DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The Corsair trio of sophomore Lauren Empey (Middleboro, Mass.), junior Ashley Brown (Fairhaven, Mass.), and senior Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.) each collected double-digit point totals to pace the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to a 63-52 Senior Day victory over Castleton at the Tripp Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Blue and Gold (21-4, 14-2) round out the regular season as victors of 11 of its last 12 and have reached 11+ conference wins for the third straight year. Castleton University (14-11, 6-10) sophomore Brooke Raiche (Ira, Vt.) played all but one minute of the matinee matchup and led all players with 23 points which included nine made from the stripe.
How It Happened
- The hosts fell into an early 7-3 hole before racing out to put up the game’s next 14 points for a 17-7 lead at the end of one. UMass Dartmouth overcame early shooting woes (5-17, 29.4%) by knocking down seven of their 11 opportunities from the charity stripe in the early going.
- Following a quick Castleton bucket out of the first break, the Corsairs one-upped themselves with a 15-0 burst en route to a 32-9 advantage with 2:59 left in the second stanza. The Blue and Gold restricted the opposition to 6-24 (24%) from the field in the half and forced 12 turnovers for 14 Corsair scores. The frontcourt pairing of senior Nakira Examond (New Bedford, Mass.) and freshman Shaelyn Carreiro (Fall River, Mass.) combined for 15 of the squad’s 36 first half points on a cumulative five of nine accuracy.
- The Spartans rung in the third quarter with 10 straight points to narrow the gap to 12 (36-24) before a pair of free throws by junior Kayla McMahon (Hanover, Mass.) preceded freshman Jordan Moretti’s (Johnston, R.I.) layup through contact with 4:38 to go. A big trifecta by Castleton junior Alexis Quenneville (Orwell, Vt.) brought the visitors within 10 (42-32) in the final 90 seconds of the quarter.
- A key steal by junior Ashley Brown (Fairhaven, Mass.) off of an unsuccessful Spartan handoff translated into a bucket for Examond for the first points of the fourth just before Quenneville and Brown exchanged threes on the next trips down (49-35).
- Another Quenneville trey made it a seven-point game (59-52) with 57 seconds left but UMass Dartmouth held off the short scoring burst with fruitful results on their free throws.
Inside The Numbers
- With a block this afternoon, Little East-leading shot blocking sophomore Meagan Donovan (Abington, Mass.) has registered a swat in 19 of 23 contests played this year (1.9 BPG).
- Quenneville splashed a game-high four from downtown as part of her 14 on the afternoon.
- Castleton translated 22 Corsair miscues into 29 points.
- The Corsairs pulled away in the second by shooting it at 50% (7-14) while muzzling the Spartans to 18.8 efficiency (3-16).
- UMass Dartmouth’s reserve unit outscored that of Castleton’s by a 32-5 margin.
Heading into the postseason as the No. 6 seed, Castleton will travel to No. 3 Southern Maine on Tuesday for a quarterfinal quarrel. The top-seeded Corsairs earned the first round bye and will next take their home floor on Friday for a semifinal match against the winner of No. 4 UMass Boston and No. 5 Rhode Island College. Times will be posted on the Little East women’s basketball schedule page.
(Recap by: Kyle Diangkinay ’19, Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant)
(Photo Credit: Lyrik Gelmete ’21)