January 26, 2013

Women's Basketball Pounds Keene State for Conference Win

BOSTON, Mass. – After a very close first half, women's basketball (12-7, 4-5 Little East) used an impressive 50.0% shooting from the floor to blow past Keene State College (7-12, 2-7 Little East) to earn the program's first regular season sweep of the Owls following their 69-48 Little East Conference win Saturday afternoon in the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium. 

The Beacons who dominated the Owls from start to finish in the second half were 12-for-24 from the field and 5-for-7 from 3-point range.  Defensively UMB was just as solid as they held Keene State to mere 16.0% shooting over the final 20 minutes of play. 

Sophomore Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) and freshman forward Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) contributed greatly to the Beacons breakout second half as they both dropped in 10 points.  Murphy's three blocks capped off a career-best six block day for the Canton native.  Perra ended the afternoon with a season-high 18 points on her 5-of-14 shooting, with all five field goals coming from 3-point range.  The Taunton was also 3-for-6 at the line and handed out an impressive seven assists.

For Murphy she ended the contest with 14 points to match sophomore center Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.).  The Beacons one-two punch also combined for 17 rebounds and two steals respectively.  Off the bench long distance shooter Meghan Agger (Saco, Maine) finished with nine points, and also had eight boards, which was a career high for the freshman. 

Keene State saw Siobhan Carnell finish with a game-high 20 points on 6-of-19 shooting, 8-for-11 at the line.  Kelsey Cognetta was the only other Owl to finish in double-figures as she ended the day with 10 points.

On the day, the Beacons shot 42.9% (21-for-49) and a season-high 58.8% (10-for-17) from behind the arc.  They also dominated the glass outrebounding the Owls 42-34.  With Saturday's win, the Beacons cap off an impressive 2-0 week as they continue to climb the conference standings.  To date UMB sits sixth in the Little East, with the conference tournament just a few short weeks away.

After holding a 29-28 advantage at halftime, UMB came out firing the second half with Perra dropping in the Beacons first six points all of which came off of deep three's.  Keene State did manage to keep it somewhat close, but with a 15-0 run over a four minute span the Beacons took complete control of the contest.  Ryanne Williams stopped the bleeding momentarily with a lay-up to make it 50-33, but that was not enough to spark any type of offense from the Owls. 

UMass continued to pour on the points and eventually pushed their lead to 18, following a free throw from Andrea Suffredini.  Even with the large lead in their favor the Beacons were not done yet as they still had over seven minutes left in the contest.

Their consistent offense coupled with tremendous stops on defense, allowed UMB to pushed their lead to 25 points a total of three times.  Perra gave the Beacons their largest lead of the day first after she nailed her final three, followed by Murphy after she went 2-for-2 at the line, and finally Agger after she dropped in the Beacons final three pointer.

Women's Basketball will get a much needed week off and return to action next Saturday when they host Rhode Island College at 1 p.m.