January 22, 2013

Women's Basketball Stuns UMass Dartmouth 76-73

BOSTON, Mass.—UMass Boston (11-7, 3-5 Little East) overcame a 13-point first half deficit and used two huge put-back layups in the final minute to down UMass Dartmouth (12-5, 4-4 Little East) 76-73 Monday evening at the Clark Athletic Center. 

Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) knocked down the go-ahead free throw with 50 seconds left and added a layup 18 seconds later to put the Beacons ahead 73-70. Teresa Pina (Boston, Mass.) followed up Morrison's missed free throw with a put-back layup of her own and the Beacons withstood a desperation three by the Corsairs in the final seconds to end a six-game losing streak at the hands of their in-state rivals.

Morrison tied her season-high with 20 points and added 15 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. The sophomore forward knocked finished 7-for-11 from the field and added 11 offensive boards and four assists in 34 minutes. 

Fellow sophomore Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) added a season-high 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting. Backcourt mate Andrea Suffredini (Milford, Mass.) poured in 16 points and added three rebounds and three assists, to help UMB break their season-high four-game losing streak.

Little East Conference Rookie of the Week Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) was the final Beacon in double-figures, finishing with 10 points, nine rebonds and three blocks. 

Colleen Moriarty, Erika Bornemann and Colleen Kane combined to score 54 of the Corsairs 73 points, including the final 14 points of the game for UMass Dartmouth. Moriarty led the way with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Bornemann and Kane combined to knock down five of the Corsairs seven 3-pointers.

After a back-and-forth start, UMass Dartmouth used a 12-0 run to grab a 39-26 lead with 2:42 remaining in the first half. The Beacons answered with a 7-0 flurry of their own to close out the half, with Perra knocking down a 3-pointer to cut the Corsairs lead to 39-36 going into the break.

The Corsairs maintained a two-possession lead throughout the opening minutes of the second half, before Morrison knocked down a pair of layups to tie the score at 53-53 with 11:05 to play.

UMass Dartmouth answered right back with an 11-4 spurt behind seven points from Bornemann and Kane. 

Facing a seven-point deficit with 7:18 to play, the Beacons went on a big run thanks to their defense. UMass Boston held the Corsairs scoreless for 5:07 and the offense put together a 10-0 run to grab a 67-64 lead. 

Murphy started the flurry with a pair of free throws, before Perra added a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two. After Morrison evened the score at 64 with two more free throws, freshman Meghan Agger (Sacco, Maine) knocked down a 3-pointer for her only points of the game.

Not to be outdone, UMass Dartmouth grabbed the lead right back at 68-67 with 1:52 to play, behind a layup from Moriarty and two free throws from Kane. 

After Suffredini and Kane traded baskets, Morrison put the Beacons ahead for good 71-70 with two free throws, with only 50 seconds left. 

On the next possession, Pina ripped down a rebound  and was fouled, leading to the Beacons final 1-1 opportunity of the night. The senior guard's free throw fell off the mark, but Morrison grabbed the rebound and sent the ball off the glass, while being fouled by Bornemann.

With the crowd still celebrating the and-1, Morrison's free throw fell short but Pina raced to grab the rebound and knocked down the layup to put the Beacons ahead 75-70.

Kane gave the Corsairs momentary life with a 3-pointer with 13 seconds to go to cut it to 75-73, but her final attempt of the night fell into the hands of Murphy, as the Beacons held on.

UMass Boston knocked down 38.6 (27-of-70) percent of their shots from the field and 6-of-19 (31.6 percent) of their 3-point attempts. The Beacons proved to be clutch from the line, hitting 16-of-22 (72.7) percent of their attempts from the charity stripe.

The Beacons will look for their first two-game conference winning streak Saturday when they go for the sweep of Keene State College at 1:00 p.m. at the Clark Athletic Center.