McCormick Helps UMass To 11th Straight Win
AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts women's basketball extend its program-record winning streak to 11 games on Wednesday night with a 76-62 victory over La Salle at the Mullins Center. Following the matchup, UMass is 14-3 on the season and 4-0 in Atlantic 10 play, while the Explorers drop to 6-11 and 0-4 in the league. It is also the 14th win for the Minutewomen in their last 15 games and eighth in a row at home. UMass won eight straight at the Mullins Center over the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons and last started 4-0 in A-10 play in the 1996-97 campaign. Junior Sam Breen recorded her second career double-double effort with 22 points and 12 rebounds on the night, both team-highs. Senior Hailey Leidel sank 18 points and juniors Bre Hampton-Bey and Heuvelton's Paige McCormick had 10 apiece. Senior Vashnie Perry tied a career-high with eight assists and Leidel grabbed four steals.
McCormick went 6-6 from foul line, grabbed three rebounds, passed out three assists and committed only one turnover in 29 minutes. It was a tale of two halves for the Minutewomen, who bounced back to shoot 51.9% (14-of-27) from the field in the second half after going just 7-of-32 (21.9%) in the opening 20 minutes of the contest. On the night, UMass went to the free throw line 29 times and converted 25 attempts, the latter a season-high. Following a first half that saw three ties and the score mostly remain within two possessions, UMass began to pull away late in the third quarter. After the sides traded baskets down the stretch of the period, Hampton-Bey connected on a left-wing trey that swung considerable momentum the way of the Minutewomen. It capped off a third quarter in which the squad was 7-of-13 shooting. Breen spearheaded a 15-4 fourth quarter run with eight points during the four-plus minute stretch that ended with Massachusetts' largest lead of the night, a 16-point advantage. Helped by Perry's eight dimes on the night, as a team UMass had 18 assists on 21 made field goals. Defensively, the Minutewomen forced 20 La Salle turnovers en route to the win. Claire Jacobs led La Salle with 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting and Kayla Spruill had a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards in the loss. The Minutewomen continue Atlantic 10 play on Sun., Jan. 19 with a 1 p.m. game at Rhode Island from the Ryan 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.