NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's women's basketball team took a 35-25 halftime lead and went on to defeat visiting Rhode Island College, 75-57, in the first game of a Little East Conference doubleheader at the Tripp Athletic Center Tuesday evening.
Leading, 17-16, the Corsairs utilized a 15-5 run late in the first half to take command, opening up a 32-21 advantage with 1:13 remaining. Sophomore guard Kelsey Garrity (Somerville, MA/Somerville HS) ignited the run with three free throws, and freshman guard Beth Castantini (Newburyport, MA/Newburyport HS) capped it with a three-pointer.
UMass Dartmouth steadily pulled away in the second half, building a 20-point lead on several occasions, and the Anchorwomen never threatened again.
Garrity led all scorers with 27 points, while senior forward Colleen Moriarty (Canton, MA/Canton HS) and freshman guard Colleen Kane (Arlington, MA/Arlington HS) had 11 points each. Junior guard Cara Paladino (Arlington, MA/Arlington Catholic HS) and freshman forward Vandell Andrade (Providence, RI/St. Mary's Bay View HS) had 11 points each for RIC, while senior forward Courtney Burns (Rockland, MA/Rockland HS) and junior guard Stephanie Prusko (Lincoln, RI/Lincoln HS) each had 10. Moriarty had 11 rebounds for UMD for a double double, while Andrade had 14 rebounds for the Anchorwomen, who outrebounded the Corsairs, 51-33. But UMass Dartmouth forced 24 turnovers while committing just five, and made 19 of 28 free throws compared to 12 of 18 for RIC.
"You can't get what you don't want was our pre game motivational quote, and we needed a win and it was heart, persistence, defensive enthusiasm and perseverance that led us to victory," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Amanda Van Voorhis. "Our defense was swarming, and when we were knocked down we got back up. We sustained every offensive push by a talented Anchorwoman team. I am very proud of our team effort especially without (junior forward Erika) Bornemann (who missed the game due to an injury) this evening. We needed an effort and we got more than an effort this evening. We made a statement, most importantly to ourselves."
UMass Dartmouth improved to 12-3 and 4-2 in the Little East Conference with the victory, while Rhode Island College dropped to 10-5 and 4-2 in LEC play with the defeat. The Corsairs will return to action when they visit Keene State Saturday in the first game of a Little East Conference doubleheader. The Anchorwomen will visit Plymouth State Saturday.