BOSTON – Piloted by the trio of sophomore Ashley Brown (Fairhaven, Mass.), junior Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.), and senior Alicia Kutil (Franklin, Mass.) on a combined 47 points, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth swept the season series against UMass Boston with a 68-53 win on Wednesday night at the Clark Athletic Center.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 68, UMass Boston 53
Records: UMass Dartmouth (19-3, 11-0 LEC) | UMass Boston (19-3, 9-2 LEC)
How it Happened
Examond picked up her third-straight double-double via a 20-point, 11-rebound (eight on offense) outing, giving her eleven total on the season. Brown loaded up the multiple categories on the stat sheet, generating eight points, seven boards, seven assists, a steal, and a block in the victory.
The UMass Boston freshmen pairing of Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.) and Shania Osbourne (Fairfield, Conn.) tallied 11 points apiece, with classmate Megan Dixon (Hanover, Mass.) adding eight off the bench.
UMass Dartmouth floor general Chelsea Houlihan (Wolcott, Conn.) was in facilitating mode early, assisting on junior Nakira Examond's (New Bedford, Mass.) and senior Alicia Kutil's (Franklin, Mass.) layups for the first pair of Corsair buckets. Beacon freshman Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.) took charge for her squad, putting up seven first quarter points to keep UMass Boston within striking distance throughout the frame. Corsair junior Kailyn Milligan (Lakeville, Mass.) grabbed the momentum for the visitors in the final second, hitting a layup as time expired for a 21-17 advantage. With the visiting advantage hovering around eight throughout the second period, the Beacons did their damage from the perimeter, shooting 3-of-7 from beyond the arc to continuously slim the margin.
The Corsairs found their offensive groove to start the third as they ignited a 7-0 run sparked by Examond, Kutil and Houlihan, forcing a Beacon timeout to regroup at the 6:32 mark with the visitors up 44-32. Following the discussion, jumpers by Grassi and senior Lydia Vital (Cambridge, Mass.) cut the deficit back down to single digits. Examond continued to make her presence felt, though, as she chipped in nine points in the third quarter to fuel a 54-41 lead heading into the final stanza.
UMass Dartmouth took its biggest lead just under three minutes into the fourth, as Examond passed out of the low-post over to Kutil who splashed a three-pointer for a 61-46 advantage. Each team then struggled to scrape points together, remaining scoreless over the ensuing four minutes until Beacon freshman Geanna Williams (Cromwell, Conn.) converted on a jumper to end the scoring drought. The Beacons hung tough up until the final whistle, but the Corsairs rode the pinpoint free-throw shooting of Kutil in the waning moments to extend the conference win streak to 11.
Inside the Numbers
- The Corsairs have won the past six meetings with UMass Boston, dating back to Feb. 17, 2016.
- UMass Dartmouth extends its all-time series record to 52-26 (66.7 winning percentage).
- Kutil moves into fourth all-time in scoring with 1,299 career points, advancing past Erika Bournemann '14. The senior is one point shy of becoming the fourth member to score at least 1,300 points. Examond also moved up the all-time scoring leaderboard into 8th place (1090), passing Tashauna Ashmeade '11 (1090).
- Each bench was nearly even in point production, with the Corsairs holding the slight advantage, 19-18.
- The visitors forced 21 Beacon giveaways, which the Corsairs converted into 21 points off turnovers. UMass Dartmouth committed 13 turnovers, including seven in the third quarter.
- UMass Dartmouth tied the program record for Little East Conference victories (11) in a single season, matching the 2016-17 cagers.
- The Corsairs were ranked No. 6 in the first NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Northeast rankings.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 1pm on Saturday, Feb. 10, when the Corsairs face Little East Conference rival Eastern Connecticut State University. During the halftime intermission, UMass Dartmouth will celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day with the Somerset-Berkley middle school basketball team participating in a seven-minute game.