It’s not often that the number one team in all of the land pays a visit to your back yard. But that’s exactly what’s on tap for Thursday evening at the Tripp Athletic Center, as the UMass Dartmouth women’s basketball team will host top-ranked Bowdoin in a battle of 6-0 squads that tips-off at 7:00 pm EST.
Head Coach Matt Ducharme’s squad, which is off to a perfect start through six games for the third time in four seasons, received votes in this week’s d3hoops.com national poll that Thursday’s visitors sit atop. The Corsairs are averaging 78 points per game and have been led by senior All-America Nakira Examond’s (New Bedford, Mass./Greater New Bedford) 18.7 points and 10.2 rebounds per contest, as the reigning Little East Conference Player of the Week is shooting 55 percent from the field.
Fellow senior Jess Korzec (West Brookfield, Mass./Quaboag Regional) is next on UMass Dartmouth’s scoring list at 14.5 ppg and is also shooting over 50 percent from the floor in the early going, while junior Ashley Brown (New Bedford, Mass./Fairhaven) checks in at 12.5 ppg while adding 7.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists per contest. Junior Kayla McMahon (Hanover, Mass./Hanover) rounds out the Corsair quartet averaging in double figures with 10.8 ppg, while senior Danyel Gonzalez (Pawtucket, R.I./Saint Raphael Academy) averages a team-best 4.7 assists and 2.2 steals per outing. Ducharme, who is eight wins shy of the century mark in just his fifth season at the helm, has also received standout performances from sophomore Meagan Donovan (Abington, Mass./Archbishop Williams) and freshman Shaelyn Carreiro (Fall River, Mass./Durfee) off the bench.
While UMass Dartmouth tuned up for Thursday’s clash by running its Little East regular season winning streak to 18 straight following last Saturday’s 72-44 home triumph over Plymouth State, Bowdoin enters the battle of unbeatens after notching a 96-27 non-league win at Maine-Farmington on Tuesday evening. The Polar Bears, who fell to Amherst in last year’s NCAA Division III national championship game, have picked up right where they left off last season, as Bowdoin has outscored its first six opponents by an average of 46 points and is scoring 90 points per game. Junior Maddie Hasson leads Head Coach Adrienne Shibles squad’s attack at 15.2 ppg, while senior Abby Kelly follows at 12.8 ppg and 5.7 caroms per contest. Senior Taylor Choate is also in double figures at 10.2 ppg for Bowdoin, which ascended to the top spot in the national rankings after defending champion Amherst saw its 68-game winning streak snapped by a Little East foe, Eastern Connecticut, in late November.
Thursday’s game can be accessed via live stats and video links that are available at corsairathletics.com.
(Photo Credit: Rainier Almonte '19)