December 12, 2013

Morrison Shines In Women's Basketball's 72-49 Win Over Westfield State

WESTFIELD, Mass.—UMass Boston women's basketball (6-1) overcame season-high 30 turnovers to earn their fifth consecutive victory Thursday evening, with a 72-49 win over host Westfield State University (4-4) at the Woodward Center.

The Beacons managed to cruise to a victory despite the 30 turnovers, thanks to a sharp shooting night and a 32-13 edge in bench points led by Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.).

Morrison, playing in her fourth game of the season, registered her best game of the year by posting a game-high 23 points in 29 minutes of action. She knocked down 7-of-11 shots from the field, including hitting her lone 3-point attempt, and added 8-of-9 made free throws in the win. The junior forward added nine rebounds and three steals to help the Beacons match their best start since 2010 at 6-1.

Little East Conference Player of the Week Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) added her fifth-straight double-double with 18 points and a game-high 13 rebounds on 7-of-14 shooting.

Senior forward Elisa Ogawa (Yamanshi, Japan) continued to fill up the stat-sheet, recording eight points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals in 34 minutes. Junior guard Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) added seven points and a game-high six assists, while senior point guard Andrea Suffredini (Milford, Mass.) chipped in with five points, five rebounds and five steals to help UMB earn their second consecutive win over the Owls.

Jen Ashton led the hosts with 14 points and seven steals, while forward Gabby Felix pitched in with 10 points and seven rebounds.

UMass Boston countered their 30 turnovers with their best overall shooting night of the season. The Beacons knocked down 23-of-49 (46.9 percent) of their field goal attempts, their second best mark of the season, and added season-high percentages behind the 3-point line (46.2 percent) and from the charity-stripe (83.3 percent).

Murphy and Morrison also helped UMass Boston earn a huge edge inside. The visitors garnered a 44-25 edge in the rebounding category and a 28-20 advantage in points in the paint.

After an early Perra three gave UMass Boston a 3-0 advantage, Westfield State grabbed their largest lead of the day at 8-3 at the 14:11 mark. From there it would be all Beacons, as UMass Boston used an 8-2 run of their own to grab a lead they would never relinquish.

Upon entering the game at the 15:51 mark, Morrison scored nine of the next 13 points to give UMB the lead and nearly outscored the hosts as a whole (13-12) over the final 16 minutes.

UMass Boston entered the half leading 33-20 and kept the momentum going in the second stanza, as the Beacons used an 11-2 run midway through the half to earn their first 20-point advantage of the day at 52-32 with 8:33 to play.

The Beacons continued to increase the lead over the waning minutes as they managed to knock down 16-of-18 free throws in the second half and 20-of-24 for the contest.

UMass Boston will finish off the fall semester Saturday afternoon when they travel to Little East foe Rhode Island College for a 1 p.m. tip-off.