DARTMOUTH, Mass. – A cold-blooded three-pointer by UMass Boston sophomore Jalani Jackson (Brockton, Mass.) with 3.9 seconds remaining in regulation sealed the Beacons’ 75-72 victory over the Corsairs at the Tripp Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon. Four visitors registered double-figure scoring performances to help UMass Boston put an end to UMass Dartmouth’s string of 19 straight regular season Little East Conference triumphs.
Corsair senior Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.) clinched her eighth double-double of the year by the end of the third quarter, getting to 15 and 10 in 23 minutes. She concluded the afternoon with 21 points and 15 boards, corralling a season-high 10 on offense. Submitting an all-around effort for the Beacons was sophomore Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.), going for 25 points, 14 caroms, six blocks, and three steals.
How It Happened
- Grassi picked up right where she last left off on the South Coast, leading the charge out of the gate with 10 points in the opening quarter. The second-year shooter knocked down both of the Beacons’ trifectas, while also swatting a pair of shots on defense. Jackson assisted on three of their seven field goals in the first, facilitating the movement early and often.
- Down 22-14 with 1:43 to go, UMass Dartmouth freshman Shaelyn Carreiro (Fall River, Mass.) spun off the right block and twirled the floater up and in with her off hand. Sophomore Lauren Empey (Middleboro, Mass.) added four more ahead of junior Ashley Brown’s (Fairhaven, Mass.) pair of free throws, tying things up at 22 apiece after 10 minutes of action.
- Boston’s frontcourt presence was felt between Grassi and junior Alecia Quinones (Stoughton, Mass.), who collected 17 and 10 points, respectively, at the intermission. The Beacons stroked it well from the stripe to stay atop the Blue and Gold as the visitors went eight of nine in the second, securing a 39-38 advantage.
- The margin stood at six in favor of UMass Boston with 90 seconds on the third quarter clock before Corsair freshman Jordan Moretti (Johnston, R.I.) came up clutch on defense; first, scooping up a loose ball on the right side for the uncontested bucket, before picking Jackson’s pocket on the far side for a lefty layup to make it a two-point affair. In the final ticks of the stanza, senior Jess Korzec (West Brookfield, Mass.) set up Examond on the baseline for the timely score to bring UMass Dartmouth within one (56-55).
- Momentum began to swing the Corsairs’ way early in the fourth after an offensive foul call on Grassi that preceded back-to-back corner three’s by sophomore Meagan Donovan (Abington, Mass.) for a 63-58 UMass Dartmouth lead. UMass Boston would remain right in the battle, however, as it re-took the advantage on sophomore Geanna Williams’ (Cromwell, Conn.) bunny (68-67).
- Jackson and Examond traded layups to bring the contest to a deadlock at 70 until Blue and Gold senior Danyel Gonzalez (Pawtucket, R.I.) split a pair of free throws. Grassi was later fouled with under a minute left, making good on her shots as the squad was in the bonus. On the Corsair end, Examond grabbed three consecutive offensive boards on missed layups to earn a trip to the line where she knotted the affair back up at 72.
- With the shot clock evaporating and the ball inbounded to Jackson’s hands on the right wing, the sophomore guard swished a three-pointer for a 75-72 lead with 3.9 remaining on the game clock.
- Out of UMass Dartmouth’s final timeout to advance the ball up court, Moretti inbounded to an open Brown in the corner just in front of the Corsair bench but had her game-tying bid rattle out at the horn.
Inside The Numbers
- The Corsairs mirrored their rebounding effort on each end, grabbing as many on the offensive glass as they did on the defensive side (23).
- Each member of the UMass system suffered shooting woes in the second quarter, going a combined 11-36 (30.6%), with the Beacons getting just four baskets to drop in the frame.
- Junior Kayla McMahon (Hanover, Mass.) drilled two from deep as part of her eight points to match Korzec’s point total.
- Grassi’s free throw shooting was key in the squad’s win, going 12-13.
- UMass Boston shot 63.6% in the final quarter (7-11) to help finish the day 43.1% overall (25-58) to the Blue and Gold’s 38.4% efficiency (28-73).
UMass Dartmouth continues its intersession stretch on Tuesday against the Rhode Island College Anchorwomen in Providence at 5:30 p.m. Simultaneously, the Beacons head to Emmanuel for a non-conference affair with the Saints.
(Recap By Kyle Diangkinay '19, Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant)
(Photo Credit: Lyrik Gelmete '21)