UMass women’s basketball shuts down Towson, 72-49

  • Genesis Rivera, center, of UMass, drives down the court against Towson, Sunday at the Mullins Center. J. Anthony Roberts

  • Genesis Rivera, front, of UMass, throws up a runner in the lane past Towson’s Mary Cuevas, Sunday at the Mullins Center. J. Anthony Roberts

  • Maggie Mulligan, center, of UMass, shoots a 3-pointer over Towson’s Maia Lee, left, Nukiya Barbour, Sunday at the Mullins Center. J. Anthony Roberts

For the Gazette
Published: 11/12/2017 7:12:41 PM

AMHERST — The UMass women’s basketball team used a suffocating defense to defeat Towson, 72-49, Sunday at the Mullins Center.

The Minutewomen’s 2-3 zone held Towson to 33 percent shooting and forced the Tigers into 27 turnovers.

“That was the goal for us – to play defense like most winning teams do,” UMass junior Genesis Rivera said. “Our coaches keep us focused on that end and we were prepared to make stops and rebound.”

Rivera led the Minutewomen with 21 points and seven rebounds. Rivera set the tone for UMass scoring inside, as senior center Maggie Mulligan (eight points, seven rebounds) and freshman guard Bre Hampton-Bey (13 points, five rebounds, eight assists, four steals) created opportunities in the paint.

“We were taking advantage of mismatches,” UMass coach Tory Verdi said. “Genesis had a guard on her and we tried to get the ball inside to where she could post up and get easy baskets.”

UMass scored 34 points in the paint and had 27 points off the 27 turnovers. Towson scored eight points off 15 Minutewomen turnovers.

“I’d like for our number of turnovers to be at 14 or less, but I think our players did an excellent job outworking our opponent today using defense to create offensive opportunities,” Verdi said.

Paige McCormick had 13 points, while Hailey Leidel added 10 points in the win.

UMass (2-0) plays at North Dakota State on Friday and at North Dakota on Sunday.

“I really think this team can go far if we keep playing the way we have been, and it’s going to be fun seeing how we develop over the course of the season,” Rivera said.

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