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McCormick Aids Rally But UMass Falls Short

AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts women's basketball closed a 16-point deficit down to one possession, but the Minutewomen were unable to fully cap the rally effort as the squad fell to Fordham, 69-64, on Saturday at the Mullins Center. Massachusetts falls to 16-8 with the loss and 6-5 in the Atlantic 10, while Fordham moves to 15-8 overall and 7-3 against A-10 foes. Junior Sam Breen spearheaded the late push, finishing with a team-high 21 points. Junior Bre Hampton-Bey and sophomore Destiney Philoxy contributed 11 points apiece to wrap the double-figure efforts for the Minutewomen. Breen and Hampton-Bey added six rebounds and the junior along with senior Vashnie Perry each dished out four assists.

Heuvelton's Page McCormick contributed seven points on 3-5 shooting off the bench and also grabbed three rebounds and one steal. After Fordham led by as many as 16 with under seven minutes left in the third quarter, Massachusetts went on a 20-9 run to close out the stanza and open the final period. Breen spearheaded the run with eight points as the Maroon and White clawed within five at 51-46 with 7:02 remaining in regulation. UMass narrowed the margin to just four after two quick trips to the free throw line, leaving the score at 60-56 with 31 seconds. Now forced to foul, Fordham's Kendell Heremaia missed one of two at the line but a three-pointer for the Minutewomen would not fall at the other end. Breen and Fordham's Bre Cavanauagh then traded points from the charity stripe before senior Hailey Leidel connected on a trey with nine seconds left, once again bringing the margin to four at 65-61. Breen answered a pair of Rams free throws with a triple for a 67-64 score, but that was as close as UMass would get before ultimately running out of time. The Rams took advantage of a difficult shooting second quarter for UMass as the Minutewomen were held to 2-of-14 from the field. Fordham in contrast went 9-of-15 in the stanza and used that momentum to bring a 34-19 lead into halftime. On the day, UMass shot 24-of-59 (40.7%) from the field to Fordham's 46% (23-of-50). For the Rams, Cavanaugh led all scorers with 22 points, including a 10-of-10 clip at the free throw line. Massachusetts is back in action on Wed., Feb. 12, hosting Dayton in a 7 p.m. game at the Mullins Center. Follow UMass women's basketball on Twitter (@UMassWBB), Instagram (UMassWBB) and Facebook (UMass Women's Basketball) for the latest news and updates around the program.

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