NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA - The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth women's basketball team opened their 2012-13 campaign with a 66-60 victory over visiting Rivier in the first game of the 2012 UMass Dartmouth Basketball Classic, presented by the Fairfield Inn & Suites, at the Tripp Athletic Center Friday.
After falling behind early the Corsairs rallied to score a season opening victory for the second straight year.
It was a balanced offensive attack for the Corsairs as five players scored at least seven points with three starters scoring in double figures.
Leading the way offensively for UMD was senior forward Colleen Moriarty (Canton, MA/Canton HS) who scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Junior forward Erika Bornemann (Canton, MA/Canton HS) added a double-double for the Corsairs as she scored 14 points and pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Raiders came out of the gate hot taking an early 13-7 lead when sophomore forward Danielle Martin (Haverhill, MA/Whittier Technical) made a jumper. The Corsairs would answer back and take their first lead of the season two minutes later when freshman guard Beth Castantini (Newburyport, MA/Newburyport HS) knocked down a pair of free throws.
Castantini played well in her college debut knocking down all five of her free throw attempts, while adding 14 points and grabbing five boards in 25 minutes of action.
For the remainder of the half the two squads would trade baskets before Moriarty made a pair of free throws just before halftime to give the Corsairs a 28-25 edge going into the break.
In the second half UMD opened with a 6-0 run to build a lead they would not relinquish down the stretch. The Corsairs increased their lead to as many as 12 in the second half when Moriarty made a layup with just over nine minutes remaining. The Raiders fought hard all afternoon and battled back to cut the lead to just five points with four and a half minutes left to play when junior guard Ryan Baker (Whitinsville, MA/Northbridge HS) made a layup.
Down the stretch the Corsairs knocked down several key free throws to escape with the victory.
Sophomore guard Deanna Purcell (Hudson, NH/Alvirne HS) led the offensive attack for the Raiders scoring a game-high 24 points.
"This was a typical opener for us, there were some nerves and the offensive execution wasn't that crisp," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Amanda Van Voorhis. "I'm proud of our work ethic this afternoon. When our execution wasn't good, our hustle and work ethic helped us get this victory. Although we let up some early buckets, I think we did a good job making adjustments and containing their scorers. We did just enough today to get the victory, and we're a better team for having played this game."
UMass Dartmouth improved to 1-0 with the victory, while Rivier fell to 0-1 with the defeat. The Corsairs will play Maine-Farmington in the second round of the tournament at 12 noon Saturday. The Raiders will play Southern Maine at 2:00 p.m. Saturday.