Jan. 30, 2010
by Joel Baptista
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Visiting Western Connecticut State lost and saw their 14-game win streak snapped by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's women's basketball team, 57-53, in the first game of a Little East Conference doubleheader at the Tripp Athletic Center Saturday.
WCSU tied the game at 50 on a layup by junior center Melissa Teel (Hamden, CT/Hamden), erasing what was once an eight point Corsair lead. UMD never lost their composure, scoring seven straight points on layups from Tashauna Ashmeade (Hyannis, MA/Barnstable) and freshman guard Shannon Singletary (Brockton, MA/Brockton) along with a free throw from senior guard Madison Malloy (Cranston, RI/Bay View Academy) and two free throws by senior forward Kaylin Nelson (New Bedford, MA/Salve Regina). A harmless three pointer, as time expired, by Colonials junior guard Heather Lee (Seymour, CT/Seymour) accounted for the final score.
"This win is very satisfying," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Amanda Van Voorhis. "WestConn is one of the top teams in New England, and was probably on track for a national ranking. We played our best defense of the year. Our perimeter defense was outstanding, and we did a nice job inside limiting Teel's chances as best we could. We pushed the ball on the fast break, made some free throws, did a good job rebounding and overall played heads up. This is by far the biggest win for the program since I've been here."
The Colonials jumped out to what would be their largest lead of the game early in the first half at 14-6. But Singletary and freshman forward Collen Moriarty (Canton, MA/Canton) would come off the bench to spark the Corsairs on a 12-2 run. They accounted for all the points during the stretch as Singletary made a trio of fast break lay-ups and a pair of free throws and Moriarty scored two baskets in the low post to give UMD an 18-16 lead at 5:31.
Back-to-back three-pointers from WCSU senior forward Katie Mofffo (Southington, CT/Southington) and Lee reclaimed the lead for the Colonials, and they would cling to a one point advantage at 27-26 going into the intermission.
The Colonials would continue to lead by a single point at 11:35 in the second half. It would be their last lead of the contest. UMD went on a 9-0 run on layups by Ashmeade, freshman guard Jessica Howlettt (N Quincy, MA/N Quincy), a jumper in the lane by sophomore guard Stephanie Houtman (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford/Bridgewater State) and an old fashioned three point play by Singletary on another fast break layup and a free throw, giving the Corsairs a 43-35 advantage with just over nine minutes to play. The Colonials rallied to tie it at 50 with 1:53 to go, but a fifteenth straight win wasn't meant to be, as it was all UMD down the stretch.
Singletary led UMass Dartmouth with 17 points, Ashmeade had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Nelson chipped in with nine points and 12 boards. Teel had a game-high 21 points and 15 rebounds for WCSU, and Lee joined her in double figures with 14 points, including four three pointers.
The Corsairs out rebounded the Colonials 45-40 and held WCSU to just 32 per cent from the field.
The Corsairs improved to 8-12 and 3-6 in Little East Conference play with the victory, while the Colonials dropped to 17-3 and 8-1 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they visit Southern Maine in the first game of a LEC doubleheader next Saturday. Western Connecticut will host Plymouth State next Saturday.