Defense And Free-Throw Shooting Lead Women's Basketball Past WPI

Defense And Free-Throw Shooting Lead Women's Basketball Past WPI

BOSTON, Mass.—Jalani Jackson hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 28 seconds to go, to lead UMass Boston women's basketball past previously unbeaten WPI on Tuesday night at Harrington Auditorium.


UMass Boston 49, WPI 42

(UMass Boston 3-0)

(WPI 3-1)


Jackson broke a 40-40 tie with a deep 3-pointer with 28 seconds left and then added four more free throws to help ice the game.

The junior point guard led all scorers with 20 points. She went 4-10 from the field, hit three of the Beacons five 3-pointers (3-6) and went 9-10 from the free throw line. Jackson also tied for the Beacons lead with seven rebounds.

Tahjai Mazyck (Hamden, Conn.) chipped in nine points and four rebounds, while Rachel Tutkus (Braintree, Mass.) and Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.) combined for 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Melanie Presseau, Alana Keating and Spencer Vinson all finished with seven points for the hosts. Vinson also grabbed a game-high eight rebounds for WPI.

Tuesday night's game was a battle of defense and resilience. Both teams finished the game shooting under 30 percent and the two teams combined for 41 turnovers. The two teams traded the lead six times and were tied on seven occasions.

Both sides got off to an extremely slow start offensively. Tutkus recorded the Beacons first made basket of the game 6:54 into the game, to cut the visitors deficit to 6-5. The made basket sparked a Beacons run, as the Beacons closed the quarter with a 6-3 flurry to take a 9-8 lead into the first intermission.

WPI took advantage of another cold spell by the Beacons to start the second quarter. The Engineers went on a 10-0 run to grab their largest lead of the game (19-11) with 2:55 left in the half.

UMass Boston cut the deficit to 19-17 at the break, thanks to 3-pointers from Jackson and Kailee Gautier (Newark, Del.).

Jackson and the Beacons kept the momentum going out of halftime. She immediately tied the game with a layup and then Mazyck drained a three to give the Beacons their first lead in over 10 minutes of game action. After a made basket by WPI, Jackson added two free throws and Grassi poured in four points to give the Beacons their largest lead of the game (28-21 with 5:14 left in the third quarter).

WPI came back with a run of their own to cut the deficit to 30-28 after three and neither team could build any breathing room throughout the fourth quarter.

The hosts took their only lead of the quarter with 3:24 left, only for Jackson to immediately knock down a 3-pointer. She added two more free throws to open up a 40-36 lead with 1:41 left.

WPI hit one of two free throws and then tied the game on a Melanie Presseau 3-pointer with 49 seconds left.

Jackson took over from there. With the shot clock winding down, Jackson took a deep 3-pointer from the right wing to give the Beacons a 43-40 lead.

Jamie Staples (Amherst, Mass.) and Jackson combined to hit all six of their free throws to close out the game.


  • UMass Boston struggled from the field, shooting just 25.5 percent (12-47) from the field and 5-20 (25 percent) from distance. The Beacons made up for it by going 20-24 (83.3 percent) from the free throw line. On the other side, WPI hit just 8-18 (44.4 percent) of their free throw attempts.
  • The Beacons earned a 45-32 edge in rebounds.
  • With the win, UMass Boston improved to 3-0 all-time against WPI. Last season, the Beacons earned a 46-43 road win over the Engineers.
  • In two games this season, Jackson is averaging 26 points per game.
  • UMass Boston is 3-0 under head coach Kristina Baugh for the third time in five years.


UMass Boston will return home to host Emmanuel College on Saturday at Noon for their home opener. Prior to Saturday's contest, the Beacons will honor alum Stephanie Bogues ('89) for her induction into the Little East Conference Hall of Fame.