Colonials Edge UMass Dartmouth, 67-64
NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Junior Kelsey Garrity (Somerville, Mass.) launched a 3-pointer from the right wing with three seconds remaining in regulation, but her attempt hit the front of the rim and bounced out to hand Western Connecticut State University a 67-64 victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth this afternoon in a Little East women's basketball contest at the Tripp Athletic Center.
The Colonials (11-8) earned their second straight conference victory to move into fourth place with a 5-4 record, while the Corsairs (11-8) suffered their second consecutive loss to fall to 4-5 in the circuit.
Facing a five-point deficit with 24 ticks left on the clock, freshman Ashley Brown (Fairhaven, Mass.) connected on a layup to trim the disadvantage to one possession. UMass Dartmouth sent Western Connecticut to the foul line with a chance to seal the victory, but the Colonials went 0-for-2 to provide Garrity with the opportunity to send the contest into overtime.
The Corsairs led for almost the entire first half. The hosts used an 11-2 run in the middle of the first frame to build their first double digit advantage of the contest. Brown fueled the surge with seven points, while freshman Megan Ronaghan (North Attleboro, Mass.) contributed four points to give UMD a 27-17 lead with seven minutes, 26 seconds remaining. UMass Dartmouth would eventually take a 35-27 lead into the locker room.
Western came charging out of the gates in the second half, scoring the first six points to trim its deficit to two points. Kerri Stolle converted on a traditional 3-point play to help the Colonials regain their advantage at 39-37. Both teams would exchange baskets during the next three minutes before the visitors scored seven straight points to increase their lead to nine points (52-43).
Trailing by seven points with five and a half minutes left, freshman Brianna Hochwarter (Attleboro, Mass.) drained a 3-pointer to whittle the deficit to four. The hosts would remain within striking distance, setting the scene for the final 24 seconds of action.
Ronaghan matched her career-high with 28 points, including 18 in the second half. She was 11-for-22 from the field, while pulling in a nine rebounds. Brown was the only other Corsair to reach double digits with 17 points, including 15 in the first frame. Senior Erika Bornemann (Canton, Mass.) recorded seven points and a game-high 12 rebounds for the hosts.
Western Connecticut utilized a well-balanced attack as five players reached double digits in scoring. Stolle posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds to lead the visitors. Sciarra Brandt also registered a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards. Colleen Cosker contributed 13 points and five assists, while Chelsea Mone and Caroline Brasa each recorded 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The Corsairs shot 37.3 percent (25-for-67) from the field, while limiting the Colonials to just 34.9 percent (22-for-63). Western used its 51-39 edge on the boards to produce 19 second-chance points. UMD was able to force 14 turnovers, while only committing seven.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 6, when the Corsairs travel to Curry College for a non-conference contest.