KEENE, N.H.—Behind 55 combined points from Teresa Pina (Boston, Mass.), Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) and Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) UMass Boston (6-2, 1-1 Little East Conference) earned their first conference win of the season Saturday afternoon in a 70-60 victory over Keene State College (3-5, 0-2 LEC) at the Spaulding Gym.
Keene State won all three games against UMass Boston last season including a win in the Little East Conference Quarterfinals. The Owls also held a 31-4 edge in the all-time series coming in, but Pina, Morrison and Perra wouldn't let history get in their way.
Pina finished with a season-high and game-high 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting and a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe to help UMB break a four-game losing streak against the Owls.. The senior guard added six rebounds and three steals in the win.
Morrison added 18 points and 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. The sophomore forward knocked down 7-of-14 shots and chipped in two steals and two blocks.
Rounding out the big three, Perra had her best game of the season as well, finishing with 15 points and a team-high five assists. After failing to reach double-digit points in each of the team's first seven games, she knocked down three 3-pointers and hit 6-of-7 shots from the free throw line.
Sophomore Christan Wotjas led the Owls with 16 points, while Laurie Allen added 14 points.
The Beacons jumped out to an 11-5 lead before the first timeout behind six points from Pina.
Keene State grabbed the lead right back at 12:52 with a 9-2 run and would hold on to a slim lead over the next 10 minutes.
The Beacons finally took the lead back with just under two minutes to go, when Agger nailed a 3-pointer to make it 32-31. A Perra three pushed the lead to 35-31 but Keene State closed the deficit to 35-33 going into the break with a Rachael Brucks layup.
UMass Boston came out of halftime red-hot with a 10-2 start to grab a 45-35 lead at 15:43. The Beacons got layups from Pina, Murphy and Morrison and Perra added four free throws, including three straight after being fouled in the act of taking a three by Wotjas.
Carly Kiernan and the Owls quickly struck back with a 6-0 run to cut the Beacons lead to 45-41 with 11:29 to play; but the Beacons had one more big run in them. UMass Boston used an 11-5 run to extend the lead back to 10 with 6:12 left.
While the Owls were able to cut the deficit to as few as seven on three occasions, UMass Boston kept Keene State at bay by knocking down 8-of-10 free throws in the final minutes.
For the game, UMass Boston knocked down 21-of-25 free throws for 84 percent. From the field, the Beacons hit 41 percent (22-of-54) of their shots and tied their season-high with five threes. Keene State knocked down 37 percent (23-of-63) of their field goal attempts and 6-of-21 (29 percent) 3-pointers.
UMass Boston will finish off their fall schedule Tuesday when they host Westfield State University at 5:30 p.m.