DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth women's basketball team limited visiting Keene State College to just 17 points in the second half to celebrate Senior Day with a 75-48 Little East Conference victory this afternoon at the Tripp Athletic Center. The Corsairs became just the second institution and fifth team to post an undefeated conference record (14-0) since the Little East Conference expanded to a 14-game conference circuit in 1997-98, joining the University of Southern Maine.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 75, Keene State 48
Records: UMass Dartmouth 22-3, 14-0 LEC | Keene State 6-19, 4-10 LEC
How it Happened
UMass Dartmouth featured a well-balanced attack as three starters posted a double-double to lead the hosts. Junior Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.) secured her 13th double-double of the campaign, recording a game-high 21 points and 14 rebounds. The New Bedford, Mass. product needed just 16 minutes in the opening half to reach double digits in points (16) and boards (10). Senior frontcourt presence Alicia Kutil (Franklin, Mass.) poured in 14 points and pulled in 11 rebounds to produce her 10th double-double of the season. Classmate Leah Douty (Framingham, Mass.) penned her first career double-double into her ledger with 13 points and collected a season-high 12 caroms. Senior Chelsea Houlihan (Wolcott, Conn.) scored six points, recorded four rebounds, blocked two shots, and tallied a steal in her final regular-season home contest.
Keene State had two student-athletes reached double digits in scoring as senior Sandi Purcell (Hudson, N.H.) and junior Emily McPadden (Tyngsborough, Mass.) scored 11 points each. McPadden shared team-high honors with six rebounds.
The Corsairs opened the afternoon struggling to find consistent offense, as the squad went 4 for 16 from the field. Examond was all over the boards, corralling seven boards in just eight minutes of first quarter action. With the Owls up by a point in the final minute, 11-10, the newly checked in freshman Lauren Empey (Middleboro, Mass.) banked in the turnaround lefty hook shot for the Corsair advantage.
To start the next quarter, Empey then found open teammate Danyel Gonzalez (Pawtucket, R.I.) in the right corner for a three-pointer to immediately jumpstart the Corsair offense, only to be matched by a fast break layup by sophomore Jasmin Mitchell (Meriden, Conn.) on the opposite end. Keene took full advantage of opportunities from the perimeter, going 7 for 17 in the opening half with three coming via McPadden. The two squads played each other to an even 20 points apiece in the frame, with the hosts carrying a slim one point advantage into the following half.
The second half commenced with a 10-0 Corsair run highlighted by a bullet-feed from sophomore Ashley Brown (Fairhaven, Mass.) to a cutting Douty under the basket for the close range layup. With ninety seconds remaining in the half, junior Jess Korzec (West Brookfield, Mass.) knocked down the leaning jumper in the paint for a 51-36 advantage, with Douty providing a three-pointer on the ensuing position. Ticks before the end of the frame, Owl guard Mitchell stole an inbounds pass for the solo finish to narrow the gap, 54-40.
After Korzec deflected an Owl pass along the baseline, Kutil scooped up the loose ball and raced down court for the left-handed layup to put UMass Dartmouth up 63-45. The Corsairs never looked back from that point onward, ballooning their lead to as much 27 points. The Blue and Gold limited the Owls to just a single made three-pointer in the latter two quarters, pulling away with the victory.
Inside the Numbers
- UMass Dartmouth, ranked No. 6 in the latest NCAA Division III New England poll, captured the program's first outright Little East Conference regular-season title. The Corsairs earned a share of the regular-season title in 2015 with Eastern Connecticut.
- Since the Little East Conference adjusted to a 14-game conference slate before the start of the 1997-98 season, Southern Maine was the first institution to complete the circuit undefeated. The Huskies posted a 14-0 mark in 1998, 2004, 2005, and 2006.
- UMass Dartmouth is riding a program-best 11-game winning streak, which started on January 17, 2018 against UMass Boston.
- The Corsairs dominated the paint, holding a decisive advantage in rebounding(61-27) and points in the paint (44-10).
- UMass Dartmouth secured 19 offensive rebounds and capitalized on 23 second-chance points.
- After the Owls knocked down seven from downtown in the inaugural half, the Corsairs adjusted during the intermission to limit the visitors to just one.
- After today's outing, Examond has now scored double-figures 21 times.
- Douty grabbed a career-high in rebounds (12), surpassing her previous mark of nine set on Dec. 8, 2016, also against Keene State.
- Kutil and Examond each posted double-doubles in the same game for the third instance this year.
- The trio of seniors Chelsea Houlihan (Wolcott, Conn.), Kutil, and Douty has combined for an 84-26 record in their time with the program.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 7pm on Tuesday, Feb. 20, when the top-seeded Corsairs host eighth-seeded Rhode Island College in the quarterfinals of the Little East Conference Championship tournament.