By Zack Downing, Staff Writer
After making it into the championship tournament and all the way to the Elite 8 last year, the Corsair’s women’s basketball team looks to continue their success in the 2017-18 season wearing a No. 18 rank.
Their first matchup was at home against Rivier College on November 17, and the team made their presence known immediately.
Senior Alicia Kutil and junior Nakira Examond combined for 18 of the team’s 23 points in the first quarter, while Rivier only scored nine.
The second quarter played even better, with UMass Dartmouth putting an impressive 29 points on the board. The Corsairs defense suffocated the Rivier Raiders, and only let them score three points in the whole second quarter. When the scoreboard showed 52-12 at halftime, the game’s result was obvious.
The second half was nearly identical to the first, with both teams doubling their points. Every single player on the team put points on the board, Examond leading with 16.
The final score was 103-24, and it was clear that the women’s team was out for more than the Elite 8 this year.
Colby College was UMass Dartmouth’s next opponent, and at the beginning of their game, it was looking like another massive blowout.
The Corsairs scored the first 13 points of the game, cut short by a Colby foul shot. The first quarter ended 19-1, and it looked like UMass Dartmouth could already chalk up another win. However, Colby wasn’t going down that easy, as they slowed down the Corsair offense to just 10 points in the second.
They continued to play tight in the third quarter, posting 14 points to the Corsairs’ 16. The score, though, was 45-22, and the deficit from the first quarter was too large to be bridged.
As the game ended, UMass Dartmouth’s offense kicked back into overdrive, scoring 23 points in the last quarter. The final score was 68-43, UMass D. Alicia Kutil lead the team with an impressive 22 points.
It was clear on the stat sheet that the Corsair women play best in the paint, as 50 of their 68 points came from two point range.
Their next matchup was at Roger Williams University, and this game proved to be competitive and close right out of the gate. The Corsairs were only up by one after the first quarter, and that lead didn’t last, thanks to the back-and-forth nature of the gameplay. Once halftime came around, the teams were tied at 29 points.
Scoring stepped up in the third quarter, with the Hawks draining three pointers as the Corsairs stuck close to the rim. UMass Dartmouth was up 52-50 once the final quarter started.
The fourth quarter was high scoring and action packed, featuring 11 lead changes. With 7 seconds left, the game was tied up at 75, and Roger Williams had the ball looking to take a buzzer beating shot.
However, the Corsairs committed a foul, and the Hawks drained both their free throws to go up 77-75. That’s the way the game ended, Roger Williams’ win. Nakira Examond led the Corsairs with 23 points.
Despite the close loss, the women’s basketball team looks as strong as they did last year, and they’re still a ranked team. The next game is at Plymouth State on December 2. If you can, come out and support the team!