No. 4 seeded Warriors will host No. 5 seed RIC Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
By Jonathan Mizger/Sports Information Staff
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- The Eastern Connecticut State University women's basketball team could not come back from a nine-point halftime deficit as the University of Massachusetts Boston held on to the victory and split the Little East Conference season series 59-47 Saturday afternoon at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium on the final day of the regular season.
In a two-game split with UMass Boston this year, Shannon McCourt (above) had 38 points and 20 rebounds. (Photo by Jennifer Catone).
Six-foot freshman Olivia Murphy, a top candidate for LEC Rookie-of-the-Year honors, scored 14 points of the bench in 26 minutes as UMass Boston (14-11, 6-8 Little East) won for only the second time in its final six regular-season games. Eastern (10-15), 8-6 Little East) had won three of its last four and five of its last seven entering play.
The outcome of the game did not affect UMass Boston's No. 6 LEC tournament seed nor did it affect Eastern's guarantee of hosting a first-round LEC tournament game Tuesday. With a win, Eastern could have nailed down the No. 3 seed, but instead will be the No. 4 seed and will host fifth-seeded Rhode Island College at 5:30 p.m. UMass will visit third-seeded Massachusetts Dartmouth Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
The Warriors never led after eight minutes and four seconds left in the first half as they were tied with the Beacons 16-16.
The Warriors had to play comeback kids from being down 29-20 at halftime. Foul trouble, missed opportunities on offensive rebounds, and turnovers sealed the Warriors from getting past the Beacons, who rebounded from an earlier 17-point home loss to Eastern.
Sophomore forward Shannon McCourt (New Fairfield) of the Warriors recorded 18 points, shooting 7-12 from the field, 4-7 from free throws before fouling out with 4:51 left in the game; she had one personal foul in the first half and four personal fouls in the second half.
Freshman forward Brianna Leonard (Amherst, MA) of the Warriors posted ten points with four assists, five rebounds, and seven turnovers.
Up 39-26 with 16:09 left in the game, the Beacons outplayed the Warriors with fast break points off turnovers, rebounding, and their depth.
UMass-Boston had 11 steals and scored 16 points off turnovers. The Beacons are second in steals in the LEC averaging 10.1 per game. The Warriors recorded five steals against the Beacons and are in eighth in steals in the LEC averaging 6.3 per game.
The bench play by the Beacons was unstoppable. UMass-Boston's bench players scored 30 points to Eastern Connecticut State's three points. Murphy shot 6-12 from the field, 2-6 from free throws, and 6 rebounds.
UMass Boston leads the LEC in offensive rebounds, Eastern ranking sixth. In the game, the Beacons outrebounded the Warriors offensively, 24-14, which led to 18 second chance points by the Beacons over 12 second chance points over the Warriors.
On Senior Day, post player Jaymie Sommers (Voluntown) of the Warriors was inserted with 1:09 left in the game, recording a defensive rebound. Sommers was honored by the team at the end of the game.
UMass-Boston's senior Teresa Pina recorded three points, ten rebounds, two assists and two steals.