Nov. 22, 2009
by John Cabral
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's women's basketball team forced 34 turnovers and held visiting Green Mountain to just 39 points en route to a 65-39 victory in the second game of the 2009 Hampton Inn Classic at the Tripp Athletic Center Saturday night.
Since its inception in 2008, the Hampton Inn Classic has been very good to the Corsairs. Although UMass Dartmouth came into Saturday having lost 23 of its last 24 games stretching back to last season, they remain unbeaten in Hampton Inn Classic play with an all-time record of 3-0. Saturday's win was the first for the Corsairs since a 79-40 victory over Pine Manor College at the Tripp Athletic Center on January 15.
Junior guard Lynley DeAmato (Melrose, Mass./Melrose, HS) started the game by draining a three pointer on the very first possession, and the Corsairs held the lead wire to wire. DeAmato reached double figures in scoring for the second consecutive game, tallying 12 points. Despite her junior status, DeAmato is playing her first season of college basketball.
The Corsairs widened their early lead with an 8-0 run which transformed an 18-13 edge with 3:17 remaining in the first half into a 26-13 advantage with 1:46 left. Freshman forward Jessica Howlett (North Quincy, Mass./North Quincy HS) started the run with a three pointer, which senior guard Madison Malloy (Cranston, R.I./Bay View Academy HS) quickly followed with a three of her own. Freshman forward Colleen Moriarty (Canton, Mass./Canton HS) finished off the run with a layup. The Corsairs took a 26-17 lead into halftime.
Moriarty led all scorers with 13 points, and Howlett scored 11. Both players improved their scoring totals off of last Sunday's loss at Westfield State to open the season. "It was only a matter of time before Colleen got into double digits," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Amanda Van Voorhis. "In her first game, she had 8 points at Westfield. She got more touches on the ball today in the zone. We were able to penetrate the gaps and find our bigs. As a result, she put some down for us. Jess did play some good minutes off the bench, and she's quite capable of scoring." Senior forward Kaylin Nelson (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford HS/Salve Regina) also put in 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Green Mountain was led by freshman guard Chelsea Paul's (Northville, N.Y./Northville HS) double-double comprised of 11 points and 11 rebounds. Senior forward Emma Brinley Buckley (Lakeville, Conn./Housatonic Valley Regional HS) scored 10 points and claimed seven rebounds of her own, while senior guard Christin Louras (Rutland, Vt.) had nine points. The Eagles outrebounded the Corsairs 44-32.
The Corsairs distributed the ball very effectively, notching 15 assists, including four by junior forward Tashauna Ashmeade (Hyannis, Mass./Barnstable HS), who also had five steals. Overall, nine different players scored points for UMass Dartmouth. "The way that they shared the ball impressed me," Van Voorhis said. "Everyone's willing to share. It's an equal opportunity offense every trip down, and it's nice to see the scoring come from different players. I think it's more tough to defend that way."
The 34 forced turnovers fulfilled stated goals that the team and coaching staff had discussed before the game. "We made some game goals, and one game goal was to commit fewer than 15 turnovers, which we accomplished, but to also force 25 turnovers, so we exceeded our expectations and we were pleased with the pressure we were able to apply," said Amanda Van Voorhis.
UMass Dartmouth now looks forward to defending its inaugural Women's Hampton Inn Classic crown on Sunday, but the Corsairs know it will be a tall task against a Connecticut College team that looked very strong in a 74-54 victory over Mount Ida on Saturday. "In scouting the 6 PM game, it's clear that Conn has a very strong team," Van Voorhis said. "The Shinall twins are 5'3'', but they pack a powerful punch. We'll have to take care of the ball."
"Last year we won the Hampton Inn," Van Voorhis recalled. "We're poised to win again."
The Corsairs improved to 1-1 with the victory, while the Eagles dropped to 0-1 with the defeat. UMass Dartmouth will play for the championship when they play Connecticut College Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Green Mountain will play for third place when they play Mount Ida Sunday at 1:00 p.m.