Dominant Third Quarter Leads Women's Basketball Past Keene State In LEC Opener

Dominant Third Quarter Leads Women's Basketball Past Keene State In LEC Opener

KEENE, N.H.—Behind the most dominant quarter in program history, UMass Boston women's basketball earned a comeback victory over defending Little East Conference Tournament Champion Keene State College in the team's LEC openers.

THE BASICS

UMass Boston 56, Keene State 47

(UMass Boston 6-1, Little East 1-0)
(Keene State 1-6, Little East 0-1) 

HOW IT HAPPENED 

UMass Boston outscored the Owls 26-1 in the third quarter, to turn an 11-point halftime deficit into a 14-point lead.

In the third quarter, UMass Boston shot 7-of-15 from the field (46.7 percent) and 4-of-9 from distance (44.4 percent). On the other side, Keene State went a woeful 0-fo-15 from the field and turned the ball over four times in the third stanza.

The third quarter was the lone quarter the Beacons would win, but it was more than enough to help UMass Boston earn their fifth-straight win. 

Freshman Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.) was the offensive hero for UMass Boston, as she poured in a game-high 22 points in an incredibly efficient manner. The freshman went 4-for-5 from the field, 4-of-4 from distance and 10-of-12 from the charity stripe.

Senior Raven Kelsey (Boston, Mass.) tacked on eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds and four steals. Katie Mathieu (Coventry, Conn. )added on eight points on 4-of-6 shooting and four rebounds.

The Beacons final senior Lydia Vital (Cambridge, Mass.) had a successful return to her former school. The point guard recorded a season-high eight assists in 31 minutes to help UMass Boston earn their second-straight win at Keene State.

Keene State College senior Sandi Purcell and freshman Lilly Shlimon paced the Owls with 13 points apiece. Jordyn Burke registered seven points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes of action. 

Neither side shot the ball well in the first half, with Keene State earning a 29-18 lead through the first 20 minutes. The Owls shot 9-of-26 (34.6 percent) from the field, while UMass Boston was limited to a 25.0 percent (7-of-28) mark. 

The Beacons came out roaring to start the third. Mathieu sparked the early run, as she knocked down three-straight layups to cut the deficit to 29-24 just 2:06 to start the quarter. 

Grassi added two free throws and a 3-pointer to tie the game at 6:47 and sophomore Alecia Quinones (Stoughton, Mass.) gave the Beacons the lead for good with two more free throws. Freshman Whitney Fulton (Norwalk, Conn.) stretched the run to 16-0 to start the half with a 3-pointer at 4:56. 

After the media timeout, Purcell recorded the Owls lone point of the quarter with a free throw at 3:06.

Grassi and freshman Megan Dixon (Hanover, Mass.) finished off the quarter on a 10-0 run, with Grassi scoring seven of the points, including the final five in a row.

Keene State tried to make a late run at the Beacons lead, but couldn't get any closer than the final margin of nine points.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • UMass Boston held the Owls to a 26.8 percent (15-of-56) mark from the field and a 23.8 percent (5-of-21) mark from distance.
  • The Beacons shot a season-best 80 percent (12-of-15) from the free throw line.
  • With the win, UMass Boston improves to 11-37 all-time against the Owls.
  • UMass Boston has won five in a row for the second time under head coach Kristina Baugh. The Beacons won six in a row to start the season in Baugh's first season  (2015-16).
  • Nine Beacons freshmen made the collegiate conference debut in the win.

WHO'S NEXT  

UMass Boston will take on preseason MASCAC favorite Framingham State University on Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m.