DARTMOUTH, Mass. – A big-time three late in the fourth from Corsair sophomore Meagan Donovan (Abington, Mass.) alongside clutch free throws by senior Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.) and junior Ashley Brown (Fairhaven, Mass.) highlighted UMass Dartmouth's come-from-behind 64-60 triumph over Little East foe Eastern Connecticut at the Tripp Athletic Center on Wednesday evening. With the win, head coach Matt Ducharme celebrated his 100th career victory at the helm for the Blue and Gold.
How It Happened
- The visitors showed a zone look early on the defensive end, but UMass Dartmouth broke it successfully on a pair of occasions through the sharpshooting of junior Kayla McMahon (Hanover, Mass.) and senior Danyel Gonzalez (Pawtucket, R.I.). The perimeter precision paced the hosts to a 10-6 lead through the first media timeout of the contest.
- Warrior junior forward Mya Villard (Cromwell, Conn.) carried the workload in the opening quarter by pouring in eight to give her ensemble a 17-14 advantage after one.
- The score would be stuck on 28-24 for more than two minutes midway through the second until back-to-back layups by Examond knotted the affair. Eastern Connecticut would reply by scoring the game's next six points, but Blue and Gold freshman Shaelyn Carreiro (Fall River, Mass.) converted on an off-balance layup just before the break.
- A fast break lead pass from Brown to senior Jess Korzec (West Brookfield, Mass.) at the 3:46 mark brought UMass Dartmouth within three (46-43), before the squad sliced the differential even thinner in the final ticks of the third stanza as Carreiro finished strong through contact for the conventional three-point play (53-51).
- With 4:17 remaining in regulation, Examond hit a big layup of her own despite being fouled to keep it a one-possession ballgame (57-55). The score would remain untouched for the next 2:13 of play until Examond split a pair at the charity stripe on the heels of Villard drawing her fifth foul.
- Swarmed in the paint with 85 seconds to go, Examond whipped a pass out to the corner opposite the Corsair bench over to Donovan, who booked a crucial three-pointer to seize a 59-57 lead. The Warriors, who immediately called for a discussion before inbounding, marched down floor and fed freshman guard Julie Keckler (Trumbull, Conn.) for the straightaway trifecta and the advantage (60-59). Examond would be fouled in the ensuing possession after grabbing an offensive board, going on to knock down both tries (61-60).
- UMass Dartmouth locked up on the defensive end, forcing Keckler into a travelling call with 11.7 remaining. Brown split her free throw attempts (62-60), preceding another whistle against Eastern Connecticut for too many steps. The guard came back to get the better of both shots, icing the contest for a final tally of 64-60.
Inside The Numbers
- By becoming the second coach in women's basketball program history to reach the triple-digit plateau, Ducharme etches himself as the second-most winning decision-maker behind Judy Sullivan (200-166).
- Villard and Examond entered the evening at a deadlock for second-most boards in the conference (9.7). Villard finished with 11 caroms to Examond's nine.
- Foul trouble hampered the Corsair bigs in Examond and Carreiro, who each played a bulk of the fourth with four hacks.
- The two sides combined for 43 total trips to the free throw line, with the Corsairs going 17-23.
- Brown led all on the floor with a game-high five dimes.
- Carreiro played a key role off the bench, accounting for 17 of the team's 22 reserve scores. She finished 7-9 from the charity stripe while also collecting five rebounds in 19 minutes.
- UMass Dartmouth muzzled the Eastern Connecticut offense to just seven in the fourth and capitalized off of Warrior miscues, scoring 23 in such instances
Eastern Connecticut welcomes Little East opponent Rhode Island College on Saturday for a 1 p.m. tip-off. UMass Dartmouth gets just under a week off until resuming conference play on Wednesday, Jan. 23, hitting the road to battle with Southern Maine at 5:30
(Recap By Kyle Diangkinay '19, Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant)
(Photo Credit: Lyrik Gelmete '21)