BOSTON, Mass. – Led by Amy Fahey's 39 points, 22 of which were scored in the second half, the Falcons of Fitchburg State University (4-0) edged women's basketball (1-3) by the final score of 76-72 Tuesday evening in the Clark Athletic Center.
Fahey's game-changing performance was the result of 15-of-22 shooting from the field and 9-of-11 shooting at the free throw line. She nearly pulled out a double-double, as she recorded eight boards as well. Defensively she accounted for three of the Falcons five blocks, and also had one steal and played every single minute of the contest. Also contributing to the win, was Rebecca Goreham who pulled down 21 rebounds, 17 of which were on the opposite end of the court.
For the Beacons, Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) led her team with 17 points, seven assists, five steals, and six rebounds. Shelby Buck (Greenfield, Ohio) came off the bench to score 12 points, while freshman Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) finished with a career-best 16 points and 13 rebounds to also earn her first college double-double.
As a team, Fitchburg was solid from the field shooting 42.6% (29-for-68), while UMass Boston shot 32.6% (28-for-86). On the glass, the Beacons held a +6 advantage (54-48) to close out Tuesday's non-conference game.
In total there were 13 lead changes between the two squads. The first half was a back-and-forth battle, with neither team really gaining any room on the scoreboard. Anytime, Fitchburg State would go on a run, the Beacons would respond with a run of their own. After a Kristen Enright lay-up tied the game at 24-24, UMass Boston for the first time in the opening half built some offensive momentum.
Taylor Whyte (Ballston Spa, N.Y.) and Elisa Ogawa (Yamanashi, Japan) quickly gave the Beacons a five-point lead, following back-to-back lay-ups and a free throw from Ogawa. Teresa Pina (Boston, Mass.) would add to that lead to make 31-25 in favor of the home team, with 5:35 left to play in the half.
The largest lead of the first half came after a lay-up from Perra with 2:34 left on the clock. Fitchburg cut the lead to three with 1:10 left after a Goreham basket. However with a lay-up from Ogawa and a 1-of-2 showing at the line by Fahey, the Beacons went into the locker room with a 35-31 lead.
After the break, Fahey took over for her team, and with help from Laura Cote and Goreham, put the Falcons back in the driver's seat. They cut the Beacons' lead to one in the opening five minutes. From there they quickly made it a nine point game with less than 12 minutes to play in regulation.
The Falcons would hold that nine point lead for the 4:30 minutes. With a 6-0 run by Morrison, UMass quickly found itself just three points away from regaining control of the lead. Doing what she does best, Fahey quickly took over yet again scoring eight of the Falcons final 12 points to help her team hold on for the win.
Women's basketball returns to action on December 1 when they travel to Wheelock College for a 7 p.m. non-conference game.