BOSTON, Mass.—For the first time since 2007, the UMass Boston women's basketball team (2-0) can claim the title of UMass Boston Tip-Off Classic Champions.
The Beacons had finished as the runner-up in the Tip-Off Classic in each of the past four years, after winning the season-opening tournament from 2005-2007.
Suffredini poured in 14 points for the second straight day and added five rebounds and a team-high five assists. Inside Morrison was just as dominant, recording a team-high 21 points while chipping in with six rebounds and two steals.
Off the bench, Gabriela Cogliano (Saugus, Mass.) had another big game for the Beacons with nine points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Guards Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) and Teresa Pina (Boston, Mass.) chipped in six and five points respectively, while Erica McGreevy (Taunton, Mass.) recorded a steal in five minutes in her collegiate debut.
Senior Taylor Wilson finished with a game-high 26 points for the Valiants, while three other starters finished with double-digit points.
After a back-and-forth first 17 minutes in which the two teams traded leads, Manhattanville College took a 35-28 lead into the break behind an 8-1 run over the final 3:20.
The Beacons would respond in a big way coming out of the half with a 10-1 run over the first four minutes, behind 3-pointers from Perra and Suffredini. But the Valiants wouldn't go away quietly, as Wilson drained two 3-pointers and added a layup to give Manhattanville a 52-45 lead with 8:25 to play.
UMass Boston slowly chipped into the lead behind some intense defensive pressure and offensive rebounding. Three steals and three offensive rebounds keyed a 7-0 Beacons run, as Pina drained a 3-pointer and Morrison scored four straight-a layup and two free throws, to knot the game at 52 all with just 6:14 left.
The Beacons would keep the momentum going, as three new Beacons scored nine straight for UMB, to open up a 61-55 lead with 2:57 to go. Suffredini did the majority of the damage with five points, while Murphy and Cogliano added layups.
The final two minutes involved a procession to the free throw line, as UMass Boston went 5-of-8 to seal the game. As a team, the Beacons finished 17-for-29 (58.6 percent) from the line, but Morrison finished 9-for-12, including 3-for-4 in the waning minutes.
Overall, the Beacons outshot the Valiants 39 percent (23-for-59) to 36.9 percent (24-for-65). UMass Boston held a slight edge on the boards (45-41) and managed to pull down 19 offensive rebounds.
Women's Basketball will play their first game against a Massachusetts team Tuesday, when they travel to take on Framingham State Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.