Despite the loss, KU hung tough in this matchup against Division-I UMass, taking a 43-33 lead into the halftime break. The Kutztown offense sizzled from the three-point line in the first 24 minutes, going 9-for-21, shooting 42.9% from behind the arc.
Individually, freshman Rylee Derr shined in the opening stanza, knocking down five of KU’s nine first-half triples and scoring 17 total points in the first half. Taylor Thames got in on the scoring action as well in the first half, chipping in four points which included a buzzer-beating layup to conclude the second
As a team, Kutztown shot 15-for-35 from the field with nine different players in the scoring column before halftime. On the defensive end, the Golden Bears were stout in the first two quarters, forcing eight UMass turnovers and holding the Minutewomen to 33 points and a 38.5 shooting percentage from the field.
UMass came out with a renewed energy, however, to open the second half, outscoring the Maroon and Gold 46-23 in the third and fourth quarters to gain control of the game. Applying a significant amount of defensive pressure, Massachusetts forced ten second-half turnovers and held the Kutztown offense to 25 percent shooting in the final two frames.
Derr led KU in scoring, finishing with 21 points, shooting 5-of-15 from deep and 2-for-2 from the charity stripe. Karen Lapkiewicz and Zoe Zerman joined Derr in double-digits, scoring eleven and ten points respectively on the night. Sierra Taylor facilitated the offensive effort, dishing out five of Kutztown’s 17 assists.
Collectively, the Maroon and Gold outpaced UMass in both second-chance points (14-8) and bench points (24-8) in this tilt against a side from one of the premier Division-I women’s basketball conferences, the Atlantic-10.
The Golden Bears’ next competition will be its first official one of the season, facing off with the Bowie State Bulldogs on Friday, Nov. 10 as part of the Wolf’s Bus Lines Classic at Shippensburg University.