BOSTON, Mass.—Eastern Connecticut State University (5-10, 3-2 Little East) used a 16-2 run early in the second half to blow the game wide open and UMass Boston (10-5, 2-3 Little East) never recovered, as the Warriors downed the Beacons 70-53 Saturday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.
After an even first 25 minutes, the Warriors grabbed a 54-38 lead behind the 16-2 run and never looked back, en route to their third straight conference win.
Kristina Forsman led all scorers with 23 points for Eastern Connecticut, while sophomore forward Shannon McCourt added 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Sophomore Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) paced the Beacons with 17 points and nine rebounds, behind 7-of-10 shooting from the free throw line. Morrison added a game-high three blocks and one assist, in UMB's home conference opener.
Olivia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) added 13 points and seven rebounds, while Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) chipped in with six points and a team-high six rebounds. Point guard Andrea Suffredini (Milford, Mass.) finished with seven points and three assists, in the Beacons second-straight home loss.
Eastern Connecticut State were able to overcome the Beacons 2-3 zone all afternoon long, shooting 3-pointers over it in the first half, before knocking down open jumpers and layups in the second half against an extended 2-3 zone.
Forsman kept the Warriors in the game throughout the first half, knocking down all 5 of Eastern Connecticut's 3-pointers, on just six attempts. The sophomore guard added a free throw for her team-high 16 points in the half and her 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, gave the Warriors the lead for good at 28-26.
The Beacons combatted the Warriors 3-point shooting, with dominance inside, as UMB outscored Eastern Connecticut 16-2 in the paint in the first half.
UMass Boston's advantage in the paint wouldn't last, as Eastern Connecticut State outscored the Beacons 20-12 in the paint in the second half-using a variety of cuts and back-door screens.
After Morrison knocked down two free throws to cut the deficit to 38-36 with 15:27 to play, Forsman knocked down a three on the next possession, which sparked a 16-2 run-with 10 of the points coming in the paint.
Freshman guards Brianna Leonard and Jill Ritrosky traded layups, as the Warriors extended their lead to a then game-high 14, at 54-38 with 8:57 to play.
Eastern Connecticut State would continue to add to their lead over the final nine minutes, as the lead grew to as many as 21.
For the game, UMass Boston knocked down 33.9 percent (19-of-56) shot from the field, and 3-8 (37.5) percent of their 3-point attempts. Eastern Connecticut hit 44.6 percent (25-of-56) of their shots from the field and 6-of-14 (42.9 percent) of their shots from behind the arc.
The Beacons will travel to Gorham, Maine Tuesday night to take on the University of Southern Maine at 5:30 p.m.