January 14, 2012

Morrison Pushes Women's Basketball to Conference Win over ECSU

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. --  The University of Massachusetts Boston women's basketball team outscored Eastern Connecticut State University  15-3 over the final  six minutes of the first half and went on to a 68-55 Little East Conference victory Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.

UMass (5-10, 2-3 Little East) snapped a seven-game losing streak at the hands of Eastern (6-8, 2-3 Little East) with the most lopsided of its six wins over the Warriors in this 59-game series.

The road win was just the second this season for the Beacons and first since Dec. 1 UMass Boston freshman center Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) dominated play inside with a career-high 31 points (13-for-23 from the floor) to go along with nine rebounds and two blocks.

Morrison was the only player in double figures for UMass, which got eight points and 12 rebounds from senior forward Molly Rattigan (Dorchester, Mass.). Rattigan entered the game shooting 3-for-23 from the floor but connected on four of five chances from the field against Eastern.

UMass sank half of its ten field goals in the final six minutes of the first half when it outscored the Warriors 15-3 to break from a tie.  Sophomore guard Shelley Buck (Greenfield, Ohio) came off the bench to convert two three-pointers and  freshman guard Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) dropped in one in that spurt, where Eastern missed ten of 11 shots from the floor and turned the ball over three times on its final 15 possessions of the second half.

Although they shot only 38.7 percent from the floor in the first half, UMass turned the ball over only four times and they resulted in only two Eastern points.

Morrison scored eight points in the first six minutes of the second half and junior guard Elisa Ogawa (Yamanashi, Japan) to spark a 16-7 run that boosted the Beacons' lead to 21, 50-29. UMass led by 27 points midway through the frame and coasted the rest of the way.

Morrison scored 18 of her points in the second half and Eastern freshman forward Shannon McCourt (New Fairfield, Conn.) poured in 16 of her team-high 22 points (10-for-22 from the field) for Eastern.

McCourt added a game-high 13 rebounds to post her sixth straight double-double in as many starts and seventh this season.  Junior guard Samantha Riccio (Avon) added 14 points for Eastern.

Women's basketball returns to action on Tuesday when they host the University of Southern Maine at 5:30 p.m.

Information for this release provided by Eastern Connecticut State University Sports Information Department