WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Paced by freshman Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.), the University of Massachusetts Boston bench outscored Eastern Connecticut State University by 27 points as the Beacons avenged an early 17-point loss to the Warriors in a 59-47 Little East Conference women's basketball victory Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
The six-foot Murphy, a top candidate for LEC Rookie-of-the-Year honors, scored 14 points of the bench in 26 minutes as UMass Boston (14-11, 6-8 Little East) won for only the second time in its final six regular-season games. Eastern (10-15), 8-6 Little East) had won three of its last four and five of its last seven entering play.
The outcome of the game did not affect UMass Boston's No. 6 LEC tournament seed nor did it affect Eastern's guarantee of hosting a first-round LEC tournament game Tuesday.UMass Boston will visit third-seeded Massachusetts Dartmouth Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
Saturday, Murphy came off the bench six minutes into the game and contributed ten points and four rebounds. The Beacons would not trail after Murphy sank an inside shot with five minutes left in the half, and after Eastern tied the game, Murphy converted again from inside to provide UMass with the lead for good, 20-18, with three minutes left in the half.
In all, UMass outscored Eastern 11-2 over the final five minutes of the half to move out to a nine-point halftime lead. Leading by seven three minutes into the second half, the visitors put together a run of eight straight points – led by four points from Andrea Suffredini (Milford, Mass.) – to push the lead to 15 six minutes into the second half.
The Warriors twice cut the margin to five in the second half, but Lauren Perra's (Taunton, Mass.) three-point field goal stretched the lead back to eight and Brittany Moore's (Billerica, Mass.) inside hoop extended the lead to double-digits with seven minutes left.
Perra and Meghan Agger (Sacco, Maine) complemented Murphy's bench points with eight of their own.
Shannon McCourt led all players with 18 points (and seven reboudns) for Eastern (7-for-12 from the floor) but Brianna Leonard was Eastern's only other double-digit scorer, with ten. Jill Ritrosky had nine points and seven rebounds for the Warriors, but six bench players managed only one field goal and three total points.
Eastern's Kristina Forsman who had 23 points in the team's earlier 70-53 win over UMass, managed only seven points on 1-for-10 shooting from the floor.
Information for this release provided by Eastern Connecticut State University Sports Information Department.