Dec. 10, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's women's basketball team built a 39-26 halftime lead and went on to defeat visiting Johnson & Wales, 71-60, in a non-conference game at the Tripp Athletic Center Thursday evening.
The Corsairs used a 22-2 run midway through the first half to take a commanding lead. Junior forward Tashauna Ashmeade (Hyannis, MA/Barnstable HS) started the run with a jump shot, and a three-pointer by freshman guard Nicole Marotta (Bridgewater, MA/Bridgewater-Raynham HS) put UMass Dartmouth ahead for good. Freshman center Colleen Moriarty (Canton, MA/Canton HS) and senior forward Kaylin Nelson (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS) combined for the next 10 points, all on layups. Freshman guard Jessica Howlett (North Quincy, MA/North Quincy HS) then hit two layups and a free throw, and Nelson capped the run with a layup that gave the Corsairs a 33-16 lead with 4:52 left in the first half.
UMass Dartmouth steadily increased its advantage in the second half, building a 71-45 advantage with 5:04 remaining before the Wildcats came back, scoring the game's final 15 points to close the gap. Freshman guard Allyson Dowen (Burlington, VT) and freshman forward Ayla Walter (Mount Pleasant, SC) combined to score the final 12 points of the game for JWU.
"Colleen was tremendous on the boards, and Tashauna was as well," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Amanda Van Voorhis. "Our defense held, so we finished with a lot of rebounds. It shows that our program is progressing, and hopefully, we can keep building on it. I think it's important to get as many of our players minutes as possible, and tonight is the night we were able to do that."
Ashmeade led the Corsairs with 18 points and 14 rebounds and was one of two Corsairs to post a double double. Moriarty did likewise with 10 points and 14 rebounds. Nelson scored 16 points, and Howlett had nine. Dowen led all scorers with 21 points, and freshman forward Katurah Andrews (Hartford, CT) contributed 11 points and 13 rebounds for a double double. UMass Dartmouth out rebounded Johnson & Wales, 54-47, blocked seven shots to the Wildcats' six, and made 42.5 per cent of their shots from the field in the first half while limiting JWU to 23.3 per cent.
The Corsairs improved to 4-5 with the victory, while the Wildcats dropped to 3-5 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they visit Western Connecticut State Saturday. Johnson & Wales will return to action when they visit WPI December 30th.
"We'll be going to Western Connecticut with some confidence after we played Plymouth close," said Van Voorhis. "West Conn will be tough, if we stick to the game plan and play good defense, we'll be in it."