GORHAM, Me. – With a team-high 18 points and eight rebounds from Courtney Cochran the Huskies of the University of Southern Maine (17-5, 8-3 Little East Conference) were able to hold-off a hungry UMass Boston women's basketball (6-16, 2-9 Little East) squad to earn a 67-55 Little East Conference win Tuesday evening at Hill Gymnasium.
Despite Cochran's 18 points, it was UMass Boston's Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) who dominated the night as the freshman center put-up 25 points, while also pulling down 13 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season.
The 6'2" North Reading native, who has been named Little East Conference Rookie of the Week three times this season, finished the game 11-for-18 from the field and 3-for-4 at the line. Ten of her game-best 13 boards came on the defensive side of the court. She also picked-up three steals in 35 minutes of playing time.
Right behind her was junior Teresa Pina (Boston, Mass.) who ended her night with a career-high 17 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Pina also dropped in one 3-pointer and totaled five boards, three assists, two blocks, and one steal.
As a team the Beacons held a slight advantage over the host Huskies as they shot 41.7% (25-for-60) from the field, while Southern Maine shot 41.0% (25-for-61). On the glass it was all UMass Boston as they closed out the night with a +5 advantage (41-36).
Proving to be the downfall for the Beacons despite their solid play was their 27 turnovers, which Southern Maine turned into 26 points on the other end of the floor.
Through the first 20 minutes of play UMass Boston never once allowed Southern Maine to truly take over on the scoreboard. Anytime the Huskies would build momentum, the Beacons would come firing right back and cut whatever lead Southern Maine had built in half.
Morrison and Pina played a crucial part in the Beacons impressive first half as the hot-shooting duo combined for 23 of the team's 31 points respectively. After the break, that strong play continued. Despite an early three by Southern Maine's Erin McNamara, the Beacons never faltered. A jumper by Molly Rattigan (Dorchester, Mass.) cut the Huskies lead back down to eight.
Freshman Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) made it just a six-point game moments later when she nailed a 3-pointer to make it 44-38. The largest lead Southern Maine would earn in the final 20 minutes of play would top-off at 13 points.
After hitting that 13 point mark for the second time, UMass Boston would cut that lead down to eight on a 5-0 run all of which came from Morrison. Unfortunately a 3-pointer from Haley Jordan with 3:35 left on the clock proved to be the deciding basket as the Huskies held off the Beacons in the final minutes to take the win.
Women's Basketball will travel to Plymouth State University on Saturday for 1 p.m. conference game.