The third time was the charm for the UMass Boston women’s basketball team, who beat UMass Dartmouth for the first time this season to take home their first-ever Little East Conference Tournament crown on Saturday.
Trailing by four points with 6:10 to play in the fourth quarter, the No. 2 Beacons went on a 15-2 run to beat the No. 1 Corsairs 65-56, earning themselves an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Beacons will face the Monks of Saint Joseph's College of Maine in the first round.
"Anytime you can be the first to do something it is always remembered and a special moment for everyone involved within our campus community," Head Coach Kristina Baugh told UMass Boston This Week. "With 14 freshmen, 1 sophomore, and 3 seniors, our returners will know winning and expect to win now as well as going forward. This year's success will pay dividends for our future in the NCAA Tournament because our young roster has gained so much game experience."
Baugh says having played at UMass Dartmouth so many times this season was an advantage. She says the team stuck with the game plan of protecting from the inside out, and played with confidence.
"I knew since the first game of the season that it would be a special year," Baugh said. "Our athleticism, trust in leadership, and ability to score the ball I knew could take us far. Our come-from-behind win at MIT on December 30 was probably a turning point for me about the season and a glimpse of how special this group could be."
Freshman criminal justice major Joie Grassi, who had 26 points in Saturday’s game, was named the LEC Tournament’s most valuable player. On Monday, Grassi received her seventh LEC Rookie of the Year honor, which ties the program record.
Meanwhile, the No. 3 men’s basketball team saw their season come to a close on Friday with a 95-84 loss to No. 2 Keene State College in the semifinal round of the LEC Tournament.
Women’s Hockey Advances to New England Hockey Conference Final
The No. 2 women’s hockey team advanced to this Saturday’s New England Hockey Conference Tournament final with a 2-1 win in the semifinals over No. 3 Castleton University over the weekend. Senior Alli Bianchini of Sterling Heights, Michigan, and sophomore Bri Colucci of Lancaster, New York both scored for the Beacons.
The team will face No. 1 Norwich University in the conference finals. The winner will get an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The No. 4 men’s hockey team lost their final game of the season 6-3 to No. 1 Norwich University during the NEHC semifinals on Saturday. Senior Colin Larkin of Waterford, Michigan scored one final goal for his Beacons career, finishing the season with 24 goals.
About UMass Boston
The University of Massachusetts Boston is deeply rooted in the city's history, yet poised to address the challenges of the future. Recognized for innovative research, metropolitan Boston’s public university offers its diverse student population both an intimate learning environment and the rich experience of a great American city. UMass Boston’s 11 colleges and graduate schools serve 16,000 students while engaging local and global constituents through academic programs, research centers, and public service. To learn more, visit www.umb.edu.