By Zack Downing, Staff Writer
The UMass Dartmouth women’s basketball team came into Regis College on January 31 riding a remarkable hot streak, winning 9 of their last 10 and sporting a 16-3 overall record.
They faced the Regis Pride, a team on a 9 game win streak of their own, who wanted nothing more than to knock the Corsairs out of their streak. As the game began, the Pride looked poised to do just that.
They opened the game with consistent shooting and skilled passing, pulling out into a lead that they would keep the whole first half.
The Corsairs didn’t let it phase them, as in the second quarter they strung together a 12-0 run to catch right back up before halftime.
The momentum kept turning in the second half, and with 6 minutes left UMass was up by 11. This time it was Regis’s turn to fight back, and they pulled together an 8-0 run of their own.
The last couple minutes were foul-heavy, and following a series of free throws, Regis was up by three points with 16 seconds left.
The possession turned to the Corsairs, and senior Rachel McCarron saved the day by nailing a three pointer with 8 seconds left to tie the game at 72.
Regis had one more chance to snatch the win, but a last-second layup was denied by Alicia Kutil, who had the most points in the game at 25.
The game went into overtime, and that was when the Corsairs caught fire. Kutil scored 5 points right off the bat, and UMass continued to pull away.
The final score was 86-77, with the Corsairs on top.
Next on the Corsairs’ chopping block was the Western Connecticut Colonials, facing them on their home turf.
This time, UMass started the game aggressively and never looked back. It only took a few minutes for them to pull out to a 14-2 lead, with a tough defense and accurate shooting. By the end of the first quarter, the Corsairs had scored a very impressive 25 points.
The second quarter wasn’t so easy, however, as the Colonials strengthened their defense and kept their scoring up. Halftime arrived with only a 35-30 lead for the away team.
However, momentum shifted again at the start of the second half, with the Corsairs bursting out of the gate with a 9-0 run. They played the third quarter proudly, building their double digit lead back up and heading into the final quarter with a lot of room to spare.
They ended up needing that room, though, because in the fourth quarter Western Connecticut struck back. The Corsairs took more than 4 minutes to score their first shot, and the Colonials kept whittling down their deficit.
Right before the game ended, the Corsairs got their groove back and stretched further ahead with several free throws and good shooting from sophomore Nakira Examond.
48 percent shooting and a strong defensive game kept the Colonials down, and the team is looking better than ever.
The final score was 66-56, and the UMass Dartmouth Corsairs are on a 7-game winning streak and boast one of the best records in the division at 18-3.
Their next home game is Eastern Connecticut on Saturday at 1:00. Come out and support the team!