Feb. 13, 2010
WILLIMANTIC, CT-Host Eastern Connecticut State built a big first half lead, then held off a late rally and defeated the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's women's basketball team,66-63, in the first game of a Little East Conference game at Geissler Gymnasium Saturday.
The Corsairs, who lost to the Warriors, 91-72 a month ago, trailed by a single point with 1:20 remaining. After a turnover, ECSU's Brittany Whiteley hit a pair of free throws with 21 seconds remaining to make it 66-63. UMass Dartmouth called time out and advanced the ball into the front court, but junior guard Lynley DeAmato (Melrose, MA/Melrose HS) missed an attempt at a tying three-point basket. The Corsairs kept the ball after the rebound went out of bounds, but another try by DeAmato missed, and time expired.
UMD trailed, 64-57, with 2:51 remaining, but rallied, getting lay-ups from senior forward Kaylin Nelson (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS/Salve Regina) and sophomore guard Stephanie Houtman (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS/Bridgewater State) and a jumper from junior forward Tashauna Ashmeade (Hyannis, MA/ Barnstable) to cut the deficit to 64-63 with 1:20 to play.
The Warriors got off to a quick start, taking a 24-9 lead with 9:02 remaining in the first half. A three-pointer by Nelson, Houtman's free throw and a pair of baskets by Ashmeade fueled an 8-0 run that cut the advantage to 24-17 with 5:23 remaining. ECSU built their lead back up to 30-17 with 4:02 to play, but the Corsairs cut the lead to 30-24 before the Warriors scored the final three points of the first half to make it 33-24 at the break.
"We got Lynley a look at the end and the shot didn't fall for her, but it was the lay-ups that we missed and the big lead they got in the first half that really caused us to lose the game," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Amanda Van Voorhis. "We missed some easy shots in the first half, and we had to stage a big comeback, and we couldn't make up the difference."
The Corsairs outscored the Warriors in the second half, 39-33. "We were a little more active defensively in the second half," said Van Voorhis. "We got some deflections, we were able to run and we were able to make up some ground. They hurt us in the paint, and they were concerned about us pushing the ball, so they got back on defense."
Ashmeade led UMass Dartmouth with 17 points, Nelson added 13, Houtman contributed 11, and DeAmato had 10. Tanisha Carter led ECSU with 14 points, Lauren Kelleher added 13, Amanda Pierlioni scored 12 and Jessica Moriarty added 11. Nelson grabbed six rebounds for the Corsairs, while Kelleher had nine for the Warriors, who out rebounded UMD, 35-28. UMass Dartmouth made seven three-point field goals to one for Eastern, and committed 13 turnovers while forcing 19, but the Warriors made 54.2 per cent of their shots from the field to 38.7 per cent for the Corsairs.
The Corsairs dropped to 9-14 and 4-8 in the Little East Conference with the defeat, while the Warriors improved to 15-7 and 8-3 in LEC play with the victory. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they host Rhode Island College in the first game of a Little East Conference doubleheader Tuesday evening.