UMass captured their first A10 post season tournament title in women’s basketball on Sunday. The Minutewomen defeated Dayton 62-56 at Chase Fieldhouse in Wilmington, Delaware. A look from a tempo free perspective at that final and how the Minutewomen earned the opportunity to cut down the nets in Wilmington.
Possessions: 62- slow to moderate tempo. Both teams average in the high sixties. With so much on the line in a championship game, the pace rends to get more conservative.
Offensive efficiency: UMass 102, Dayton 90
The Four Factors:
eFG%- UMass 51, Dayton 45
FT rate: Dayton 20%, UMass 16%
OREB%- UMass 27, Dayton 13
TO rate- Dayton 14%, UMass 16%
What UMAss did well. Rebound. The difference maker. The Minutewomen dominated the offensive glass. Grabbing the offensive rebounds extends a possession. It also gives a great opportunity for a close in shot and a chance to draw a foul. UMass owned a 30-16 edge in points in the paint.
What Dayton did well. Battle back and compete. Coach Shauna Green’s regular season A10 champions battled back from a 13 point deficit after three periods. They cut the deficit to a two possession game but could not draw any closer.
UMass was right on their average efficiency of 103 for ‘22. Dayton came in with an average of 96 and the UMass defense did the job keeping the Flyers under their norm. Sam Breen of UMass led all scorers with 19 points. Ber’Nyah Mayo added 14 for the Minutewomen. Makira Cook paced Dayton with 15 points. Erin Whalen added 13 and five rebounds.
UMass shot 46% from the floor while limiting the Flyers to 38%.
Dayton won the one regular season meeting between the two teams, 69-60 at UMass in mid-January.
UMass coach Tory Verdi followed up last season’s WNIT appearance with the A10 title and a ticket to the ‘Big Dance’. In his six seasons at Amherst Verdi has turned the program from an afterthought to one positioned to regularly compete for championships. A year ago they were runners-up to champion VCU. That served as motivation coming into the current campaign. The motivation was instrumental in carrying the team to the title.
Minutes following the final buzzer of the A10 championship, Verdi told commentators his first job and goal was to turn the program into one that would get respect.
Mission accomplished. UMass has that respect. And an A10 championship as well.
UMass is 26-6 while Dayton is now 25-5.