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UMass breezes past Maine-Fort Kent in opener, 111-45

  • —AP



@MattVautourDHG
Friday, November 10, 2017

AMHERST — In its opening game of the 2017-18 season, the UMass women’s basketball team did almost as much damage to the record book as it did to Maine-Fort Kent.

The NAIA team from the Canadian border put up only cursory resistance as the Minutewomen bulldozed the Bengals, 111-45, Friday.

It was a game for a quarter as UMFK trailed 21-14 after the first quarter. After that, UMass hit the gas and never looked back .

It was the widest margin of victory in school history and the second most points the Minutewomen have ever scored, falling three short of what they put up in 1979. It was the first time cracking three digits since 1980.

“It gives us confidence. We’re rebuilding a program. We won nine games last year. Regardless of who you’re playing against, to score 111 points you have to put the ball in the basket,” UMass coach Tory Verdi said. “We’re just looking now to be consistent.”

Holdover standouts Maggie Mulligan and Hailey Leidel made their impact statistically before spending most of the second half watching. Mulligan 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks in 20 minutes. Had Leidel played more, she might have shattered the school record of seven 3-pointers in a game, but she had to settle for six as part of her 20 points in 26 minutes.

In all, six Minutewomen scored in double figures including Paige McCormick (18 points), Genesis Rivera (13 points, 10 rebounds), Bre Hampton-Bey (12) and Alexia Allesch (16 points, seven rebounds) in their UMass debuts.

“The fact that everyone was scoring will build up our confidence for games going forward,” Mulligan said. “That’s probably why this group was on our schedule to have that confidence going.”

UMass dominated inside outrebounding UMFK, 50-16. The Bengals had one offensive rebounds and no second-chance points.

The Minutewomen (1-0) host Towson, Sunday at 2 p.m.