DANBURY, Conn.—Behind a near triple-double from Jalani Jackson (Brockton, Mass.) and important contributions across the board, UMass Boston women's basketball earned a huge, road conference win over host Western Connecticut State University on Saturday afternoon.
UMass Boston 83, Western Connecticut State 76
(UMass Boston 7-1, Little East 3-1)
(Western Connecticut State U. 4-5, Little East 0-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Jackson led the Beacons' furious third-quarter comeback, as the sophomore point guard recorded 12 of her career-high 21 points in the third quarter. For the game, Jackson finished with a game-high 21 points on 6-11 shooting. She also added a career-high nine rebounds and tacked on seven assists and three steals.
Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.) tacked on 17 points on an efficient 5-6 shooting, to go along with eight rebounds and three blocks.
Tahjai Mazyck (Hamden, Conn.) chipped in with 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Geanna Williams (Cromwell, Conn.) was the final Beacon in double-figures, as she recorded 11 points, five rebounds and four blocks.
Western's leading scorer Jancy Sherwood poured in 17 points, but finished just 6-20 from the field. Genesis Torres added 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and six steals and Hannah Maghini notched 10 points in 10 minutes off the bench.
Saturday's game saw the momentum shift several times, with both teams seeing double-digit leads slip away.
UMass Boston controlled much of the first half against the Colonials. The Beacons jumped out to an early lead on a Meg Dixon (Hanover, Mass.) three-pointer and never trailed in the first quarter.
After going into the first break leading 15-13, the Beacons built a 10-point lead just past the midway mark of the second quarter. UMass Boston used an 8-0 run to stretch their lead to 34-24 with 3:47 to play in the half. Jackson and Williams each contributed three points during the stretch, with Alecia Quinones (Stoughton, Mass.) adding the first two points.
Western immediately countered with a 9-2 run and managed to go into the break tied at 39 after Sherwood hit a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left in the half.
The Colonials took their first lead of the game on a Sherwood three to open the second half and used a 9-1 run late in the quarter to grab a 10-point lead (64-54 with 2:27 left).
Torres connected on a 3-point play during the flurry and Frances Snyder added a 3-pointer to give the hosts their largest lead of the game.
UMass Boston immediately countered with a 9-0 flurry to end the quarter-with Jackson scoring seven points. The sophomore knocked down a layup, hit a 3-pointer after a pair of offensive rebounds and then hit a layup off a Yodelis Paulino (Lowell, Mass.) assist. Paulino cut the deficit to one, when she hit a jump shot off a Mazyck pass with under 10 seconds left in the quarter.
Western Connecticut State built their lead out to five points on two occasions early in the fourth quarter, only to see UMass Boston take control midway through the stanza.
Paulino tied the game at 72 with a free throw and Williams knocked down a pair of free throws with 5:58 to give UMass Boston their first lead in over 10 minutes. After Sherwood tied the game with a jumper, Paulino responded with a basket of her own to give UMass Boston a 76-74 lead with 3:50 left.
Neither team would score again for over two minutes, with Grassi breaking the drought with two free throws with 90 seconds to play. After two more empty possessions for the hosts, Jackson found Williams for a layup to stretch the Beacons lead to 80-74 with 46 seconds left.
Jackson and Mazyck combined to hit three of four free throws in the final 20 seconds to close out the conference win.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Paulino more than doubled her career-high in points with nine points in 17 minutes off the bench. She finished 4-6 from the field and added seven rebounds and two assists.
- The Beacons shot 45.2 percent (28-62) from the field, 6-12 from distance (50%) and hit a season-high 21 free throws (21-28, 75 percent).
- Despite turning the ball over a season-high 29 times, UMass Boston earned a 27-22 edge in points off turnovers.
- The Beacons earned a 21-7 edge from the free throw line. The Colonials were limited to just 11 free throws on the afternoon.
- Saturday's game marked the first time this season UMass Boston had eclipsed the 80-point mark. 10 of the 11 players who appeared for the Beacons scored, including all six bench players.
- Jackson is averaging 18 points on 57.1 percent shooting from the field in three conference games this season.
- With the win, UMass Boston earned their first-ever, four-game winning streak against the Colonials. The Beacons are now 16-40 all-time against Western Connecticut State.
UMass Boston will host Johnson & Wales University (R.I.) on Thursday night at 5:30 p.m. in their final game before finals period. The Beacons will be hosting an "Ugly Sweater" night, with the wearer of the best sweater winning a prize.