December 1, 2012

Western Connecticut Hands Women's Basketball First Loss 62-41

DANBURY, Conn.—Behind a career-high 23 points from Caroline Brasa, Western Connecticut State University (6-1, 1-0 Little East Conference) handed UMass Boston (4-1, 0-1 LEC) their first loss of the season Saturday afternoon at the Feldman Arena.

Brasa knocked down five 3-pointers off the bench and finished 8-of-17 in a career afternoon for the sophomore from East Hartford, Connecticut.  Senior Jackie Zilinski added 15 points for the Colonials who extended their season-long winning streak to four games.

Forwards Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) and Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) each finished with a team-high 14 points. Morrison added 10 rebounds, eight offensive, for her first double-double of the season. Murphy was held to eight rebounds-just the second time all season she had fallen short of double-digit boards.

Senior guard Teresa Pina (Boston, Mass.) added a team-high 13 rebounds to go along with four points. Backcourt mate Andrea Suffredini (Milford, Mass.) added four points, six rebounds and four steals in both team's LEC opener.

After a slow start in which the Beacons grabbed a 4-3 lead through the first 13:34, Brasa got the Colonials going with back-to-back 3-pointers to spark a 10-0 run over a two-minute span, with Western Connecticut grabbing a 13-4 lead with 11:17 to go in the first half.

UMass Boston responded right away with a 9-0 run of their own behind Murphy and Morrison. The two players traded layups with Morrison adding a free throw, to tie the game at 13 at the 9:07 mark.

But Brasa and the Colonials mustered another run right away to take the lead for good. Western Connecticut went on a 7-0 scamper behind Brasa, only to have the Beacons cut the deficit to 20-19 on a Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) jumper.

That would be as close as the Beacons would get for the rest of the game as Western Connecticut ended the half with a 30-22 lead behind a 10-3 finish over the final 5:26.

Two Pina layups and a Murphy layup cut the deficit to four, at 32-28, just over four minutes into the second half but the Beacons couldn't withstand the high intensity Colonials defense.

Despite holding a 49-42 advantage on the boards, the Beacons saw the Western Connecticut lead expand to as many as 21 in the second half behind another 9-0 Colonials run.

Western Connecticut's biggest edge came in the turnover battle, as they scored 29 points off of 24 Beacons turnovers. On the other side, the Beacons finished with just nine points off of 19 Western Connecticut turnovers.

UMass Boston finished shooting 23.9% from the floor, while the Colonials shot 37.9%.

The Beacons will return to action Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. when they travel to take on Mt. Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts.