PROVIDENCE, R.I—Despite 35 combined points from Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) and Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.), Rhode Island College (9-3, 3-0) defeated UMass Boston (9-3, 1-2) 71-57 Saturday afternoon in a Little East Conference contest at the Murray Center.
The loss halted UMass Boston's second four-game winning streak of the season and saw the Beacons fall below the 60-point mark for just the fourth time in 12 games.
Morrison knocked down half of her shots en route to 17 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. The reigning Little East Conference Rookie of the Year went 8-of-16 from the field, grabbed five offensive rebounds and added three steals in the Beacons first loss since early December.
On the other side of the paint, Murphy finished with a a game-high 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting and added eight rebounds in the loss.
Rhode Island College had four players finish in double-figures, led by senior guard Ashley O'Dell's 13 points. O'Dell knocked down three 3-pointers and added five rebounds in 26 minutes off the bench. She was also a huge factor in helping the Anchorwomen's bench outscore the Beacons bench 23-2 for the contest.
O'Dell checked in less than two minutes later and proceeded to knock down two of her three 3-pointers to tie the game at 18. A jumper from senior forward Courtney Burns put the Anchorwomen ahead at 20-18 at the 11:47 mark.
The home team extended the lead to 28-22 at the 7:00 minute mark on a Burns free throw, as the defense suffocated UMass Boston. Rhode Island College held the Beacons without a field goal from the 13:43 (16-12 UMB) to the 6:59 mark when Perra knocked down a 3-pointer.
UMass Boston followed up the Perra three with a 10-2 run to grab a 35-32 lead with 3:26 left on a Morrison jumper. But once again O'Dell had an answer, as the senior knocked down another three to spark a 7-0 Rhode Island flurry to finish the half.
Not to be outdone, Murphy scored four straight points for UMB to open the half to tie the game 39 but Rhode Island College had one final big run in them.
Alexia Vega knocked down back-to-back layups and added a free throw to lead the Anchorwomen's 9-0 game-changing run. Even though there was still 14:46 to go, UMass Boston couldn't get closer than seven over the final minutes, as Rhode Island's lead relentless pressure helped them move to 3-0 in LEC play.
The Beacons finished the contest shooting 36.2 (21-of-58) percent from the floor and 3-of-11 (27.3 percent) from beyond the arc. On the other side, Rhode Island shot 40.0 percent (24-of-60) from the field and knocked down 5-of-16 (31.2 percent) of their 3-point attempts.
UMass Boston will finish off their two-game road trip with at Plymouth State Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m.