KEENE, N.H.—Behind a season-best offensive performance, UMass Boston women's basketball cruised to a win in their Little East Conference season opener on Wednesday night.
UMass Boston 69, Keene State College 50
(UMass Boston 5-0, Little East 1-0)
(Keene State 2-5, Little East 0-1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
UMass Boston jumped out to a hot start and set new season-highs for field goal percentage, three-pointers made and free throw percentage, en-route to beating the host Owls.
The Beacons shot 48.1 percent from the field, including shooting over 50 percent in each of the final three quarters. They tacked on a season-high 10 made 3-pointers on just 19 attempts, and finished 9-11 (81.8 percent) at the free throw line.
Sophomore Jalani Jackson (Brockton, Mass.) played a big part in her team's offensive success. She tied her career-high with 20 points and finished the night 6-8 from the field, 6-7 from distance and 2-2 from the free throw line. Jackson tacked on five rebounds and one steal in just 25 minutes of action.
Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.) tacked on 12 points on 4-6 shooting. She hit her lone 3-point attempt and all three of her free throws, while recording six rebounds and two steals.
Tahjai Mazyck (Hamden, Conn.) was the final Beacon in double-figures. She recorded 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Lily Shlimon (17 points) and Samira Sangare (16 points) combined for 33 of the Owls' 50 points.
Jackson helped the Beacons burst out to a 14-4 lead in the opening 5:28. The point guard knocked down four of her first five 3-pointers, including 3-straight 3-pointers in a 1:04 span.
UMass Boston stretched their advantage to as many as 14 points, when Thompson hit two free throws with 1:01 to go in the quarter (18-4).
Keene State earned a slight advantage in the second quarter, as they cut the Beacons lead to 28-20 after 20 minutes.
The Beacons extended their lead out to as many as 20 points with a 10-0 run late in the third quarter. Grassi opened the run with a 3-pointer and then junior Jamie Staples (Amherst, Mass.) knocked down a layup and a three of her own. Jackson closed out the run with a pair of free throws to make it 49-29 with 2:08 to play in the quarter.
UMass Boston used one final run to put the game out of reach for good. After Keene cut the Beacons' lead to 15 at the end of the third (50-35), UMass Boston used an 11-2 spurt to take a game-high 24-point lead.
Four different players scored during the flurry, with Thompson recording the final four points to make it 61-37 with 6:23 to play.
BY THE NUMBERS
- With the win, UMass Boston has won three-straight games against Keene State for just the second-time in program history. The Owls lead the all-time series 37-13.
- Staples recorded a season-high eight points, three assists and three rebounds in the win.
- The Beacons earned a 33-24 edge in rebounds and posted a season-high 20 assists in the win.
- UMass Boston has now won back-to-back LEC openers.
- Jackson has now recorded or tied her career-high in points in three of her last four games. She's the only Beacon to have recorded 20 or more points this season, and she's done it in back-to-back games.
- Sophomore Sarah St. Surin (Norwalk, Conn.) made her season debut in the win. She recorded two rebounds in one minute, after missing the first four games due to an injury.
UMass Boston will travel to Eastern Connecticut State University on Saturday at 1 p.m. for another LEC contest.