
NEXT GAME: VS. BUFFALO The Minutewomen return home on Dec. 22 for a noon non-conference game versus Buffalo. UMass is 1-1 all-time versus the Bulls, including last season's 72-67 OT victory on the road. It will be Buffalo's first trip ever to Amherst.
The game will be carried on WMUA 91.1 FM and on UMassAthletics.com. Live stats will be available on Gametracker and streaming video on All-Access at UMassAthletics.com.
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