DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Paced by a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds from Corsair junior Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.), UMass Dartmouth opened the 21st Annual Lafrance Hospitality Classic with an 85-67 win over Coast Guard Academy at Tripp Athletic Center. In game two, four Rams landed in double-digit scoring as Suffolk University edged Endicott College, 68-57.
How It Happened
- UMass Dartmouth (2-0) put up 11 points right away out of the gate, owning the first three and a half minutes of the affair.
- After Coast Guard had cut the margin to 21-17 early in the second stanza following a put back on the offensive glass by freshman Emma Puddington (Castorland, N.Y.), the Corsairs went on another 9-0 run pieced together by three Examond layups and a three-ball by junior Ashley Brown (Fairhaven, Mass.).
- The Blue and Gold clamped down on the defensive end through the third quarter while also getting all of its gears clicking on offense, going on its largest run of the evening for 19 unanswered. Examond proved to be a force that could not be reckoned with down under the baskets, collecting two and-one’s as part of her four layups during the span. Junior Kayla McMahon (Hanover, Mass.) put the exclamation point on the scoring burst, drilling a three to give UMass Dartmouth a 69-30 lead.
- Coast Guard would not be tamed in the fourth, putting up 30 points in the final 10 minutes while holding the Corsairs to just 11.
- Suffolk brushed itself off after surrendering a pair of made buckets to the Gulls via the three-ball, knocking down four from the perimeter for its first offensive output. Ram senior Marissa Gudauskas (Bolton, Conn.) was responsible for the latter pair of threes, putting the squad up 12-8.
- Down two possessions with under two minutes to go in the first quarter, Endicott sophomore Shannon Gilbert (Easton, Conn.) connected on a shot from the perimeter to cut it to one entering the next stanza.
- The battle see-sawed throughout the second frame, with Suffolk battling back from being down 28-22 via a pair of made jumpers by senior Gabriella DeComo (Portsmouth, R.I.) to knot the scoring at 28 apiece. Endicott used a basket from junior Mikaela Rogers (Haverhill, Mass.) followed by a successful free throw by junior Kaleigh Putnam (Wallingford, Conn.) to carry a 34-33 lead into break time.
- After battling each other closely through the third stanza, Suffolk began to break away in the final quarter by going on a 7-0 run that spanned from the end of the preceding frame to take a 54-45 advantage. Endicott could not quite get the stops it needed down the stretch to overcome the slim margin, getting outscored 21-12 in the last 10 minutes.
Inside The Numbers
- Senior Jess Korzec (West Brookfield, Mass.) wreaked havoc on the defensive side of the ball, tallying a career-high seven steals.
- The Corsairs completed the evening with a 45.5 overall field goal percentage while maintaining the Bears to 33.8% from the floor.
- Sophomore Meagan Donovan (Abington, Mass.) swatted a career-high four shots this evening.
- UMass Dartmouth shook its three-point shooting troubles from the season opener, coming back to splash six from beyond the arc in the win.
- The hosts grabbed nearly as many boards on the offensive glass (21) as it did on the defensive end (24) to account for its 45 total.
- Both teams had trouble getting into a consistent offensive groove through the night, as the teams averaged 33.2% shooting.
- Suffolk saw more success from beyond the arc, going 10-24 to the Gulls’ 6-28.
- Endicott owned the battle in the paint, outscoring the opponent 32-16.
- The Ram trio of sophomore Jenn-Rose DiCecco (Falmouth, Mass.), junior Alexis Hackett (Charlton, Mass.), and DeComo each registered 14 points.
The 21st Annual Lafrance Hospitality Classic will continue tomorrow, with Coast Guard and Endicott meeting in the consolation game at Noon followed by UMass Dartmouth and Suffolk in the championship match-up at 2:00 pm.
(Recap By Kyle Diangkinay '19, Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant)
(Photo Credit: Lyrik Gelmete '21)