DARTMOUTH, Mass. – A cold-blooded three-pointer by UMass Boston sophomore Jalani Jackson (Brockton, Mass.) with 3.9 seconds remaining in regulation sealed the Beacons' 75-72 victory over the Corsairs at the Tripp Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon. Four visitors registered double-figure scoring performances to help UMass Boston put an end to UMass Dartmouth's string of 19 straight regular season Little East Conference triumphs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
UMass Boston 75, UMass Dartmouth 72
(UMass Boston 10-3, Little East 4-1)
(UMass Dartmouth 10-3, Little East 3-1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Corsair senior Nakira Examond clinched her eighth double-double of the year by the end of the third quarter, getting to 15 and 10 in 23 minutes. She concluded the afternoon with 21 points and 15 boards, corralling a season-high 10 on offense. Submitting an all-around effort for the Beacons was sophomore Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.), going for 25 points, 14 caroms, six blocks, and three steals.
Grassi picked up right where she last left off on the South Coast, leading the charge out of the gate with 10 points in the opening quarter. The second-year shooter knocked down both of the Beacons' trifectas, while also swatting a pair of shots on defense. Jackson assisted on three of their seven field goals in the first, facilitating the movement early and often.
Down 22-14 with 1:43 to go, UMass Dartmouth freshman Shaelyn Carreiro spun off the right block and twirled the floater up and in with her off hand. Sophomore Lauren Empey added four more ahead of junior Ashley Brown's pair of free throws, tying things up at 22 apiece after 10 minutes of action.
Boston's frontcourt presence was felt between Grassi and junior Alecia Quinones (Stoughton, Mass.), who collected 17 and 10 points, respectively, at the intermission. The Beacons stroked it well from the stripe to stay atop the Blue and Gold as the visitors went eight of nine in the second, securing a 39-38 advantage.
The margin stood at six in favor of UMass Boston with 90 seconds on the third quarter clock before Corsair freshman Jordan Moretti came up clutch on defense; first, scooping up a loose ball on the right side for the uncontested bucket, before picking Jackson's pocket on the far side for a lefty layup to make it a two-point affair. In the final ticks of the stanza, senior Jess Korzec set up Examond on the baseline for the timely score to bring UMass Dartmouth within one (56-55).
Momentum began to swing the Corsairs' way early in the fourth after an offensive foul call on Grassi that preceded back-to-back corner three's by sophomore Meagan Donovan for a 63-58 UMass Dartmouth lead. UMass Boston would remain right in the battle, however, as it re-took the advantage on sophomore Geanna Williams' (Cromwell, Conn.) bunny (68-67).
Jackson and Examond traded layups to bring the contest to a deadlock at 70 until Blue and Gold senior Danyel Gonzalez split a pair of free throws. Grassi was later fouled with under a minute left, making good on her shots as the squad was in the bonus. On the Corsair end, Examond grabbed three consecutive offensive boards on missed layups to earn a trip to the line where she knotted the affair back up at 72.
With the shot clock evaporating and the ball inbounded to Jackson's hands on the right wing with three seconds on the shot clock, the sophomore guard swished a contested, three-pointer for a 75-72 lead with 3.9 remaining on the game clock.
Out of UMass Dartmouth's final timeout to advance the ball up court, Moretti inbounded to an open Brown in the corner just in front of the Corsair bench but had her game-tying bid rattle out at the horn.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Saturday's game was a rematch of the 2018 Little East Conference Championship Game. The second-seeded Beacon defeated the top-seeded Corsairs 65-56 at the Tripp Athletic Center.
- Grassi's free throw shooting was key in the squad's win, going 12-13.
- UMass Boston shot 63.6% in the final quarter (7-11) to help finish the day 43.1% overall (25-58) to the Blue and Gold's 38.4% efficiency (28-73).
- UMass Boston has handed UMass Dartmouth their only two losses against LEC foes the past two seasons. UMass Dartmouth went 15-0 last year before losing to the Beacons in the Title Game and were 3-0 prior to today's contest.
- Jackson and Tahjai Mazyck (Hamden, Conn.) both finished with 15 points and combined to shoot 12-25 with nine assists and six steals. Williams added eight points off the bench.
UMass Boston will have their first LEC bye of the season on Tuesday. The Beacons will instead step out of conference, when they travel to city rival Emmanuel College at 5:30 p.m.
Parts of This Release Courtesy of UMass Dartmouth Sports Information Department