Nov. 16, 2008
BOSTON, MA - Freshman guard Donika Rexhepi (White Plains, NY) netted a career-high 21 points to lead the City College of New York women's basketball team over host University of Massachusetts Boston, 60-56, to capture the 2008 UMass Boston Tip-off Classic championship today at the Clark Athletic Center on the UMass Boston campus. The Beacons fall to 1-1 on the season, while the Beavers improve to 2-0.
UMass Boston owned a 53-47 lead with 3:52 left in the game, before CCNY went on an 8-2 run to knot the game at 55-55 with 1:40 remaining. Sophomore guard Norma Cumbee (Malden, MA) converted the front end of a pair of free throws to give the Beacons a 56-55 edge with 1:33 showing in the second half, but sophomore center Ashley Straughn (Freeport, NY) made a lay-up with one minute to go in the game to give the Beavers the lead for good at 57-56. CCNY held UMass Boston scoreless for the final 93 seconds as it came away with the title.
The Beavers raced out to a 15-5 lead with 13:04 to play in the first half to open the contest, fueled by five points from Rexhepi. The Beacons responded with a 17-4 outburst, behind five points from sophomore guard Stephanie Vasquez (Salem, MA), to take a 22-19 margin with 6:19 remaining in the initial stanza. UMass Boston held onto the lead going into the intermission at 24-23.
Junior guard Rynae Rasley (Chander, AZ) drained a jump shot 30 seconds into the second half to give CCNY a 25-24 edge as the teams traded the lead four times before being deadlocked at 38-38 with 10:20 on the second half clock. The Beacons outscored the Beavers, 13-7 over the next five minutes, capped by a three-pointer from Vasquez to give them a 51-45 lead with 5:12 to go in the game.
Rexhepi, who was selected to the All-Tournament Team for CCNY, grabbed seven rebounds to add to her day, while sophomore guard and Tournament Most Valuable Player Anika Rivera (Bronx, MA) netted 16 points to go with a game-high eight steals and five assists in addition to five rebounds. Straughn finished the afternoon with a double-double of 10 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot in 27 minutes of action.
Sophomore forward Sharmayne Sturgis (Cambridge, MA) posted her first career double-double of 15 points and 10 boards to lead the Beacons to go with two steals and a block, while Vasquez netted 10 points, pulled down three rebounds, made two steals and dished for two assists. Sophomore forward Cammy Brown (Malden, MA) just missed a double-double with 13 points and nine rebounds and added a steal, an assist and a blocked shot.
The 2008 UMass Boston Tip-Off Classic All-Tournament Team Clara Yuan, G - MIT (14.0 ppg., 3.5 rpg., 1.5 apg., 0.5 spg., 10-33 FG, 6-6 FT) Christine Tucker, G - Eastern Nazarene (21.5 ppg., 6.0 rpg., 3.0 apg., 2.0 spg., 0.5 bpg., 15-43 FG, 11-17 FT) Donkia Rexhepi, G - City College of New York (18.0 ppg., 6.0 rpg., 0.5 apg, 1.0 spg., 12-33 FG, 7-21 3PT FG, 5-8 FT) Norma Cumbee, G - UMass Boston (9.0 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 4.5 apg., 1.0 spg., 1.0 bpg., 6-20 FG, 2-5 3PT FG, 4-6 FT) Evyn Gregory-Stewart, G/F - UMass Boston (13.0 ppg., 8.0 rpg., 2.0 apg., 1.5 spg., 1.0 bpg., 9-20 FG, 6-12 3PT FG, 2-2 FT) Tournament MVP: Anika Rivera, G - City College of NY (17.0 ppg., 4.0 rpg., 3.5 apg., 5.5 spg., 11-30 FG, 11-15 FT)
UMass Boston will be in action again when it travels to Jersey City, NJ to take on New Jersey City University in the first round of the Gothic Knight Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday, November 22 at 4:00 p.m., while the Beavers head to Newark, NJ to play Rutgers-Newark on Tuesday, November 25 at 5:30 p.m.