FITCHBURG, Mass.—Freshman Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) and Gabriela Cogliano (Saugus, Mass.) each scored 18 points and UMass Boston survived Fitchburg State's 3-point barrage to help the Beacons earn a 70-67 victory over the Falcons Tuesday night at the Fitchburg State Recreation Center.
The Beacons overcame a second-half that included 11 lead changes to move to 3-0 for the first time since the 2001-02 season.
Murphy finished with her second career double-double in the win with a career-high 18 points and 12 rebounds. Cogliano was just as good, finishing 8-of-13 from the field with eight rebounds.
Teresa Pina (Boston, Mass.) and Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) joined the freshman duo in double figures. Pina finished with 13 points and two of the Beacons three 3-pointers, while Morrison poured in 12 of her 13 points in the second half, including UMB's final four points of the game.
Four Falcons finished in double-figures led by Megan Wodzinski. Wodzinski finished with 15 points, hitting 5-of-12 3-point attempts. As a team, the Falcons knocked down 13 3-pointers in the game, but just 22 field overall field goals.
UMass Boston jumped out to a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game but would go ice-cold for the next 13 minutes. Fitchburg State quickly took the lead back behind Amy Fahey, who scored 11 of her 13 points in the first half, to help the Falcons build a 22-10 lead.
The Beacons would cut into the deficit behind Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.), Murphy and Cogliano and found themselves trailing 29-24 at the break. Murphy led UMB with 7 points and 7 rebounds at halftime, while Cogliano added six, and Perra added five.
Second-half action was a completely different story, as the Beacons and Falcons went back-and-forth with 11 lead changes and three ties.
UMass Boston got off to a hot-start by hitting their first four field-goal attempts to grab a 34-32 lead at the 17:24 mark. From that point on, neither side would grab a lead larger than four points the rest of the way.
For Fitchburg State, Madeline Merchant knocked down three 3-pointers (13 points overall), to counter the Beacons high-powered attack.
After Morrison hit two free throws to give the Beacons a 59-58 lead, Wodzinski buried Fitchburg's State's 12th three of the night to give the Falcons a 61-59 lead.
Morrison would tie the game right away with two free throws, and Cogliano gave the Beacons the lead back (63-61) off of a Suffredini steal. After UMass Boston extended the lead to 64-61, Kelsey Johnston knocked down a trey to tie the game at 64. Johnston would add a free throw to give the Falcons a 65-64 lead with less than 90 seconds to play.
Cogliano would respond once again for the Beacons. The freshman guard hit a layup with 1:06 to play to give the Beacons a 66-65 lead. With under 30 seconds to play, Morrison grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a layup to give UMB a 68-65 edge with 27 seconds left.
Fitchburg State would make it 68-67 on Fahey's only points of the second half, but Morrison hit both free throws with seven seconds left to make it 70-69. On the final possession of the game, Johnston's three was just off the mark, pushing UMass Boston to 3-0.
The Beacons had a terrific day from the field, hitting 43 percent (27-of-63) of their shots. Fitchburg State went 22-of-70 for 31 percent, but did manage to knock down 13-of-38 (34 percent) threes. Courtney Mattingly's squad only attempted 12, hitting three.
UMass Boston also held an edge on the boards, as they pulled down 51 rebounds, compared to 41 for the Falcons. The Beacons converted their 22 offensive rebounds into 17 second-chance points.
After a week-long break, the Beacons will be in action next Thursday night at 7pm when they take on Wheelock College.