January 10, 2013

Bridgewater State Wears Down Women's Basketball 72-58

BOSTON, Mass.—Despite a career-high 29 points and 10 rebounds from Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.), UMass Boston (10-4) couldn't overcome Bridgewater State's (11-2) suffocating's full-court defense, as they Beacons fell 72-58 Thursday evening at the Clark Athletic Gym.

Murphy knocked down 11-of-19 shots from the field and hit 6-of-7 free throw-to reach the 20-point mark for the third time in five games. She added four offensive rebounds, four steals and two assists in the Beacons first home loss of the season.

Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) added 12 points and a team-high four assists on 4-of-5 shooting from behind the arc, while Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) chipped in with 10 points and eight boards.

On the Bears side, Elisha Homich knocked down four 3-pointers and poured in a game-high 24 points in 39 minutes. The senior guard also chipped in with a game-high eight assists and two blocks.

After leading scorer Michaela Cosby went down with an injury early in the first half, Homich, Megan Boutilette and Jenna Williamson all stepped up. Boutilette finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and seven steals, while Williamson added 12 points and four assists.

Bridgewater State kicked off the game with an 8-2 run over the first 2:24. The lead would be safe for almost 10 minutes, as the Beacons big three traded buckets with the Bears.

UMass Boston grabbed the lead momentarily at 8:18 when Perra capped off a 5-0 Beacons run with a 3-pointer in transition. Meghan Agger (Sacco, Maine) came up with a steal and ran the fast break, only to pull up and find a trailing Perra for the first UMB lead of the game. Brittany Moore (Billerica, Mass.) gave UMass Boston their largest lead of the night at 20-18 with two free throws at 7:13, but the edge would be short-lived. 

The Bears responded with a 15-1 run over the next five minutes to open up a 33-21 lead at 2:18, when Williamson drained her second three of the half. The 3-pointer came right after Homich finished off a 7-0 solo run, as the senior guard was unstoppable all night long. 

Murphy cut the deficit to nine at halftime when she knocked down a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. After coming up with a steal, Murphy dribbled the ball up court and sent a 30-feet heave off the backboard and in, on her first collegiate 3-point attempt. 

Second half play would heavily favor the Bears, as Bridgewater State's constant full-court press forced 25 turnovers for the game, with the majority coming in the second stanza.

Bridgewater State opened up a 16-point lead out of halftime, with a 7-0 run behind five straight points from Homich.

While the Beacons would cut it to nine midway through the second half on an Erica McGreevy (Taunton, Mass.) 3-pointer, that would be as close as they would get. After Morrison knocked down a layup to get the deficit back to nine points, Bridgewater State scored six straight points to grab a 61-46 lead with 7:31 to go.

That would be more than enough for Homich and the Bears, as the senior guard added five more points over the final 5:04, to give Bridgewater State their second straight win over the Beacons.

For the game, UMass Boston shot 21-of-47 (44.7 percent) from the field and 6-of-11 (54.5 percent) from behind the arc. Bridgewater State knocked down 45.5 percent (30-of-66) of their shots and 6-of-18 (33.3 percent) of their 3-point attempts.

UMass Boston held a 36-31 rebounding advantage, but the Bears outscored the Beacons 37-24 in the paint and 31-19 off turnovers.

The Beacons will be back in action Saturday when they play their Little East Conference home opener against Eastern Connecticut State University at 1:00 p.m.