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Mike Leflar Earns First Win as a Head Coach at UMass over Saint Peter’s in Season Opener

The Massachusetts Minutewomen (1-0, 0-0 A-10) opened up the season opener with a win over the Saint Peter’s Peacocks (0-1, 0-0 MAAC) 56-44 in the Mullins Center. Monday night’s win marks Coach Mike Leflar’s first win as a head coach. 

UMass played with eight available players once again, and each player contributed at least ten minutes. Alexsia Rose, Chinenye Odenigbo, Mikenzie Jones, Allie Palmieri, and Avery Childers have all been dealing with different injuries, and have different timetables for returning. “A couple of them are back [and] doing some workouts on the court,” said Coach Leflar. “I’m optimistic that they are going to return soon but no date in mind.” This could mean that in the next few weeks, there is a possibility that they will all be making their Minutewomen debuts soon. 

The Minutewomen had two players in double digits on the night. Kristin Williams led both the team and in the game for scoring as well as having a career-high night with 19 points coming off the bench. Stefanie Kulesza earned her first official career double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Lilly Ferguson and Lilly Taulelei both contributed 6 points and scored their first collegiate points. Dallas Pierce also scored her first collegiate points alongside Ferguson and Taulelei. 

Monday night’s game was special for several of the Minutewomen as their families were in attendance for the game. Taulelei, Pierce, Bre Bellamy, and other players all had family members in the crowd at the Mullins Center for the first victory of the season.

UMass will travel to Boston and play the Northeastern University Huskies (1-0, 0-0 CAA) on Thursday at 7pm. The game will be televised on FloHoops and NESN+ as well as WMUA will have a radio broadcast. UMass is looking for their first win against Northeastern since the 2008-09 season. The Huskies lead the all-time series history 17-16 with Thursday’s matchup being the 34th all-time meeting. 

Featured Image: Chris Tucci, UMass Athletics

Kaily “KG” Godek is a current student at Western New England University (WNE). She has been a supporter of UMass Athletics for over 15 years. Kaily focuses on both UMass Basketball teams and occasionally on the other Women’s Basketball teams in the conference. While writing for A10 Talk, she works in the athletic department at WNE. When she graduates from WNE she wants to go into Sports Broadcasting and Journalism. You can follow Kaily on X, formerly known as Twitter, @kgumass23.