Nov. 22, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's women's basketball team built a late five-point lead and held off visiting Connecticut College, 56-54, in the championship game of the 2009 Hampton Inn Classic at the Tripp Athletic Center Sunday.
UMass Dartmouth used a 13-2 run late in the second half to build a 53-43 lead, and then staved off a late rally by the Camels. CC sophomore guard Jenn Shinall (Redding Ridge, CT/Joel Barlow HS) connected from three-point range with 41 seconds remaining to cut UMD's lead to 56-54. Then, after a time out with 15 seconds remaining, the Camels worked the ball to Shinall in the corner. Her trey missed just before the final horn sounded.
Freshman guard Nicole Marotta (Bridgewater, MA/Bridgewater-Raynham HS) ignited the rally, hitting a pair of free throws to put the Corsairs up for good, 42-41, with 8:36 left. Junior forward Tashauna Ashmeade (Hyannis, MA/ Barnstable HS) sandwiched a pair of baskets around two jumpers by senior forward Kaylin Nelson (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS/Salve Regina) then Nelson made three consecutive free throws to make it 53-43 with 4:32 left.
Shinall hit a pair of free throws, and then senior guard Emily Cummings (Yorktown Heights, NY/Lakeland HS) hit a trey to make it 53-48 with three minutes left. A layup by junior guard Lynley DeAmato (Melrose, MA/Melrose HS) with 2:28 left made it 55-48, but Cummings connected again from three-point range. Nelson was fouled with a minute left and made one of two free throws, setting up the final sequence.
The teams battled back and forth in the first half until two layups and a free throw by UMD freshman center Colleen Moriarty (Canton, MA/Canton HS) helped fuel an 11-3 run that gave the Corsairs a 26-19 advantage with 1:18 remaining in the first half. But Shinall and Cummings hit three-pointers in the final minute, and UMD went to the locker room with a 26-25 halftime lead.
"That was exciting, and the win validates a lot of thoughts and feelings on this team," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Amanda Van Voorhis. "We beat a quality, well-coached, experienced and deep team in Connecticut College. It feels good because of what we accomplished, and I'm happy for our team. This is our best quality win to date."
Ashmeade led the Corsairs with 16 points, while Nelson contributed 14. Shinall ked all scorers with 24 points and also added 12 rebounds for a double double. Nelson led the Corsairs with seven rebounds, as the Camels out rebounded UMass Dartmouth, 39-34. The Corsairs made 48.9 per cent of their shots and held CC to 29.2 per cent. But the Camels made nine three-pointers to two for UMD.
Nelson, who scored 11 points and eight rebounds in Friday night's victory against Green Mountain, earned Most Valuable Player honors in the classic for the second year in a row. In doing so, she joined former UMD men's basketball star Dan Holbrook (Lexington, MA/Lexington HS/Westfield State) as the only players to win the award twice in the history of the Hampton Inn Classic. DeAmato, Shinall, Cummings, senior center Emily Brinley Buckley (Lakeville, CT/Housatonic Valley Regional HS) and senior forward Cherie Parisi (South Attleboro, MA/Attleboro HS) of Mount Ida College joined Nelson as members of the All-Tournament Team.
"Kaylin came up big," said Van Voorhis. "She did a good job getting out to the wings in the zone on defense, and she got some touches inside that she converted. She definitely deserves the MVP honor."
The Corsairs improved to 2-1 with the victory, while the Camels dropped to 1-1 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they visit Worcester State Tuesday evening. Connecticut College will visit Nichols Tuesday.