AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth women's basketball team had its historic run through the 2017 NCAA Division III Championship tournament ended this evening at the hands of top-ranked Amherst College, 73-33, inside LeFrak Gymnasium.
Making their first appearance in the national tournament, the Corsairs became the first Little East Conference women's basketball team to advance to the quarterfinal round since Southern Maine reached the championship game in 2006.
Score: Amherst College 73, UMass Dartmouth 33
Records: UMass Dartmouth (25-6); #1 Amherst (31-0)
How it Happened:
Amherst utilized its size and length to disrupt UMass Dartmouth on both ends of the court, racing out to a decisive 22-2 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Purple and White limited the Corsairs to just 9.1 percent from the field (1-for-11) and caused nine turnovers that resulted in eight points. Amherst didn't shoot particularly well from the floor (37.5 percent, 9-for-24), but the hosts pulled in 10 offensive rebounds and created nine second-chance points.
UMass Dartmouth found its offensive rhythm at the start of the second stanza, utilizing a 9-0 run to trim its deficit to 25-11. Sophomore Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.) and junior Alicia Kutil (Franklin, Mass.) converted consecutive lay-ups, while classmate Chelsea Houlihan (Wolcott, Conn.) connected on a three-pointer from the left wing. Examond capped the surge with a lay-up inside the paint. Amherst countered with a 15-0 run to regain control of the contest and carried at 42-14 lead into the halftime intermission.
Inside the Numbers:
- Amherst leads the all-time series with UMass Dartmouth, 2-0. The Purple and White won the initial meeting 71-50 on Nov. 18, 2006 in Amherst.
- The Corsairs established a new single-season record for victories (25), putting an additional five wins between the previous record holders (20, 2013).
- UMass Dartmouth earned the program's first berth in the Sectional Finals of the national tournament this evening. The Corsairs are just the second women's program to reach the national quarterfinals, joining the 1992 women's soccer team.
- The Corsairs were held to a season-low 26 percent (13-for-50) from the field, including 20 percent (2-for-10) from behind the three-point arc.
- Amherst outrebounded UMass Dartmouth 50-29, the largest deficit (-21) of the season. The Purple and White collected 18 offensive rebounds, which led to 15 second chance points.
- Examond and Kutil led the Corsairs in the scoring column, reaching double figures with 10 points each.
- Amherst shot 42.2 percent (27-for-64) from the field, including 36 percent (9-for-25) from long range.
- Meredith Doswell posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds to lead Amherst.
- Ali Doswell and Madeline Eck scored a team-best 11 points, Jamie Renner also reached double digits in scoring with 10.
Amherst advances to the National Semifinals of the 2017 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship tournament and will face #10 Christopher Newport on Friday, March 17 at the Van Noord Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich.n