By Staff Writer Sara Vasquez
This past Friday, UMass Dartmouth women’s basketball opened its season with an overtime win against the MIT Engineers.
After a close game of back-and-forth, including eleven different ties, eight lead changes, and a 33-point comeback in the fourth quarter, the Corsairs snuck away with victory at a final score of 87-86.
The Corsairs set their pace early and climbed to a strong four-point lead in the first quarter. However, the Engineers, resurging in the second and third quarters, outshot UMassD by 15 points through the middle of regulation. The Corsairs trailed by 11 by the start of the fourth.
UMassD fortunately managed a last-minute comeback, nearly doubling their quarterly scoring output to put up 33 in the fourth quarter and tie the game. Regulation ended in a tie, forcing an overtime period.
Even in overtime, action between the Corsairs and the Engineers was a neck-and-neck nail-biter. The two teams exchanged leads four times, culminating in a pair of Ashley Brown free throws that would create and maintain a one-point lead until time expired. On that tiny one-point lead, the Corsair defense endured six grueling minutes of Engineer shot attempts, holding MIT scoreless until the end of the game. That 12-point overtime period, while too close for comfort, was enough for the Corsairs to secure the win.
Brown, a UMassD senior and Corsair co-captain, had herself a career-defining outing against MIT. Her accolades, which include leading the team in points scored (at 25), rebounds (at 9), and assists (at 9) on the evening, were the Corsairs’ x-factor that lead the team to victory. Ashley Brown’s amazing performance in Friday’s game awarded her the title of Little East Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week.
The Corsairs’ main strength on display against MIT was efficiency in scoring opportunities. Despite trailing in terms of rebounds and turnovers, when the Corsairs did have possession, they turned it into points. Boasting a 71.4% free throw accuracy, as opposed to the Engineers’ 64% in the paint, consistency led UMassD to a hard-earned win.
Despite the fantastic season opener, the season continues and the Corsairs have more games to play if they want to prove that their win over the Engineers did not occur by accident. Wednesday, November 13th marks the continuation of a longer UMassD campaign against Regis College. Rounding out the end of the week, the Corsairs will also face off against Western New England.