by Kevin McCaskill Jr.
1/23/24 * 3:40 PM
(AMHERST, MA) - The UMass Minutewomen hosted the George Mason Patriots on Sunday afternoon, at The Mullins Center. The Minutewomen have lost 5 consecutive games and they were up against a tough opponent. The Patriots came into Sunday’s contest winning four of their last five games.
The first quarter was very close. The Minutewomen matched the Patriots intensity and effort. The Minutewomen were getting shots in the paint, which opened up Guard Kristin Williams to get her 3-pt shot off. Williams gets good elevation on her jump-shot and has overall good mechanics on her jumper. UMass led after one quarter 21-18.
Both offenses were stagnant to start the 2nd quarter. In the middle of the 2nd, the Patriots started to separate. Guards Sonia Smith and Taylor Jameson got into the lane whenever they wanted. They hit mid-range jump-shots and got all the to the rim. The Minutewomen defense had no answer for the Patriots half-court offense.
George Mason led at halftime 40-29.
In the 3rd and 4th quarters, the Patriots asserted why they are in the top quarter of the A10. They got to the basket at will, which opened up 3-pters made by Kennedy Harris and Zahirah Walton.
After a rocky start, the Patriots cruised to a comfortable win 73-52.
Kristin Williams scored a career-high 20 points and had 3 steals.
Bre Bellamy registered 11 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds.
Sonia Smith led the Patriots with 15 points.
Zahirah Walton scored 14 points and also had 7 rebounds and 3 steals.
After the game, George Mason HC Veronica Blair-Lewis and UMass HC Mike Leflar spoke with the media.
Blair-Lewis: “I thought our team struggled tonight to get going but once we got going, got the ball in Sonia’s hands, she was able to keep our team afloat”.
Leflar: “[Davidson] plays fast, [they have] always played fast…their strengths are more on the offensive side of the ball and we have to figure out a way to stop them or score with them…Just quickly, knowing a little bit about them, it’d be important for us to get the ball inside….”.
Lilly Taulelei missed Sunday’s game due to a wrist injury. She is “day-to-day” according to HC Leflar.
The Minutewomen play @ Davidson this Wednesday. The game tips @ 7 PM, on ESPN+.