Wesleyan's Defense Stifles Women's Basketball In 58-47 Defeat

MIDDLETOWN, Conn.—Despite senior Andrea Suffredini's (Milford, Mass.) first career double-double, UMass Boston women's basketball couldn't overcome host Wesleyan University in the first round of the Courtyard by Marriot Classic, falling 58-47 in the Opening Round of the three-team tournament.

Holding as much as a 20-point lead during the first half, Wesleyan found itself ahead by just five against UMass Boston with six minutes, before the Cardinals went on a brisk 8-0 run over the next 3:12 to fashion a comfortable 56-43 margin with 2:38 remaining en route to a 58-47 victory in just the second-ever meeting of the teams. The first came in 1995 with UMB capturing a 61-44 win. 

With the loss, UMass Boston fell to 1-1 on the season, while Wesleyan ran their record to a perfect 4-0.

Suffredini and Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) were the lone Beacons to finish in double-digits, as Perra poured in 10 points, despite struggling from the field. 

Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) just missed out on a double-double with nine points and seven rebounds, while senior Elisa Ogawa (Yamanash, Japan) registered two points, nine rebounds, two steals and two blocks before fouling out.

Amber Wessells (13 points) was the lone Wesleyan player to finish in double-digits but 11 of the 14 players head coach Kate Mullen played recorded at least one point. 

The Beacons struggled shooting the ball in every facet of the game, knocking down just 28.8 (15-of-52) percent of their field goal attempts, 3-8 (37.5 percent) from the three-point line and 14-of-25 (56 percent) of their free throws. 

Wesleyan also turned 25 UMass Boston turnovers into 24 points off turnovers; compared to just 15 points for the Beacons, off 18 Wesleyan miscues.

The Cardinals led from start to finish, with the hosts opening up an 11-0 advantage in the first six minutes. Freshman Katrina Edwards (Springfield, Mass.) finally put the Beacons on the board with a pair of free throws and Murphy added five straight points to make it 14-7, but that would be as close as UMB would get in the half.

Wesleyan pushed the lead to as many as 20 (31-11), before a late UMass Boston run made it 34-19 at the break.

UMass Boston used a 9-0 run midway through the second half to cut the deficit from 16 points to seven, and two more quick baskets, one each from Murphy and Ogawa, cut the deficit to 48-43 with 5:59 to play.

That's when Wesleyan turned up the defensive intensity, as the hosts held UMass Boston scoreless for the next 3:35 while pushing the lead to 56-43 with 2:24 to play.

UMass Boston will finish off the Courtyard by Marriot Classic Saturday at 2:00 p.m. when they take on Albertus Magnus University.