January 7, 2014

Corsairs Tame Mustangs, 77-43

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth women's basketball team utilized a 27-9 run to break open a closely-contested contest en route to a 77-43 victory over visiting Mount Ida College this evening at the Tripp Athletic Center.

The Corsairs captured their fourth straight contest to raise their overall record to 7-3, while the Mustangs fell to 3-8.

Freshman Brianna Hochwarter (Attleboro, Mass.) scored a career-high 14 points, including four 3-pointers, to pace three UMass Dartmouth players in double figures. Classmate Megan Ronaghan (North Attleboro, Mass.) produced 13 points, while Beth Castantini (Newburyport, Mass.) chipped in with 12 points. Senior Erika Bornemann (Canton, Mass.) pulled in a team-high 12 rebounds, while junior Kelsey Garrity (Somerville, Mass.) handed out six assists to go along with eight points.

Both teams struggled to find their offensive rhythm in the opening six minutes of regulation as UMass Dartmouth staggered out to a 12-4 advantage. Garrity piloted the attack with four points, while Castantini cracked the scoring column with a triple. The visitors used a quick seven-point surge to whittle their deficit to one possession.

The hosts tried to keep Mount Ida at an arms distance with five consecutive points, but the Mustangs countered with six straight markers to take their final lead of the evening, 17-16. Bornemann produced a pair of field goals in the paint to spark the Corsairs on the decisive run. UMass Dartmouth scored 13 of the final 16 points of the half to enter the intermission leading 31-20.

The Corsairs continued to apply the offensive pressure in the second stanza, outscoring their visitors 14-6 over the first four minutes, 12 seconds to open up a 19-point lead. Ronaghan was the offensive catalyst with eight points, while Garrity added four points. Castantini connected on a lay-up to push the hosts' advantage to 20 points (48-28) and UMass Dartmouth never looked back. UMD maintained at least a 20-point lead over the final 13 minutes, ballooning its largest advantage to 34 points on the final free throw of the evening.

Junior Jenn Rafuse (Brockton, Mass.) nearly posted a double-double with nine points and a game-high 15 rebounds to lead Mount Ida. Freshman Katlyn Jesse (Marshfield, Mass.) contributed 10 points, while classmate Angelique Martinez (Taunton, Mass.) was a force in the low blocks with eight points and 10 boards.

UMass Dartmouth connected on 48.7 percent of its attempts in the second half to raise its shooting percentage to 40 percent for the game. The Corsairs limited the Mustangs to 28.8 percent from the field, while forcing 24 turnovers. The hosts also held a 48-40 advantage on the glass.

UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9, when the Corsairs travel to Little East rival Western Connecticut State University for a key conference contest.