BOSTON, Mass.—Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) recorded a massive double-double and UMass Boston women's basketball (11-5, 3-3 Little East) overcame a foul-plagued second half to earn a 70-55 victory over UMass Dartmouth (9-6, 3-3 Little East) Tuesday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center.
Murphy poured in a game-high 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting and added 19 rebounds, three blocks and three steals to lead UMass Boston to their third-straight win and second-straight conference victory.
The huge game from their top scorer helped UMass Boston overcome a second half in which neither team could gain any kind of rhythm due to constant foul trouble. The referees called 29 of the total 55 fouls in half number two with both teams shooting the one-and-one by the 10:51 mark. Five total players fouled out in the game and all but two of the two team's starters were whistled for at least three fouls.
Mallory Nelson (Topsham, Maine) and Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) added eight points apiece for UMass Boston, while senior point guard Andrea Suffredini (Milford, Mass.) finished with two points, six rebounds and a game-high eight assists.
Senior forward Erika Bornemann led the visiting Corsairs with 17 points and five rebounds. The loss dropped UMass Dartmouth to 2-5 on the road, versus an impressive 7-1 mark at the Tripp Athletic Center.
Freshman Ashley Brown was the only other Corsair to finish in double-digits, as she chipped in with 12 points and a team-high six assists.
UMass Boston earned their third-straight double-digit victory behind a dominating performance inside. The Beacons recorded a 52-33 advantage on the glass, including an 18-10 edge in offensive rebounds. Murphy and UMass Boston used that big advantage to register a 19-0 edge in second-chance points and a 40-10 mark in points in the paint.
UMass Dartmouth couldn't find an answer for the Beacons' trio of Murphy, Morrison and Katrina Edwards (Springfield, Mass.) all night long, as the trio nearly combined to outrebound the entire Corsairs team (33-27).
The Beacons led for all but 42 seconds on the night, as Murphy established her presence right away. After three straight free throws gave UMB a 3-2 lead, Murphy went on an 8-0 run by herself, with four straight layups, to push the lead 11-2 with 13:31 to play in the first half.
UMass Boston's lead would stagnate for the next seven minutes before senior Shelby Buck (Greenfield, Ohio) knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead to 24-10.
The two threes seemed to spark the visiting Corsairs as they bared down and cut the deficit to 27-25 with 11 seconds to play on a Meghan Ronaghan steal and layup. With the clock winding down and the offense struggling to get in gear, Suffredini heaved a pass to Chantel Nelson (Brockton, Mass.) in the front -court and Nelson drained a three to push UMB's lead back to 30-25 just before the buzzer.
Nelson's three sparked the Beacons heading into half number two, as UMB opened the stanza on a 6-0 run and held the Corsairs scoreless for the first 5:43 of the half.
UMass Dartmouth cut the deficit to three (37-34) with 11:51 to play but Morrison and Murphy had an answer for the Beacons, as the pair combined for 12 of the Beacons' 15 points during a 15-2 run.
Morrison started the run with a layup, followed by two Murphy free throws and three more from Morrison to push the UMass Boston lead to 44-36. From there Murphy recorded a layup and converted on an and-one opportunity, before Elisa Ogawa (Yamanashi, Japan) capped off the run with a three-pointer to push the lead to 52-36 with 9:25 to play.
The Corsairs managed to get within 10 points on just one occasion the rest of the way, as UMass Boston knocked down 11-of-18 free throws in the second half.
UMass Boston's defense held the top-scoring offense in the conference to just 30 percent (18-of-60) shooting from the field and the conference's top three-point shooting team to a 5-of-19 (26.3 percent) mark from behind the arc.
The Beacons knocked down 41.7 percent (25-of-60) of their field goal attempts and hit 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) of their 3-point attempts.
UMass Boston will look for the season-sweep of Keene State College Saturday when they travel to New Hampshire at 1 p.m.