BABSON PARK, Mass. -- Senior Jess Korzec (West Brookfield, Mass.) scored 18 points and dished out five assists, while fellow senior Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.) added a double-double effort of 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead UMass Dartmouth to a 71-50 victory over St. Lawrence in opening round play of the Babson Judy Pearson Memorial Tournament Sunday afternoon at Staake Gymnasium.
The Corsairs (9-1), who extended their winning streak to three straight with the triumph, advance to take on host Babson (8-2) in Monday’s championship game that tips-off at 2:00 pm, as the Beavers posted a 99-58 opening round win over Salve Regina.
St. Lawrence (5-4) jumped out to an 11-4 lead in the opening 3:19 of the contest on a conventional three-point play by freshman Erin Kumler (New Concord, Ohio), and the Saints held a three-point edge late in the frame before UMass Dartmouth received a lay-in from Korzec and a three-pointer from senior Danyel Gonzalez (Pawtucket, R.I.) to take an 18-16 lead after the opening stanza. The Corsairs used a 9-2 run early in the second quarter extend their advantage to 12 points (31-19) on an Examond lay-in with 5:28 remaining in the half, and after St. Lawrence crept back to within seven (33-26) on a free throw by freshman Gunnhilder Atladottir (Reykjavik, Iceland), Korzec and Examond combined for the final seven points to give UMass Dartmouth a 40-26 edge at the break.
The Saints scored on the opening possession after intermission, but that was as close as St. Lawrence would come for the remainder of the afternoon, as the Corsairs used an 18-4 run in just over five minutes to take their largest lead of the day (58-32) on back-to-back three-pointers from juniors Ashley Brown (New Bedford, Mass.) and Kayla McMahon (Hanover, Mass.). Eight players scored at least two points for UMass Dartmouth, which held a 44-16 scoring advantage in the paint and converted 18 turnovers into 20 points.
Korzec collected 15 points in the opening half for the winners, as Examond moved to within 11 points of tying Alicia Kutil’s school career scoring mark of 1, 391 points with her seventh double-double of the season. Brown added nine points for the Corsairs, who received seven points and three rebounds each from McMahon and freshman Jordan Moretti (Johnston, R.I.) Freshman Shaelyn Carreiro (Fall River, Mass.) added seven points and six caroms for UMass Dartmouth, which received five rebounds from Gonzalez and four boards from fellow senior Jamie Williams (Lone Tree, Colo.). Freshman Jessica Carroll (Deep River, Conn.) chipped in with a bucket for the Corsairs, who received three rebounds from sophomore Lauren Empey (Middleboro, Mass.) and shot 46 percent (29-63) from the field while holding a 44-42 rebounding edge for the contest.
Sophomore Katie Frederick (Sunapee, N.H.) notched a double-double effort of 13 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in the setback for St. Lawrence, which received 12 points from freshman Dylan Watkiss (Phoenix, Ariz.) along with six points and six boards from Kumler. The Saints shot 25 percent (15-60) from the field overall, including a combined 4-of-23 performance in the second and fourth quarters combined.