GORHAM, Maine—Behind a season-best defensive performance, UMass Boston women's basketball earned a crucial Little East Conference victory over host University of Southern Maine on Saturday afternoon.
UMass Boston 58, University of Southern Maine 49
(UMass Boston 16-6, Little East 9-4)
(Southern Maine 12-8, Little East 8-4)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Beacons held their opponents to a season-low 28.1 percent field goal percentage and just 19 points in the first half.
UMass Boston outscored the Beacons 33-19 in the first half and had three players finish in double-figures.
Sophomore Jalani Jackson (Brockton, Mass.) recorded a game-high 23 points to help the Beacons snap a two-game conference losing streak. Jackson finished 7-13 from the field, 3-4 from distance and 6-6 from the charity stripe.
Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.) added a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Alecia Quinones (Stoughton, Mass.) was the final Beacon to finish in double-digits. Quinones posted 10 points, five rebounds and two assists.
Jackie Luckhardt led three Huskies in double-figures with 14 points, seven rebounds, six steals and three assists.
Victoria Harris added 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench, while Alexa Srolovitz tacked on 10 points in 39 minutes.
After losing to the Huskies in Boston less than three weeks ago, UMass Boston came out firing in the first half.
The Beacons quickly built a 10-4 lead and took a 17-12 lead after one, thanks to a 63.6 percent mark from the field (7-11).
UMass Boston was even more dominant in the second quarter. The Beacons outscored the hosts 16-7 and doubled up the Huskies in field goal percentage (46.2 percent to 23.1 percent).
After Southern Maine cut the deficit to 25-18, UMass Boston finished the half on an 8-1 run to take a 33-19 lead into the break. Grassi and Jackson each hit 3-pointers during the run and Jackson added a running jumper with under 10 seconds left in the quarter.
UMass Boston pushed their lead out to a game-high 16 points on Maya Thompson's (Billerica, Mass.) layup to start the second half (35-19).
Southern Maine would cut into the deficit on several occasions in the third quarter and eventually went into the fourth trailing 46-37 after an Audrey Pohl layup.
The Beacons put the Huskies away early in the fourth quarter. UMass Boston used an 8-2 run to build their lead out 15 with 7:05 to play. Jackson and Geanna Williams (Cromwell, Conn.) combined for all eight points during the stretch.
Southern Maine managed to cut the deficit to 54-49 with 39 seconds left, but Jackson hit all four of her free throws to close out the game.
BY THE NUMBERS
- The Beacons' opponents' field goal percentage of 28.1 percent was a season-low. They also allowed their fourth-fewest points in a single-game (49).
- UMass Boston shot 45.7 percent (21-46) from the field, 63.6 percent (7-1) from distance and 9-10 (90 percent) from the free throw line.
- With the win, UMass Boston improves to 7-70 all-time against the Huskies. The Beacons have won the last five meetings between the two teams in Gorham.
- UMass Boston moved into sole possession of second-place in the Little East Conference with the victory. The Beacons (9-4) sit half-a-game ahead of Eastern Connecticut State University (8-4) and Southern Maine (8-4).
- Jackson sits 11th in program history with 43 made 3-pointers in a single-season. She needs just two more made 3-pointers to move into the top-10.
- Tahjai Mazyck (Hamden, Conn.) added six points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in the victory.
UMass Boston will look to sweep the season-series with Plymouth State University, when the Beacons travel to New Hampshire on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.