Jessica Pachko leads #XUWBB over UMass, 67-54

Jessica Pachko (Courtesy of Xavier Athletics)
Jessica Pachko (Courtesy of Xavier Athletics)

Courtesy of UMass Athletics

AMHERST, Mass. – Freshman forward Rashida Timbilla earned a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds; however, UMass women’s basketball dropped its Senior Day contest to Xavier, 67-54 at the Mullins Center on Saturday afternoon. Classmate Jasmine Harris paced the Minutewomen with 12 points while a balanced offensive push led six players to earn at least six points each against the Musketeers.

Sophomore forward Kim Pierre-Louis, sophomore forward Aisha Rodney and freshman guard NolaHenry all chipped in eight points a piece, with Pierre-Louis grabbing six rebounds and Rodney pulling down five boards. Timbilla led the Minutewomen with seven assists and three steals in a team-high 33 minutes on the floor.

Sophomore guard Emily Mital added six points and a block while redshirt-junior Kiara Bomben had five rebounds, three assists and two points. Seniors Dee Montgomery and Jasmine Watson were held scoreless, with each playing 16 minutes on the contest, while Watson notched four blocks and three boards and Montgomery contributed a rebound and one helper.

The Minutewomen conclude the season with a 3-26 overall record and 1-13 mark in Atlantic 10 play.

Harris and Timbilla paced the Minutewomen during the opening minutes, combining for UMass’ first nine points. Harris knocked down a three before Timbilla hit back-to-back layups to stake the Minutewomen to a 7-3 lead 2:05 into the contest. Harris followed with a layup of her own to push the advantage to six with 14:14 to play in the first.

Xavier (13-15 overall, 7-7 Atlantic 10) tied it at nine with a 6-0 run; however, Mital rallied the UMass offense with a duo of three-pointers, hitting the first with 10:11 remaining to put the Minutewomen in front, 12-9. Mital followed with another trey to earn back-to-back conversions from beyond the arc and push the advantage to 15-9.

UMass took its largest lead, eight, on four occasions over the remainder of the opening stanza, with the final time coming with 3:11 to play. Rodney fought into the paint and drew a foul at the basket, knocking down a pair of free throws to push UMass ahead, 25-17. However, Xavier outscored the Minutewomen, 7-2 over the remainder of the first to cut the UMass advantage to 27-24 entering the break.

The Musketeers used a second half-opening 12-4 run to move in front for the first time since scoring the first point of the game on a free throw 38 seconds into the contest. However, UMass answered back to tie the contest at 38-38 on a Harris jumper from just inside the arc with 10:40 to play and the squads exchanged baskets until 2:17 remained. The lead changed hands four times during the closing stanza, while the contest was tied on seven occasions as each team attempted to take control of the outcome, with neither team able to build a lead larger than four during the span.

With UMass trailing, 57-54 and in the defensive zone, Xavier’s Amber Gray converted a trey as time expired on the shot clock at the 2:17 mark. The Minutewomen were unable to pull closed than six over the final two minutes as the Musketeers converted their final six free throw attempt to earn the 67-54 outcome

Xavier led in points in the paint, 36-24 and scoring off of turnovers, 16-8. The Minutewomen had more second chance points, 15-11 and scoring from the bench personnel, 24-16.

UMass finished 22-for-63 from the floor (34.9 percent), including a 5-of-20 day from behind the arc (25.0 percent). Xavier responded with a 38.3 field goal percentage (23-of-60) while the Minutewomen perimeter defense held the Musketeers to just two made three-pointers in 17 attempts (11.8 percent). UMass went 5-for-9 from the foul line (55.6 percent) while Xavier ended 19-for-23 (82.6 percent).

Jessica Pachko led Xavier with 23 points while Shatrya Hawkes also scored in double-digits with 12.

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