PAWTUCKET, R.I.—UMass Boston women's basketball sophomores Jalani Jackson (Brockton, Mass.) and Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.) both earned spots on the Little East Conference First Team All-Conference Team, the league office announced Tuesday afternoon.
The Beacons were the only team to put two players on the LEC First Team and accomplished the feat for just the third time in program history (14-15 and 17-18). UMass Boston tied the University of Southern Maine for second in the conference with their two All-Conference honorees.
Jackson picks up her first career All-Conference honors after morphing into a leader for the Beacons on and off the floor. The sophomore point guard paced the Beacons with her 14.4 points and 2.8 assists per game. She also led all of Division III with her 51.6 3-point field goal percentage and ranked second in the Little East Conference with her 82.6 percent mark from the free throw line. Jackson finished the season with 3.4 rebounds per game, an assist-to-turnover rate of 1.2 and finished tied with Grassi for second on the team with her 1.5 steals per game.
She appeared in 25 of 26 games for the Beacons this season and finished second on the team with her 30.9 minutes per game. Jackson posted double-digit points in 21 of 25 games and recorded 20 or more points on six occasions. She was named the Emerson College Tournament Most Valuable Player after recording 20 points in back-to-back games and knocking down 14 of 17 shots (82.3 percent). Jackson put together her most complete game of the season on December 8, when she posted a line of 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in a conference win over Western Connecticut State University. She recorded a career-high 23 points in wins over Emmanuel College and the University of Southern Maine.
Grassi becomes only the sixth-player in program history to be named to the LEC First Team twice and the first to do it in her first two seasons. Olivia Murphy ('16), the program's all-time leading scorer, is the only player in program history to earn First Team All-Conference honors three times.
The Beacons sophomore forward put together another solid all-around season, as she ranked in the top eight in the Little East Conference in points per game (12.7), rebounds per game (7.4), blocks per game (1.8), three-point field goal percentage (36.4 percent) and free throw percentage (74.8 percent). She finished second in the conference in both blocks and 3-point field goal percentage. Grassi played and started in all 26 games for the Beacons and finished third on the team with her 30.8 minutes per game.
Grassi recorded double-digit points 19 times and finished with five double-doubles. She came up huge in the Beacons conference win over Castleton, when she recorded 20 points and tacked on five rebounds, two assists and two steals in a comeback overtime win. A month later, Grassi put together a monster double-double of 25 points (12-13 free throws), 14 rebounds and six blocks to help UMass Boston defeated LEC Regular-Season Champion UMass Dartmouth on the Corsairs' home floor. She enters her junior season needing just 214 points to become the ninth player in program history to record 1,000 career points.