BOSTON, Mass. – Led by Olivia Murphy's (Canton, Mass.) team-high 18 points the Colonials of Western Connecticut State University handed women's basketball their fourth straight loss, third in conference play, as they defeated the Beacons by the final of 71-62 Saturday afternoon in the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium in a Little East Conference match-up.
Saturday's loss drops the Beacons record to 10-7 overall, 2-5 in the conference, while the Colonials, who are currently tied for second in the LEC, improved to 12-5 on the year, 5-2 in the conference.
Murphy's team-leading performance was the result of 6-of-14 shooting from the floor and a 5-for-6 showing at the line. She was also one of four Colonials, three of which were starters to finish in double-figures.
The freshman forward led the afternoon with her 23 points and nine rebounds. From the floor the four-time LEC Rookie of the Week was 11-for-20 and 1-for-5 at the line. On the glass three of her nine boards were on the offensive side of the floor. Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) closed out the afternoon with 16 points and matched the game-high nine rebounds. The sophomore center was 8-for-13 and also finished with three offensive boards.
Despite the loss, UMass actually led the contest from floor shooting 44.3% (27-for-61) on the day, while the Colonials finished shooting 41.9% (26-for-62). Both teams were dangerous from behind the arc, but it was WCSU who won the battle of the long ball as they closed out the day 10-for-25. The Beacons were 5-for-15 overall, with three of those baskets coming from sophomore Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.).
The Colonials wasted little time taking control of the match-up as they jumped out to a double-figure lead in the first six minutes of play (17-6). They would then keep a solid lead over the Beacons throughout the first half, and would eventually close out the first 20 minutes with an eight point lead (33-25).
After the break, the Colonials continued to hit their shots and used another quick burst to completely take control of the game. Despite taking their largest lead of the afternoon, UMass dug deep and began to chip away at WCSU's lead, with a huge push from Perra's and Meghan Agger's (Saco, Maine) 3-pointers. Perra closed out the final with nine points, while Agger dropped in six. Murphy led the final 20 minutes of play with 13 points and helped to lead the Beacons in the paint, along with Morrison and Brittany Moore (Billerica, Mass.). Unfortunately there was not enough time to complete the Beacons late run, which cut the Colonial's lead down to nine.
Women's Basketball returns to action on Tuesday when they host UMass Dartmouth at 5:30 p.m.