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UMass advances to A-10 women's basketball quarterfinals

Published: 3/5/2019 8:22:35 PM

Junior Hailey Leidel scored a season-high 31 points to push 10th-seeded UMass past No. 7 George Mason, 86-80, in double overtime in the first round of the Atlantic 10 women’s basketball tournament, Tuesday in Fairfax, Virginia.

It was the program’s first A-10 tournament win in three years and its first quarterfinals appearance since 2005. The Minutewomen (16-15) will face second-seeded Fordham on Friday at 4:30 p.m. in the tournament quarterfinals at Duquesne.

“That was an unbelievable game,” UMass coach Tory Verdi said in his postgame press conference. “I thought our players did an unbelievable job of fighting adversity down the stretch. We made a lot of big shots and it was a great team win. I’m really happy for our players and program to win this game and move on in the (Atlantic 10) Tournament.”

Leidel set a program record by making all 18 of her free throws in the game, 10 of which came in the two extra sessions. Leidel also added a 3-pointer midway through the second overtime period that jumpstarted the game-winning 10-0 run for the Minutewomen.

UMass also received major contributions from Destiney Philoxy and Genesis Rivera off the bench to complement Leidel. Rivera scored eight of her 15 points in the first half to stake the Minutewomen to a four-point halftime advantage.

Philoxy took over the overtimes for the Minutewomen, driving the lane to pick up critical scores. She scored nine of her 19 points in the two overtimes, which included two three-point plays.

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