BOSTON, Mass.—UMass Boston used a 28-15 fourth quarter to blow past Western Connecticut State University 66-59 in Little East Conference play Saturday afternoon at the Clark Athletic Center Gymnasium.
UMass Boston 66, Western Connecticut State 59
(UMass Boston 8-9, Little East 4-3)
(Western Connecticut State 10-7, Little East 3-4)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Kelsey, who finished with zero points in the first half, poured in all 18 of her points in the second half to lead the Beacons' comeback bid. She also added a team-high 12 rebounds, while shooting 7-of-14 from the field.
Edwards tacked on 13 points and 10 rebounds, including seven offensive boards.
Junior Grace Geary (Falmouth, Mass.) added 16 points and a team-high five assists, to help UMass Boston snap a three-game regular season losing streak against the Colonials.
Kaitlyn Labonte tried to single-handedly keep the Colonials in the game, as she finished with a game-high 20 points, including 14 in the second half. Labonte added three rebounds, three blocks, two assists and two steals.
Freshman point guard Gabrielle Hurlbert tacked on nine points, five rebounds and three assists, but also was charged with nine turnovers.
The two teams combined for an extremely sluggish start. The score was 2-2 after seven minutes and the Colonials headed into the second quarter leading 9-6.
Western Connecticut State stretched the lead out to six points early in the second quarter (12-6), only to have the Beacons grab their first lead of the game with a 9-0 run. The Colonials closed the half on a 9-5 flurry to head into the break 26-22.
The third quarter was a battle between Labonte and Kelsey. Labonte finished with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting, while Kelsey knocked down 4-of-5 shots en route to 12 points. Despite Kelsey's efforts, the Colonials stretched the lead out to 44-38.
UMass Boston finally put it all together in the fourth. The Beacons opened the quarter on a 12-0 run over the opening 2:50 to take a 55-40 lead. Katie Mathieu (Coventry, Conn.) and Edwards chipped in with a team-high four points during the stretch.
Western Connecticut State came back and tied the game at 54, 56 and 58 before the Beacons responded with one final run. With the game tied at 58 and 2:43 left, Edwards hit a go-ahead layup and Geary drained a long 3-pointer to give the Beacons the lead for good.
In the final minute of play, UMass Boston tacked on three free throws to take their largest lead of the game at seven (66-59).
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston shot 44.1 percent (26-of-59) from the field, while holding the Colonials to 31.6 percent (18-of-57). The two teams who came in as the top two 3-point shooting teams in the conference combined to hit just 9-of-32 attempts.
- The Beacons earned a huge advantage in the paint, as they outscored Western Connecticut State 34-18.
- The two teams combined for 47 fouls, with three different Beacons fouling out in the fourth quarter.
- With the win, UMass Boston earned a season-series split and improved to 13-39 all-time against the Colonials.
UMass Boston will host UMass Dartmouth on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the first matchup of the season between the intra-state rivals.