Women’s Basketball Edges Middlebury in Overtime in Season Debut

BOSTON, Mass. – Led by four double-figure scorers the UMass Boston women's basketball team got their 2012-13 season off to an exciting start as they went to overtime before handing Middlebury College a 66-61 loss to advance to the championship round of the UMass Boston Tip-Off Tournament Saturday afternoon.

The Beacons improved to 1-0 on the year, while the Panthers fell to 0-1 in the season opener for both squads.

Leading the Beacons scoring in Saturday's contest was sophomore and reigning Little East Conference Rookie of the Year Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) as well as newcomer Andrea Suffredini (Milford, Mass.) as the duo posted 14 points each.  Behind them Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) tallied her first collegiate double-double scoring 10 points, while also pulling down 15 boards.  Gabriela Cogliano (Saugus, Mass.) came off the bench to finish with 10 points as well rounding out the Beacons leading four. 

On the glass, Morrison totaled seven boards to finish second on the team in that category alongside Teresa Pina.

For the Panthers Sarah Marcus led the contest with 17 points on 7-of-16 shooting, which included a pair of three-pointers.  At the line she was 1-for-2.  Jesse Miller finished second on the team with 11 points, followed by Nora Kelly who recorded 10 on the afternoon.

Late in the second half, the Panthers cut the Beacons then seven point lead down to two following a three-pointer from Kelly and back-to-back free throws from Borsinger.  UMass pushed their lead back to four after Morrison sank a wide-open jumper.  However Middlebury answered right back this time scoring back-to-back jumpers to tie the game at 52-52.  Morrison would give UMB another lead with 45 seconds left in the contest.  Rachel Crews would then tie it at 54-54 with 30 seconds left in regulation on a jumper of her own.

After the game-tying basket from Crews the Beacons in-bounded the ball and brought it the length of the court.  It would first land in the hands of Suffredini. The transfer would drive to the basket and missed a very contested lay-up.  Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) would grab the offensive-board, allowing the Beacons to call a full timeout.

Following the short break, Morrison was handed what would have been the game-winning shot.  The ball hit hard off of the iron and just as time was about to expire Murphy put-up a last second chance which nearly hit its mark. 

All tied-up at 54-54 the two teams retook the court for the first overtime.  Crews quickly gave her squad a two-point lead following a pair of made free throws.  Morrison than made it a one-point game after going 1-for-2 at the line.  Sarah Marcus pushed the Panthers lead to three after nailing a jumper (58-55). 

Cogliano and Murphy would put the game out of reach the duo combined for 10 points, while holding Middlebury scoreless to make it 65-58 with 30 seconds left in the contest.  Miller did cut the deficit to four after scoring the only three-pointer of the overtime period, but by then it was too little too late.  Cogliano sealed the win with a free-throw giving the Beacons their first win of the year.

As a team the Beacons shot 39.4% (26-for-66) on the day, while Middlebury closed out the game shooting 32.4% (22-for-68).  UMass dominated in the glass pulling down 54 boards, as compared to Middlebury's 38. 

Women's Basketball returns to action tomorrow afternoon when they take on Manhattanville College in the championship game of the UMB Tip-Off tournament.  Start time is scheduled for 1 p.m.