UMass basketball: Minutewomen drop 7th game in a row in 63-48 loss at Rhode Island

UMass athletics

Published: 01-27-2024 10:55 PM

The UMass women's basketball team fell on the road at Rhode Island on Saturday afternoon in the Ryan Center, 63-48.

It was the seventh loss in a row for UMass, which fell to 3-18 overall, 1-8 in the Atlantic 10.

Stefanie Kulesza led the Minutewomen in multiple categories with 15 points, six rebounds, and four steals.

Rhode Island opened the afternoon on an 8-0 run before Alexsia Rose put UMass on the board and followed by scoring the first six points for the Minutewomen. Rose scored eight of her 11 points in the opening 20 minutes of play. UMass made three consecutive field goals and made it a 12-8 game on a Kulesza steal and reverse layup to bring the score to 12-8 with 2:30 left in the quarter.

The Minutewomen used a 7-0 scoring run over 1:33 of game time to get within two points at 25-23 on a Kristin Williams 3-pointer. UMass made four straight field goals during a run that was jumpstarted by a Bre Bellamy 3-pointer. Bellamy started the afternoon by converting on her first three shot attempts, including two from deep, to give her eight points at the halftime break. The Minutewomen shot 64-percent from the field and held the Rams under 50-percent shooting to make it a 32-27 game at the break in favor of Rhode Island.

UMass pulled back within two after the halftime break after Lilly Taulelei made it a 32-30 game with a free throw 45 seconds into the half. The Rams followed with a 9-0 scoring run to build their then largest lead of the day at 41-30 with 6:11 to go before Lilly Ferguson ended the run with her first bucket of the contest. UMass trailed 47-34 heading into the fourth was outscored 15-7 by Rhode Island in the frame while both teams shot under 40-percent from the field in the third.

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Kulesza scored seven of the first nine UMass points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of free throws as part of a 6-0 run to make it a 10-point game at 53-43 with just under four to go. Rhode Island answered with a 6-0 scoring run that helped make it a 63-48 final.

UMass returns home to the Mullins Center for Field Trip Day on Wednesday against La Salle. The Minutewomen and the Explorers tip off at 11 a.m. on NESN and ESPN-Plus.