November 26, 2013

Olivia Murphy's Big Night Leads Women's Basketball Past Fitchburg State 59-47

FITCHBURG, Mass.—Behind a season-high 26 points and 16 rebounds from sophomore Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.), UMass Boston (3-1) earned their second-straight win over Fitchburg State University (2-2) 59-47 Tuesday night.

Murphy poured in the second-most points in her career on 10-of-26 shooting and pulled down six of the team's season-high 21 offensive rebounds. The reigning Little East Conference Rookie of the Year registered her third double-double in four games to help the Beacons earn their first two-game winning streak of the season.

Junior point guard Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) finished second on the team with eight points, while senior point guard Andrea Suffredini (Milford, Mass.) added seven points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Freshman Mallory Nelson (Topsham, Maine) added five points and five rebounds in her first collegiate start.

Megan Wodzinski and Britney Payne each recorded 12 points to lead the host Falcons.

The Beacons led for all but 30 seconds in the contest and pushed their lead to as many as 20 points, in defeating the Falcons for the second-straight season at the Fitchburg State Recreation Center.

After falling behind 3-2 less than two minutes in, Nelson put the Beacons ahead for good with a layup at 17:28 and UMass Boston never looked back. 

Wodzinski tied the game at 10-10 with a three-pointer three minutes later, but the Beacons went on a 21-5 run from there, getting baskets from five different players, including junior Kirsten Morrison's (North Reading, Mass.) first basket of the year. Morrison was making her season-debut for the Beacons, after missing the first three games of the season due to the #22 UMass Boston volleyball team's NCAA Tournament run, and finished with two points and eight rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench. 

The Beacons would keep a comfortable double-digit lead throughout the majority of the second half, until a late Falcons run cut the deficit to as few as eight with less than two minutes to play.

Perra and Suffredini put the game away though, as the two guard each knocked down a pair of free throws to lift the Beacons to a 59-47 win.

Despite struggling shooting the ball all night, UMass Boston dominated the Falcons on the boards (55-43) and owned an impressive 19-3 advantage in second-chance points. 

UMass Boston will host Mount Ida College Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. in the Beacons' home-opener at the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.