Women's Basketball Captures Lafrance Hospitality Tournament Crown

Women's Basketball Captures Lafrance Hospitality Tournament Crown

DARTMOUTH, Mass. --  Senior Jess Korzec (West Brookfield, Mass.) earned Most Valuable Player honors by scoring 14 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out five assists to lead UMass Dartmouth to a 79-64 victory over Suffolk in the title game of the 21st Annual Lafrance Hospitality Women’s Basketball Tournament Sunday afternoon at the Tripp Athletic Center.  In the third place contest, junior Kaleigh Putnam (Wallingford, Conn.) scored 22 points and dished out six assists as Endicott overcame a four-point fourth quarter deficit to notch a 71-62 triumph over Coast Guard.

The host Corsairs (3-0) extended a one-point first quarter edge into a seven-point advantage (19-12) after the opening 10 minutes of action, and after the visiting Rams (3-2) closed back to within five (22-17) on a three-pointer by sophomore Jenni-Rose DiCecco (Falmouth, Mass.) with 7:44 to play in the half, UMass Dartmouth used a 8-2 run to take a 30-19 lead on junior Kayla McMahon’s (Hanover, Mass.) lay-in.  DiCecco keyed a 14-4 Suffolk run over the final 4:53 of the half that sliced the hosts’ lead to one (34-33) at the break, and the teams traded six point runs in the first 3:19 after intermission.

Junior Ashley Brown (New Bedford, Mass.) and freshman Shaelyn Carreiro (Fall River, Mass.) combined for the next eight points of the game to stake the Corsairs to an eight point edge midway through the third stanza, but a pair of baskets by sophomore Jordan Hipwell (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) sliced the Rams’ deficit to five (54-49) heading into the final frame.  DiCecco’s three-pointer with 7:32 remaining gave the visitors their third and final lead of the afternoon, as a lay-in and free throw by Korzec restored the hosts’ advantage and ignited an 11-0 run capped by McMahon’s lay-in with 2:52 to play.  Sophomore Gabriella DeComo’s (Portsmouth, R.I.) lay-in 35 seconds later enabled Suffolk to creep back to within seven, but that was as close as the Rams would come, as a combined six free throws by Brown and McMahon iced UMass Dartmouth’s triumph.

McMahon finished with a team-high 17 points and five assists in the win for the Corsairs, who received a double-double effort of 16 points and 12 rebounds from Examond along with 15 points and three steals from Brown.  Sophomore Meagan Donovan (Abington, Mass.) added seven points and seven boards for the hosts, who received seven points and five caroms from Carreiro along with seven rebounds from senior Danyel Gonzalez (Pawtucket, R.I.).  UMass Dartmouth shot 41 percent (28-69) from the field and held a 49-41 rebounding edge for the contest, as the Corsairs scored 46 points at the paint and 16 at the charity stripe.

DiCecco led all scorers with 22 points and four boards in the setback for Suffolk, which received 11 points and six boards from DeComo along with 10 points from Hipwell.  Junior Alexis Hackett (Charlton, Mass.) added eight points and a game-high 16 rebounds for the Rams, who shot 36 percent (24-67) from the floor and connected for seven three-pointers on the day.

Putnam scored 10 points in the opening half to stake Endicott (1-2) to a 31-28 edge at the break, and after the Gulls extended that margin to six midway through the third stanza, Coast Guard (1-3) scored 15 of the final 20 points of the frame to take its four-point edge (52-48) on the strength of 11 combined points from senior Micaela Martinelli (Vero Beach, Fla.) and sophomore Annabella Farabaugh (Atlanta, Ga.).

Junior Mikaela Rogers (Haverhill, Mass.) gave Endicott the lead for good with a jumper that came with 7:26 remaining in the game, and a conventional three-point play by sophomore Shannon Gilbert (Easton, Conn.) with 3:41 to play increased that margin to six (62-56).  The Bears got back to within three on junior Breanna Wood’s (Somerset, Mass.) triple just over a minute later, but the Gulls received free throws down the stretch from Rogers, Putnam and junior Emily Pratt (Gardner, Mass.) to ice their triumph.

Putnam was perfect in 10 attempts at the foul line in the win for Endicott, which received 16 points and six rebounds from Rogers along with 15 points, six boards and three steals from Pratt.  Gilbert added six points and three caroms for the Gulls, who shot 41 percent (22-54) from the field and held a 24-9 scoring edge at the foul line for the contest.

Martinelli finished with 15 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and a pair of steals in the setback for Coast Guard, which received nine points and nine boards from Wood along with eight points and eight caroms from freshman Emma Puddington (Castorland, N.Y.).  Farabaugh and freshman Katie White (Clarksburg, N.J.) also added eight points each for the Bears, who received eight points and four assists from junior Zoe Riis-Fallica (Patchogue, N.Y.).  Coast Guard shot 32 percent (24-75) from the floor overall and held a 48-38 rebounding advantage on the day, as the Bears converted 22 offensive rebounds into 19 second chance points.

Korzec was joined on the all-tournament team by Examond, Brown, DiCecco, Putnam and Martinelli.

UMass Dartmouth hosts Roger Williams in a non-league outing on Tuesday evening at the Tripp Athletic Center that tips-off at 7:00 pm.

(Photo Credit:  Lyrik Gelmete '21)