Big Fourth-Quarter Leads Women's Basketball Past USM In LEC Opener

Big Fourth-Quarter Leads Women's Basketball Past USM In LEC Opener

BOSTON, Mass.—UMass Boston women's basketball outscored the University of Southern Maine 25-13 in the fourth quarter, to earn a 77-65 win in their Little East Conference opener. 

THE BASICS

UMass Boston 77, University of Southern Maine 65

(UMass Boston 6-0, Little East Conference 1-0)
(University of Southern Maine 4-5, Little East Conference 0-2) 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Beacons blew open a tied game in the final 10 minutes by shooting 60% (9-15) in the 4th quarter and forcing seven turnovers. 

Junior Tahjai Mazyck (Hamden, Conn.) kept the Beacons in the game in the first and third quarters, by going off for a career-high 27 points. She shot 10-15 from the field, hit a career-high four 3-pointers (4-5) and hit all three of her free throws. She nearly tied her season-high for points in the first quarter alone, by scoring 15 of the team's 18 points. 

Joie Grassi (Plymouth, Mass.) tacked on a double-double of 15 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Jalani Jackson (Brockton, Mass.) chipped in 14 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. 

Rachel Tutkus (Braintree, Mass.) was the MVP for the Beacons in the fourth quarter. The sophomore forward scored six of her 11 points in the fourth and came up with numerous defensive and hustle plays. She recorded 12 rebounds, seven on the offensive side, and added five steals and three assists.

Southern Maine senior Jackie Luckhardt paced the Huskies with 21 points, five steals and three rebounds. 

Kristen Curley chipped in 17 points and Victoria Harris recorded 12 points and nine rebounds. 

Very little separated the teams for the first 30 minutes, with the two sides combining for eight ties and five lead changes. 

Southern Maine got off to a strong start in the first quarter and built a 13-6 lead by the midway point of the quarter. 

The Beacons got right back into the game thanks to Mazyck. The junior hit three 3-pointers to cut the deficit to one and went into the second quarter trailing 20-18. 

UMass Boston built their biggest lead through the first three quarters midway through the second, when they took a 26-22 lead on freshman Kaylee Haynes (Bridgewater, Mass.) first career point. Southern Maine answered back with an 8-2 run and took a 37-34 lead into halftime.

Neither side could take a lead of larger than four in the third quarter, with Mazyck hitting a late 3-pointer to tie the game at 52-52 after 30 quarters. 

UMass Boston came out firing to start the fourth quarter. Grassi hit a 3-pointer to give the Beacons the lead on the first possession of the quarter to spark a 7-0 run. Grassi found Kailee Gautier (Newark, Del.) for a layup and Gautier returned the favor to make it 59-52 Beacons with 7:43 to play. 

Southern Maine chipped the deficit down to three (61-58) with 5:23 to play, before the Beacons used a 9-0 run to put the game away. Grassi and Tutkus combined for all nine points and added two steals, one rebound and one assist. 

BY THE NUMBERS

  • With the win, UMass Boston tied the program record for most wins to start a season. The 2015-16 team also started the season 6-0. 
  • Mazyck has recorded a new season-high in each of her past two games. Her previous career-high was 20 points, which she recorded on December 1, 2018 against Eastern Connecticut State University.
  • UMass Boston shot 43.9 percent (29-66) from the field, 6-18 (33.3 percent) from distance and 61.9% percent (13-21) from the free throw line. 
  • Wednesday night's win marked UMass Boston's second-ever win over Southern Maine at home. The Beacons have won eight of the past 11 meetings against the Huskies. 
  • Sarah St. Surin (Norwalk, Conn.) played a season-high nine minutes and recorded five rebounds (two offensive), one steal and one block. 
  • UMass Boston recorded a 42-30 edge in points in the paint and a 24-16 lead in points off turnovers. 
  • Mazyck entered Wednesday's game with four made 3-pointers in 14 career attempts. She doubled her career totals for made 3-pointers on just five attempts. 

WHO'S NEXT  

 UMass Boston will look to set the program record for wins to start a season, when they travel to Keene State College on Saturday at 1 p.m.