PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Blue and Gold exploded for a 32-point fourth quarter to stave off Johnson & Wales University in the Corsairs' 81-58 victory at the Wildcat Center on Tuesday evening. With the victory, UMass Dartmouth improved its record to 8-1 while the Wildcats slipped to 1-8.
How it Happened
- The two sides battled to an even draw midway through the opening period, quarreling to a score of eight apiece with 4:41 remaining. Wildcat junior Tiondra Hands (Boyton Beach, Fla.) drilled a three-pointer to give her squad the lead, which would hold up through the first horn (13-12).
- UMass Dartmouth ignited an extended 16-5 run through the first 4:47, with senior Jess Korzec (West Brookfield, Mass.) contributing six via a trio of layups. Freshman Jordan Moretti (Johnston, R.I.) felt right back at home in The Ocean State, recording four points, three steals, and three assists in just over five minutes. The sparkplug helped pace the Corsairs to a 30-18 advantage before Wildcat juniot Britney Gallagher (New City, N.Y.) made good on a pair from the charity stripe to bring the match within single digits. The points were among the first of seven straight for Johnson & Wales, who cut the deficit to just five (32-27) on freshman guard Dede Stevenson's (Hartford, Conn.) straightaway triple that banked off the glass.
- The hosts came out hot after the break, rapidly closing the gap on another Hands trifecta from just in front of her own bench to tie things up at 36. She encored her shooting display with another from downtown, earning Johnson & Wales a 39-38 advantage. The guard showdown continued with just under four minutes to go, when Moretti picked the pocket of her counterpart and got out for an easy fast break layup to knot the affair back up at 43. After knocking down the second of her two tries at the line, UMass Dartmouth took a 49-47 lead into the final frame.
- After a series of missed layups two minutes into the action, Blue and Gold guard Danyel Gonzalez (Pawtucket, R.I.) corralled an offensive board and finished her bid off the glass plus the foul to extend the difference to four. The crucial put back swung the momentum in the Corsairs' favor as the visitors penned the game's next 10 points, with Gonzalez swiping a pair of passes and Korzec scoring or assisting on all but two scores in the span (61-49).
- The Corsairs did not let up on offense, making the best of their trips to the free throw line to ultimately outscore the Wildcats by a 32-11 margin in the final 10 minutes of play.
Inside the Numbers
- UMass Dartmouth's point guard unit of Moretti and Gonzalez each registered four steals.
- The affair featured eight lead changes and seven ties, with UMass Dartmouth leading for 24 minutes.
- Corsair senior Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.) collected her sixth double-double this year with 22 points and 13 caroms, hitting 10 of her 12 tries at the stripe.
- The Blue and Gold flexed down low, posting 52 points in the paint.
- UMass Dartmouth reserves chipped in 20 to the Wildcats' seven.
- The visitors were clicking on all cylinders in the final frame, shooting 58.8% (10-17) while holding the opposition to 23.1% (3-13).
The Wildcats face a quick turnaround, travelling to UMass Boston on Thursday for a 5:30 p.m. non-league clash. UMass Dartmouth next competes in the Babson Pearson Memorial Tournament hosted by Babson College, taking on St. Lawrence in the First Round on Dec. 30 at 3 p.m.
Recap by: Kyle Diangkinay '19, Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant