UMass Travels To Kent State For Tuesday Contest
Dec. 15, 2013
Most Recent Meeting: Massachusetts 83, Kent State 53
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.
Scouting Kent State Women's Basketball
The Golden Flashes do not have a player scoring in double-figures through nine games as Montia Johnson paces the program with 9.8 points per game. Larissa Lurken follows closely behind Johnson with 9.2 and CiCi Shannon contributes 8.8 points per contest. Johnson also leads the team in rebounds per game with 7.1 while Shannon pulls down 7.0 during a team-high 29.4 minutes played on average in each appearance.
Opponents have outscored Kent State, 68.6-to-58.6 through nine games, grabbed more rebounds, 39.2-to-35.9 and earned higher shooting percentages for field goals, three-point attempts and free throws.
UMass and Kent State have faced off on three occasions, most recently an 83-53 win for the Minutewomen at the Mullins Center on Nov. 10, 2012. Massachusetts is 2-1 overall in the series, also claiming victory over the Golden Flashes on Nov. 28, 1997.
O'Banion is 6-33 as the leader of Kent State women's basketball. She brought 10 years of Division I coaching experience to Kent, Ohio, with her arrival prior to the 2012-13 season, including five as an assistant coach at Minnesota and four more at Memphis.
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Surpassing The 25-Point Plateau
Pierre-Louis Then And Now
In comparison, during her sophomore season Pierre-Louis only produced 4.4 points per game while shooting 32-of-72 on field goal attempts (44.4 percent) and 19-of-28 on free throws (67.9 percent).
Minutewomen Make It Two In A Row With Win At Hartford
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
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.
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 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
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.
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