BOSTON, Mass.—Three players finished with 16 points, to lead UMass Boston past Keuka College 78-69 in the semifinals of the Emerson College Tournament Saturday afternoon.
UMass Boston 78, Keuka College 69
(UMass Boston 3-0)
(Keuka College 1-1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Beacons knocked off fellow 2017-18 NCAA Tournament participant Keuka College behind a balanced scoring attack and 26 points off turnovers.
With the win, UMass Boston will take on host Emerson College on Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Championship Game of the Emerson College Tournament. The host Lions defeated Dean College 74-71 in the first game of the day at Brown & Plofker Gym.
Grassi recorded her third-straight double-double to start the year. She pulled down a season-high 15 rebounds and added three blocks and three assists.
Jackson tacked on a game-high five steals, to go along with her six rebounds and three assists.
Dixon finished an efficient 4-9 from the field with four made three-pointers and a team-high six assists.
Sophomore transfer Maya Thompson (Billerica, Mass.) was the final Beacon to finish in double-digits. She tacked on a season-high 10 points on 5-6 shooting and recorded seven rebounds and a block in 22 minutes.
Jariah Jackson led all players in scoring, as the senior guard recorded 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Wolves in both categories.
Lauren Anten added 14 points and eight rebounds for Keuka, while Sam Laranjo added 13 points and a game-high eight assists.
Saturday's contest saw six teams and 10 leads changes. Neither side was able to extend their lead to more than seven points until the five minutes of the game, when Dixon knocked down a 3-pointer to give the Beacons their largest lead of the game at 71-60.
Keuka had the slight edge for most of the first half, as they jumped out to a 13-6 lead midway through the opening quarter. UMass Boston immediately countered with a 12-0 run over the next 1:20 to take their largest lead of the first half (18-13).
Jackson and Whitney Fulton (Hamden, Conn.) each hit threes to tie the game at 13-13. After a Geanna Williams (Cromwell, Conn.) layup gave the Beacons the lead, Jackson forced a steal and converted on a 3-point play to give the Beacons an 18-13 lead.
The Wolves would retake the lead early in the second quarter and and build their advantage out to seven (29-22) just 2:18 into the stanza. Thompson and Grassi combined for a mini 5-0 run this time around and UMass Boston never let the Wolves get any breathing room the rest of the way, as Keuka took a 37-36 lead into the break.
UMass Boston used a run midway through the third quarter to grab a nine-point advantage, but the Wolves responded to send the game into the fourth at 59-57 UMass Boston.
The Beacons created some breathing room for good with a 12-2 flurry. With the Beacons leading by a single point with 8:47 left, Grassi and Thompson hit back-to-back layups and then Thompson added another basket to stretch the lead to seven. After an Anten jumper cut the lead to 65-60, Dixon hit three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to make it 71-60 with 4:27 left.
Keuka immediately responded with five-straight points, but Jackson knocked down a layup and UMass Boston hit five of six free throws in the final 61 seconds to close out the Wolves.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston forced 25 Keuka turnovers and turned them into 26 points off turnovers. The Wolves forced 18 turnovers but only scored 11 points off them.
- UMass Boston held the Wolves to 1-11 shooting from behind the arc.
- For the third-straight-game, UMass Boston outscored their opponents in the first and fourth quarter. The Beacons did outscored Keuka in the third quarter (23-20) and were only outscored 16-14 in the second.
- Saturday's meeting between the two programs was the second-ever matchup between UMass Boston and Keuka. The Wolves won the initial meeting 66-39 on November 19, 1995.
UMass Boston will look to win their first regular-season tournament since November 2015 on Sunday. The Beacons won the Maine Maritime Academy Pepsi Mariner Challenge to open up the 2015-16 season.