Boston, Mass. – With a hard fought second half women's basketball (7-16 overall) topped the Suffolk University (16-8 overall) by a 62-57 margin on Thursday evening in non-conference action at the Regan Gymnasium.
Reigning Little East Conference and New England Women's Basketball Association (NEWBA) Rookie of the Week Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) poured in 22 points and collected nine rebounds to guide the Beacons to their final non-conference win of the season. Senior Molly Rattigan (Dorchester, Mass.) was the driving force in the paint as the forward pulled down a combined 12 rebounds to lead all players in the category.
For the host Rams, senior Meghan Black collected a career-milestone on Thursday evening as she grabbed her 500th career rebound. Black became just the sixth Suffolk player in the last decade to join this list. Black finished the game with six rebounds and 10 points for the Rams, while senior Mary Garon had team-highs in both points with 14 and rebounds with eight.
The story of the game was the Beacons' second half defense that held the Rams to only 18 points and twenty-percent shooting from the field over the final twenty minutes of play after Suffolk took a 39-32 lead into halftime.
The Beacons closed the game with a 10-0 run to seal the victory as the Rams could not muster a point over the final 4:25 of the contest.
Garon connected a three-pointer to give the Rams a 62-57 edge, but that would be the final basket they would score on the evening.
Morrison would score the next four Beacons' points on a layup and a pair of free-throws to cut the Beacons within a point. Junior Teresa Pina (Boston, Mass.) gave UMass-Boston a one-point edge, 58-57 at the 2:17 mark as she made consecutive shots from the free-throw line.
Senior Elizabeth Dow (Marshfield, Mass.) then hit a jumper to make it a three-point game with 90 seconds on the clock. The Rams missed three straight shots from beyond the arc, before freshman Lauren Parra (Taunton, Mass.) put the game out of reach with a pair of free-throws with nine seconds remaining.
Junior Jaqueline Vienneau scored 13 first-half points for the Rams and added four assists.
The Beacons finished with four players in double digits in scoring in the contest, including Morrison. Perra finished with 15, while Pina and Dow each put in 10 points.
Women's Basketball will host Eastern Connecticut State University on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the regular season finale for both teams. The winner of Saturday's contest will secure the sixth and final seed in this year's conference tournament, which is scheduled to begin play next Tuesday. Prior to the start of the contest the Beacons will honor senior members Rattigan and Dow.