Timbilla in control: Rashida Timbilla played the strongest first half of her teammates in the penultimate game of her freshman campaign. Along with eight points, Timbilla has grabbed eight boards, four on other side of the ball. She is 3-of-8 from the field and added a pair from the line. Furthermore, her three assists also comprise half of the teams dimes and while on defense she has three steals. Her presence in the key on the boards has been a catalyst for the Minutewomen because of Jasmine Watson’s foul trouble.
Foul trouble for the Minutwomen: Jasmine Watson only registered eight minutes in the first twenty, having to come off with two fouls early on. Fortunately, Watson’s absence has not made it hard for the team with Timbilla stepping up and Emily Mital being able to find her shooting touch. Aisha Rodney has also offered up six points and three boards in the Watson’s place. Timbilla is also in trouble with two personal fouls of her own, however her level of play has forced UMass coach Sharon Dawley to keep her on the floor. Watson’s fellow senior teammate Dee Montgomery also has a pair of fouls
Jessica Pachko big for XU: Xavier closed out the half with 24 points, half of which came through their center Jessica Pachko. Her early frustrations resulted in a warning from the refs, but after a brief cooling off period on the bench Pachko has kept the Musketeers competitive in the game. With much of the teams offense running through her, the XU big has showcased her ability to cut sharply in the key to get to the hoop for easy lay ups, while also requiring a defender down low to free up space in the zone.
Losing streak snapped: Yes, the Minutewomen’s long national nightmare has finally come to an end: UMass women’s basketball snapped it’s 8-game losing streak with today’s ??-?? home win over George Washington. It got rather tense towards the end of regulation as the Minutewomen threatened to give away yet another late lead at home, but, for the first time in seemingly forever, UMass hung on late. Sharon Dawley and her players have preached that the start of the Atlantic 10 Conference schedule represented an opportunity to wipe away the team’s poor start to the season. That certainly seemed to be the case this afternoon, at least for one game.
Rodney perfect off the bench: Dawley has also spoke at length this season about the contributions of Aisha Rodney off the bench. Rodney, who struggled to get back to full strength following a preseason ankle injury, showed exactly what her coach was talking about today, scoring 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting and grabbing five rebounds, including a couple of big offensive boards to keep eventual scoring possessions alive. That kind of efficient production off the bench is invaluable for any team and especially so for a team struggling to put together wins.
Cloutier continues production: The big minutes continue for Carolann Cloutier, who made her first start of the year today, and she responded once more with another solid offensive performance: 13 points, two rebounds and four assists. Two of Cloutier’s field goals were big time 3-point makes that helped spur the Minutewomen into the run that gave them the lead they almost blew late in the game. She also knocked down a clutch free throw late to help ice the win.
Up next: A winning streak, perhaps? The Minutewomen next travel to the Bronx to take on Fordham in another Atlantic 10 matchup. That game will be played Wednesday at 7 p.m.